How Can Earthworms Be A Hindrance In Garden Health
So, I just told you that theyre great but now theyre not, what do you mean you ask me?
Although they can be great, they can also be troublesome.
As I said above, during the wet and humid seasons they rise to the surface and this is where the issue lies
When they migrate to the top of your soil, they leave their castings on your lawn. Worm castings are small mounds and bumps left in your lawn that is essentially worm excretion.
This excretion is packed with nutrients that can help with decomposition and just the overall health of your soil.
So, whats the issue?
These mounds can be an issue for the gardener that wants perfectly leveled and aesthetically pleasing grass.
The bumps that these castings make give the lawn an uneven texture and on top of this, can leave quarter-sized brown patches scattered across the grass due to their high nitrogen content which can be an over-fertilization problem.
Coupled with the issue of a surplus of worms, these brown spots can be a major downer when youre trying to keep your grass looking perfect!
In the case of a weak or thin lawn, when mowed these undesirable brown patches become more obvious, as does the unevenness of the grass surface, both a no-no when you want pristine lawn.
Second, to this casting problem is the issue of animal pest attraction.
What Benefits Do Earthworms Offer
Earthworms are considered beneficial creatures and killing them is a bad idea. They help the soil by:
- fertilizing soil
- creating small tunnels for air and water passage
- helps rainwater to go through the soil by burrowing
- helps plants establish stronger roots
- mixing the organic matter and nutrients
- consume residue material and convert it into fertilizer for plants
Still not convinced? Watch this great video explaining the amazing and hidden world of earthworms.
Does Nitrogen Kill Earthworms
Yes, excessive use of Nitrogen can kill earthworms populations because earthworms are effected by acid solutions with a low pH . To avoid the effects of Nitrogen on earthworms only apply pesticides on small patches rather than on the whole soil.
Also, avoid using pesticides when the earthworm activity is high and they are near the surface. Earthworms are near the surface after rains for three main reasons:
The earthworm activity is also high during the spring and autumn seasons. Spring makes the snow melts and soils are moist. In the summer, the soil dries and earthworms activity is low . The same for winter as there are low temperatures and many of them die or head up to the deeper levels of the soil. In the fall, humidity and rain showers increase the earthworm activity at the surface level.
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Earthworms Attract Other Pests
In addition to leaving their castings behind, a large presence of earthworms in your yard can lead to an increase in other, more destructive, pests. Moles, for example, feed primarily on grubs and can quickly destroy the appearance of your lawn by leaving behind large holes!
Overall, earthworms are beneficial to the health of your yard. However, in some situations, it may be wise to combat your worm population through natural measures.
Identifying Cutworms In Your Lawn
A large number of birds scratching and pecking at your lawn can indicate a sizable cutworm population in the grass. Although they are primarily a problem in early and late summer, cutworms can cause harm to lawns throughout the growing season. Once they are established in spring, several generations can hatch in one season and damage the lawn before they die out in the fall. Cutworm adults are dark moths with bands or stripes on their forewings. They are often seen fluttering around lights in the summertime.
How To Kill Lawn Earth Worms
thistlebloom said:I have a friend who years ago asked me what all those little piles of dirt were on her lawn. When I told her they were earthworms she asked how to get rid of them. Pretty pitiful. She’s not even remotely a gardener, but these days she has a little worm bin setup, and is trying to grow a few veggies.I like to think I may have been a bit of a positive influence.
Do Earthworms Mix And Loosen Soil
Earthworms casts also improve soil structure and nutrient availabilitywhich increases garden productivity! They are breaking up leaft litter and other debris to recycle nutrients back to the soil. Their movement mixes up the soil while creating a network of burrows to help air and water move through the soil.
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Worms In Your Lawn Are A Good Thing
Worms in your lawn are SO beneficial for your soil. The aeration that earthworms provide helps to maintain optimum soil health.
The worm castings add microorganisms to the soil and the bio-cycle provides needed nutrients for plant-life.
This is an all-natural and organic process that doesnt require chemicals. This is a good thing!
My lawn has seen no chemical fertilizers or pesticides for over 10 years and it has never looked better.
Fewer weeds, more drought-resistance, and thick, lush growth because of healthy soil and earthworms.
Here is a FREE TIP. If you are a gardener, please stop tilling your garden. This practice kills earthworms and even worse disturbs the fungal-hyphae and mycelium webs in the soil.
The mycelium is important to soil health and once disturbedtakes years to recover. Mulch, Mulch, Mulch instead!
