23 October 2013

Not What You Think

close up of worm cast

It's OK - its not what you think it is ... although it is 'droppings'.
(Would have been a very tiny dog if it was!)

It is, of course, a worm cast.

A couple of weeks ago a rash of worm casts appeared in the lawn (god, look at the state of my lawn - it's no Centre Court is it?)

Which made me wonder why now?

It seems worms are sensitive creatures that need environmental conditions to be just right, and autumn provides just those conditions - not too wet or dry, not too cold or hot. Now is the time they become most active, looking for a mate and laying eggs.  Late spring and summer they dig deeper in the soil and become quieter.

Spiders do their mating in autumn too (see last post). Do they need cool, moist conditions too?

The casts themselves are full of nutrients, with 5x more nitrogen, 7x more phosphates, and 11x more potassium than the surrounding upper 6 inches of soil. There is also 40% more humus. So perhaps it would be a good idea to collect any worm casts on your lawn and sprinkle them on the compost in pots, if a little fiddly.