Earthworms Friend or foe
Earthworms are essential to our garden, worms burrow through the soil creating pockets for ventilation and drainage and this improves the soil structure, worms break down decaying organic matter from the surface like leaves,dead plants and animal manure this process releases the nutrients into the soil and increases the amount of fungi and bacteria in the soil. In an acre of healthy farmland there can be up to 1.75 million worms.
There are different types of earthworm in the UK, our common earthworm (Anecic) burrow vertically into the ground leaving casts on the soil surface at the entrance, there are also the non burrowing type that live on the soil surface such as the brandling or tiger worms that are used in womeries, be careful the burrowing type worms are not suitable for the wormery, another worm you may come across are non native flatworms from New Zealand that are a predator feeding on our earthworms.
So our hardworking earthworms seem to be the gardeners friend, unless you have a lawn, as the worms burrow and make there way into the soil they leave casts on the surface of the lawn it does not take long for your carefully tended lawn to become a muddy mess, so this leaves us with the problem of wanting to keep our worms but not wanting the casts on our lawns, what can we do about it without using harsh chemicals? The traditional method of waiting for a dry day to sweep off the casts using a besom broom is good but with a busy lifestyle we need to look for an alternative. CastClear have produced a non hazardous nutrient based deterrent to reduce the casts on your lawn and breaks down naturally into the soil. Casts start appearing from February so if you want to improve the health and longevity of your lawn without harming our earthworm population, this may be an alternative solution to the perennial problem of worm casts.