Learn to keep your garden soil covered year-round. You will have more worms in your garden and healthier soil.
I have expounded the benefits of worms for this entire article without offering any solutions.
I am biased toward worms but will offer some solutions which wont kill your worms. Everyone will benefit, I promise.
How Do You Kill Earthworms In Soil
. Also asked, how do you kill worms in soil?
Harmful pests such as cutworms and leafminer larvae should be submerged in warm, soapy water to kill them so they don’t harm other plants. There are a range of insecticidal soaps that are effective at killing pests. Use a ready-to-use insecticidal soap and spray the worms, repeating the application as needed.
Secondly, what product kills earthworms? Currently, only one readily available insecticide is known to reduce and kill off earthworm populations. Sevin, a carbayl-based product, is intended for killing off grubs in a lawn but has been found to reduce earthworm populations as well when used at the recommended dosage amounts for grubs.
Similarly one may ask, does bleach kill earthworms?
If you’re going to fish the same day you’re grabbing worms out of the yard – you can use a mild solution of diluted bleach – they’ll pop right out of their tiny little holes. However, you must rinse them off or they will die quickly.
Is it OK to put earthworms in potted plants?
Yes, it is not just OK, it is quite beneficial for potted plants to have a few earthworms in their soil. Earthworms never eat living stuff and majorly feed on decomposing bacteria only. The worms that feed on live roots are called Nematodes or Round Worms.
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Apply Fertilizer On Your Lawn
You can also fertilize the lawn to give it a boost and strengthen its immune system and raise the pH of the soil. This process should be repeated every year, so theres no chance of worms returning to that area.
Worms will often stay in that spot if conditions are good, so you have to be persistent.
If the worms return a year later, apply another dose of fertilizer and repeat this process once again.
Earthworm Infestation In Lawn
There will be far more worms in the soil when there is an earthworm infestation than you might think.
Worm populations can soar into thousands per square foot, which means that your grass will have to compete for nutrients and water with a large number of worms burrowing underneath it.
As mentioned earlier, this can make it difficult for your grassroots to absorb nutrients properly.
The most common sign of earthworm infestation is the appearance of castings on your lawn. Worms poop out a substance called castings that resembles black gravel. So when you find castings on your grass, its a sure sign that theres an infestation.
Another way to tell if worms have settled into your lawn is by looking at the quality of your grass. Poorly maintained areas with thinning patches or patches that are covered in white mold often have an infestation.
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Presence Of Grass Clippings And Dry Leaves
Grass clippings and dead leaves are excellent sources of nutrients for worms. If your lawn has plenty of this organic matter, then worms will eat this material and move in to perpetuate the cycle.
Therefore, try removing these items before they have a chance to decompose.
An Alternative: Leave Them Be
Despite everything you have read about eradicating worms, leaving them be is probably the wisest choice.
The odds of an infestation harming your lawn is pretty small. And, in the end, while it may be a bit inconvenient to deal with and, perhaps, gross for you to look at, the benefits they bring greatly outweigh those two negatives.
So if the casting are causing patches in your turf, break out a rake and spread that nutrient-rich material throughout the lawn to distribute it equally.
The earthworm is beneficial to the overall health and beauty of your grass. So instead of trying to control them, sit back and relax. Watch your plants blossom and grow. Then experience the beauty in your lawn that they helped create.
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How To Kill Night Crawlers In My Yard Without Hurting My Grass
Do you ever wonder how to get rid of earthworms in yards or gardens? Earthworms, sometimes called night crawlers, are quite beneficial for gardens and lawns. They help break down organic matter and can enrich the soil. All the same, sometimes they can be a nuisance to gardeners, but there are some natural ways to keep them away without the use of pesticides.
Will Vinegar Kill Earthworms
As earthworms need moisture to breathe, the acidity of vinegar will cause moisture to leave their bodies, likely resulting in their death. If that is not a concern, pour a bottle of highly acidic vinegar into an empty spray bottle and spray away you may need to repeat this several times to kill all the worms.
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Change The Surrounding Conditions
If you want to control where the worms live, youll have to change their environmental needs. Worms thrive in cool, moist places with a pH between 6 and 7.
Worms do not like direct sunlight or dry soil, so if you can make your lawn conditions less favorable to them, theyll leave voluntarily.
You can do this by mowing the lawn more frequently, using a higher nitrogen fertilizer with every application, and aerating your soil. Worms are natural creatures, so theyll leave if you force their hand.
Keep the lawn dry and hot by watering less and installing sprinklers that suppress molds. Worms dont like either the sun or dryness, so theyll start looking for a different habitat to survive.
