We get asked this question a lot. What are all these little bumps in my lawn? If you have bumps in your lawn it’s generally a good thing, as it indicates earthworm activity in your soil, this could help out your garden a lot.
Earthworms chew their way through the soil and eliminate behind them. The eliminations are called castings. The castings are usually moist and look like little mud balls. As the castings dry, it hardens and makes little mounds of dirt in amongst the turf. If you flick off the top of the dirt mound you’ll usually find a small hole. Nightcrawlers are the little guys that make the biggest mounds. Generally, you can see holes up to 1/4″ after removing the casting mound.
It’s a good thing what they do in that they are helping aerate your soil. This helps improve soil structure by relieving soil compaction, improving air circulation, moisture penetration and it also increases microbial activity, which in turn helps decompose thatch. Without boring you will all the other compounding benefits, just know that worms are a good thing and any pesticides applied to your lawn will not affect them.
So what to do about all those bumps you say? Well, the best way to approach it is to try not to put in too much effort. You’ll always have earthworms and that’s a good thing. So, by fertilizing your lawn and maintaining a good thick turf stand you help to mask the bumps in your lawn. If your turf stand isn’t as dense as you would like it or you can see the castings without having to pull away from the grass then you should seriously consider an overseeding service to sew in more grass seed to help thicken your lawn. Having a good thick turf stand is beneficial in many ways. The more intense approach would be to stop into your local hardware or big box store and pick up a lawn dethatcher. Dethatching your lawn in the springtime is always recommended before the green shoots start to rise. But, you can also do this at any time of the season. A lawn dethatcher has metal tines that flick and scrape at the grass helping to remove dead decomposing grass. It also can help break down those dirt castings and relieve some of the bumpiness. It may take several passes to get enough of them to meet your satisfaction.
NEVER ROLL YOUR LAWN!!! Rolling your lawn may seem to be a good idea in this case but it is definitely not. Rolling your lawn compacts the soil making it extremely difficult for turf grass roots to grow and pull in the nutrients and moisture they need. The only time we’d recommend rolling a lawn is just after you seeded a new area. That would help drive the seeds into the soil. But you wouldn’t be looking to compact the soil here so you would be using a lightweight roller. Something that wouldn’t do much for squishing the earthworm castings.
Taking the time to diagnose what is really going on with your lawn is the first step in protecting your investment for the long haul.
If you think you have some turf density issues and are currently on our regular lawn care program, GIVE US A CALL! We’ll give you some recommendations as to what your lawn or soil needs to get the lawn you’ve been looking for.