“Hi Duncan and Ken, Every week I look forward to your newsletter. My name is Hennie Woite and I’m from South Africa. Thank you for very interesting, practical and scientific based information.
I would like to ask whether in view of the fact that it is said that earth worm casts should never dry out completely; whether it is beneficial to a lawn to spread worm castings over the surface of the lawn. If it is – how do you prevent the lawnmower to pick most all of it? Thank you very much and keep up your good work!” ~ Woite Hennie
Thanks for the big support!
Always great to have encouraging comments!
You are correct that for storage purposes wormcast should never dry out completely.
One of the main beautys of wormcast is it’s high population of a diverse range of microbes which it contains. These microbes need moisture to survive and will stay in the wormcast until it is used in soil.
Once in the soil, the microbes in the worm cast will stat to proliferate as organic matter will be available to them.
These microbes are important in maintaining the soil-ecosystem and to mediate the nutrients for the plants. The microbes include protozoa, beneficial nematodes, mychorrhizal fungi and bacteria.
Many other organisms have a diet of these micro-organisms.
A high population of microbes will encourage these organisms to populate the soil, increasing soil eco-diversity and the overall health of soil.
One great example are earthworms themselves which comes to aerate and mediate the soil with their movement and wormcast!
Microbes also help in converting minerals into a soluble state for the plants. Many nutrients are locked up in larger sizes, or in a form which plants cannot absorb. These nutrients require these microbes to convert it into a ready absorbable form. So with a more diverse set of microbes, the more the nutrients are readily available.
Is it beneficial to spread wormcast over the lawn?
In some lawns you may see brown patches, areas where grass cannot and does not grow in. This can be due to various reasons such as soil compaction leading to clay soil with no water drainage and fungal diseases.
Depending the cause of your problem, wormcast can sometimes fix brown patches. But the overall spreading of wormcast through the lawn will help in creating a fantastic and healthy looking lawn.
How do you spread wormcast, and especially how do we prevent the lawnmower in picking it up?
The first thing to do is to spread the wormcast after mowing the lawn. When the grass is short, the wormcast will be able to reach directly onto the soil much more easily.
Once it is in contact with the soil, the nutrients, humus and microbes from the wormcast will naturally immerse themseleves into the soil.