The Bad Side Of Worms In Lawns
Though worms do good things for a lawn, they have another side too. Worms compete with your grass for water and nutrients. When you have too many worms in the soil, the quality of your lawn suffers.
Worm castings can make the surface layer of soil too chalky, preventing air from reaching grassroots and making it difficult for plants to absorb vital nutrients. Worms also eat leaf debris that would otherwise break down into food for your grass. This causes your lawn to starve for nutrients.
Worms want soft, slightly damp soil, so if you have too many worms in your soil, they can hinder the growth of hardy grasses like Kentucky bluegrass and fescues. They also prefer acidic soils that are low in nitrogen.
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What Attracts Worms To Your Yard
As mentioned previously, earthworms are attracted to healthy soil that contains high levels of organic materials. Soil that has a neutral pH level and contains proper nutrients will attract worms to your yard. Worms also enjoy moist soil, you are unlikely to find worms thriving in your yard if you live in an area that experiences seasons of drought.
If you recently worked with a local construction company to complete a project in your yard, you may notice an increase in your worm population after disrupting their habitats.
In addition to these natural attractions, there are several things you can add to your soil to attract worms to your yard if you choose to do so. While they may seem like a nuisance, finding worms in your yard should actually be an encouraging sign that you are cultivating and maintaining healthy soil!
Earthworms And Putting Greens
Over the last year, I have had several calls pertaining to worms wreaking havoc on putting greens, or should I say under putting greens. I have spoken on this subject before, but after hearing horror stories of putting greens having to be completely removed and replaced, I thought I would reiterate how crucial it is to be aware of the destruction earthworms can cause on putting greens. This month, Ask JW will talk about how and why earthworms cause havoc on putting greens and how to prevent it.
Its normal to see earthworms present within your homes lawn or garden. This is a sign of healthy soil. Earthworms thrive on the enriched soil that contains high levels of organic material. The only time you may see earthworms above the surface is when there are periods of excessive moisture, such as after rainfall. However, earthworms tend to surface in natural lawns to deposit their castings, and they will try to do the same with synthetic turf. Worm castings, also known as vermicast, are essentially worm excrement. These excretions are remains of nutrients and digested plant matter that have passed through the worm. These may be good for your lawn or garden, but not for soils underneath putting greens. If you have witnessed earthworm castings in the area that you are wanting to place a putting green, I would take heed and listen to what I am about to teach you.
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Reasons To Share Your Yard With Worms
There are several important reasons to share your yard with worms! Earthworms have been said to be one of the most important contributors to our ecosystem. Worms serve several important functions such as improving the nutrients in the soil, aiding in the decomposition of natural matter, and even improving the structure of the soil through aeration!
These functions all contribute to a healthy, green lawn and impressive landscaping something that every homeowner craves.
Lawn Treatment For Worms
First of all, there will be no earthworm killer or earthworm repellent in this program. We are going to embrace the power of worms and use it to our advantage.
The problem is going to become a benefit. This is really a lawn treatment FOR WORMS.
A lawn treatment for healthy soil. You are going to have a lawn that your kids can play on. A lawn your pets can run on.
A lawn that needs less watering. Grass between your toes and grass in your hair. A healthy and happy outdoor space!
You will not need any Warning Signs on this lawn. Send the chemical lawn-maintenance company packing. They can take their signs with them.
We are NOT going to have a chemical and pesticide-laden wasteland of a yard. The kind of lawn that kills everythingincluding our kids and pets. The birds, bees, insects, worms, and even the fish.
Eventually us! No, No, No!
Sound like a plan? Goodlets go.
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Organic Lawn Care Fundamentals
This is going to be a brief overview of organic lawn care fundamentals. Please read the recommended book for more information.
Remember those worm mounds on your lawn? We are going to tackle those first thing in the Spring.
Pick up the sticks and any other accumulated debris in your yard. Find your flexible-tined rake.
Those mud mounds are everywhere and you need to rake them around until they dont bother you anymore. We dont want to pick them up. Just disperse them kind of evenlythey are gold for our soil. Black Gold!
This is the only time of the year that they should be visible. Your power mower will disperse them for you the rest of the year. One problem solved.
You will need to test your soil. There are many soil labs around that can do as much or as little testing as you need. You get what you pay for. Note: Many newer houses have sod that was laid on pure clay backfill.
I would get a VERY good soil test if this was my situation. You need a good accurate starting point.
You may need to start over after bringing in some topsoil.
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