Worm Casting and Lawn Care Advice
Worms are often regarded as being essential for good drainage and certainly soils with a high worm activity will have a greater overall capacity to absorb water but under traffic the casts become smeared leaving a fine silty layer of surface material that is capable of holding water for long periods close to saturation. In these circumstances the drainage of worm-worked areas is significantly impaired.
It is not uncommon to achieve improvements in playability and surface conditions when worm control measures have been adopted, thus negating the need for sand top dressings – which no doubt take “the sting” out of heavy worm casting problems.
Some initial results from an American research programme suggest that heavy sand top dressings, applying a 37 mm depth over a single season, have reduced earthworm casting by 58% the following season. Further work is required to determine the longer term effects of sand top dressing on worm casting.
Worm activity is variable throughout the golf course and casting tends to be most prolific on compacted areas of ground. A localised approach to the control of casting will be the most economical to apply.