Lack of Earthworms
Three years ago our Iowa lawn was submerged in water for eighteen hours. This was also the same time we hired a lawn care service. Since then we have not had any earthworms. IS there anything we can do this fall?
Anything that damages soil structure can reduce earthworm population. This includes flooding, compaction (working soil when wet) and overuse of pesticides. Start repairing the damage this fall. Core aerate the lawn in September or early October once the temperatures have cooled. Look for an aerator that breaks up the cores so they quickly decompose and help improve the soil. Speed up recovery by spreading a thin (1/4 inch) layer of organic matter such as compost or peat moss over the soil surface. This material falls into the holes improving drainage. Badly damaged lawns may need to be core aerated once a year for several years. It takes time to repair soil but it will be well worth the effort. Your lawn will improve and the earthworms should return.