Worm Castings and a Promising Solution

worms on surface

Golf course superintendents face a constant battle for pristine putting surfaces. While healthy earthworm populations are beneficial for overall soil health, their castings can wreak havoc on the delicate putting green. These small mounds of soil disrupt ball roll, create uneven lies, and can even smother turfgrass. Especially during the wetter months of spring and fall, worm casting activity can become a major headache.

The Struggles of Worm Castings:

  • Uneven Playing Surface: Worm castings disrupt the smoothness of the green, causing unpredictable ball roll and frustrating golfers.
  • Smothered Turf: If left unbroken, castings can smother delicate grass blades, leading to patchy growth and potential disease.
  • Aesthetic Woes: Castings detract from the overall visual appeal of a well-maintained green.

Current Solutions (and their Limitations):

Traditionally, superintendents have employed various methods to manage worm castings:

  • Hand Brushing: A labor-intensive approach that physically removes castings but can damage the turf.
  • Topdressing: Applying a thin layer of sand can dilute the castings, but requires precise application to avoid altering green speed.
  • Cultural Practices: Adjusting irrigation and aeration practices can deter worm activity near the surface, but may not always be sufficient.

A Glimmer of Hope? Keith Lyall's Aquaritin Defend Experiment:

In a recent YouTube video, Keith Lyall, a superintendent who utilizes Aquaritin Defend on his greens, shared a fascinating discovery. He observed a significantly lower incidence of worm castings on greens treated with Aquaritin Defend compared to untreated areas. Intrigued, Mr. Lyall decided to experiment with a double dose of Aquaritin Defend on a designated section of his green. The video footage showed a noticeably reduced presence of castings in the trial area compared to the control section.

While further research is needed, Mr. Lyall’s experience suggests a potential new approach to managing worm castings. Aquaritin Defend, originally formulated for disease control, might offer an unexpected benefit in the fight against these greenkeeper adversaries.

This blog post is just the beginning of the conversation. Stay tuned for further developments as we explore the potential of Aquaritin Defend in tackling the challenge of worm castings on golf course greens.

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