Worms In Turf
Turf which is blighted with worm casts is a major problem, not only is it unsightly but it is virtually impossible to mow successfully. Because earthworms are most active at the surface in wet conditions the casts they leave smear when a mower is passed over. The result is an uneven surface and in some cases the grass may be smothered by the soil of the cast being spread when squashed.
How Do I Control Casting Worms?
Presently Carbendazim applied at four litres per hectare is the best proprietary option. This will need to be done twice in the period between October and March and maybe late August or early September depending on the weather.
It is important to only try to control casting worms when the soil profile is moist. Unlike selective herbicide which must remain on the leaves of the target weed, Carbendazim applied to control worms must enter the profile of the soil where the target species are active. Water volume and nozzle size are important to achieve this.
As a general policy the maintenance programme should be focussed on lowering the pH of the soil. A reading below pH6 will tend to discourage casting worms . Avoid using any product with a high calcium content such as top dressing with sand which has a pH above 6.5.
Fertilizer which has ammonium sulphate as a source of nitrogen is helpful. Never apply horticultural products containing lime. In the autumn clear any leaves from nearby trees. Worms like organic matter and will be attracted by leaves and grass clippings which are not collected.
Systemic Worm Cast Control is a carbendazim based product for the control of worm casts in lawns, golf greens and other sports and amenity turf.