Earth Worms do What???

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Sandy soils don't turn into Axle Grease consistency and Earthworms don't have to take anything into consideration... just like the pathogenic microbes they either like the neighborhood or they don't...

    This thread was supposed to be about what sort of soil Earthworms would create if given a chance,,, or how we even may recreate some of that "Sponge-like" structure ourselves...

    When I see so much irrigation abuse with little understanding about caring for the root zone of a turf,,, I just thought it would be a good idea to engage in some intelligent discussion about it...

    Is there any kind of signal or Red Flag to anyone that when there is so much water in the turf that the Earthworms move out??? :)
     
  2. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,206

    Like when it rains for a long time and they climb on the road drying to dry out so they can breath?
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    And then the irrigation is NEVER shut off and the worms find a home that has some pores in the soil that actually contain air... :)
     
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Seeding with earthworms, specifically night-crawlers is what I tell my customers, but yet they look at me funny regardless of how I try to educate them.

    The unfortunate part of the story is the new home construction. Strip off the land, compact the clay, use the lot as a parking lot while building a home, slap sod on top and irrigate.

    We are trying to sell a "ripping" service that I took from my farm days. Use a sub-soil ripper and get as deep as you can to relieve compaction. The process first starts with adding at least 9 yards of compost on a 5k lawn, then using a ripper bar we fabricated on a mini skid.

    Then "seeding" the lawn with night crawlers and other local earth worms.

    My lawn is from the 60's. You dig a hole 4' down and you can see large holes from the night crawlers.

    Also, my father who still farms, is a big advocate of no-tilling. He'll talk to you for hours on the worm population he has on his acreage.




    ...........
     
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    One thing I want to add.....

    In regards to the lawns with irrigation, 90% of the time the PH is the problem in establishing the turf. Municipality water is usually at a 7.5-8 on the PH scale.

    Start with the PH first, then add earth worms and compost. Then you have the "start" of a sustainable lawn.


    ......
     
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    So the idea of a Sponge-like soil, is an objective worth striving for??? or is it over with the pH and Earthworms??? What if the Earthworms don't like your environment and the population remains so low as to be completely unnoticeable??? Why does your dad's farm have so many worms and how can that be duplicated for grass???
     
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    It's all a matter of the consistency of the soil. Sponge like to me is a clay mixture of soil that is heavily compacted and only spongy when wet.

    PH, to me and our process, is the lifeblood of any lawn. Get the PH in the correct territory, and the sod will thrive to some degree.

    With the correct PH, all the organisms in the lawn will thrive, thus supplying the turf with a good environment for earthworms. A big natural circle so to speak.

    As for the farm analogy, it's the same with lawns (to some degree). Provide an environment where natural sustainability that can minimize the requirements of man, and you'll have a better sustaining environment with minimal human intervening, whether mechanically, or physically.




    ..........
     
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Sponges have more air when they are dry whereas clay is more rock-like when dry,,, no pores for water or air to infiltrate or drain... wet clay is like Axle grease not sponges... :)
     
  9. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    Good point. I have concerns about continuously dumping chlorine on the lawn too. I kow my own body gets tired of it. Reminds me of that "thirstier than you were" feeling after drinking a soda (known as pop in these parts).
     
  10. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    Man you are right about that. Often times there is a designated burial spot for bricks, broken concrete, etc too. Running those dozers around in circles really makes some hard spots.

    I "ripped" a baseball infield I renovated a few years ago. Got down 16-18" then added 100 yards of sand over about 8,000 square feet (elevation needed to come up anyway) and ripped it again, then disc, and later Harley Rake. The issue there was a unform thick layer of silt over ferrous sand, rather than compaction.
     

Share This Page