Using worm farm castings

By Teresa J. Frith

 

worm castings

Worm castings, sometimes additionally called worm compost, vermicompost or vermicast, is actually poop from the worms. It is said to be the most natural, richest and eco-friendly type of fertilizer. 

When you start using worm farm castings, you likely wonder exactly what it’s made of. Well, it is more than just worm poop, it is composed of a mix of bacteria, enzymes, leftover bits of food the worms ate, their waste material and worm cocoons (worm eggs). 

Worm castings additionally have lots of minerals that plants need to be strong and healthy such as nitrates, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, nitrogen, manganese, zinc, borax, iron and carbon. 

One of the best things about using worm castings is they are odorless, and merely smell like dirt itself. The ph of worm castings is 7, which is neutral. The microorganisms in a worm’s alimentary canal process the organic material the worms have eaten and turns it all into the fertilizer. 

 

Things to do with worm farm castings

cabbage plant

When it comes to using worm farm castings, there are many valuable uses for them. They help fight diseases in plants via the humus in them being able to fight bad bacteria and fungi present in some soil, so it makes toxic soil into useful, good soil.

They can also help to neutralize soil if the ph level is too high or too low since their ph level is neutral. Thus it reduces carbon, which can form acid that hurts the soil. This in turn also increases the level of nitrogen, which plants need to grow well.

Worm castings also increase the ability of the soil to retain water via forming aggregates. An aggregate is a cluster of minerals which mix together and that helps them withstand any compaction of the soil and wards off water erosion, so the plants get the moisture they need to survive.

 

How to use worm farm castings

mulching

When it comes to methods of using worm farm castings, the easiest is called top dressing. Here, you just add some worm castings to the dirt around your plants. You merely spread around a half inch to one inch of the castings around the plant stems. Then, add water to soak the castings. 

Instead of merely dumping it on the top of your soil, you can also use it via what’s called side dressing. Here, you put a bunch of the castings at the base of the plants, then work them into the dirt, and after that water your plants.  Or, you can dig furrows around the plants, add the castings to the furrows, cover with dirt and water the plants.

Another way to use worm farm castings is to add some to seed starter mix. This heightens the plants’ growth. Mix it together in a ration of one-third worm castings, one-third vermiculite, and one-third coir (coconut husks). Plus, a lot of people add some worm castings to the dirt when they turn it up to get ready for the upcoming planting time. Just add a couple inches of worm castings to your dirt and mix it up as you till the soil prior to planting. 

Worm castings can be used to condition the soil via mixing them into the ground, the more castings the better. Just add water over the castings and you’re ready to plant seeds or seedlings. 

It can also be used as mulch by sprinkling it over plants. Plus it even works well as an insect repellent and can ward off aphids, spider mites and whiteflies. 

It can be used as a liquid as well via making worm casting tea, which is done via steeping some castings in water. You place a bunch of worm castings in an old shirt or cheesecloth, then soak this in a bucket of water overnight. By morning you’ll have nice rich worm tea fertilizer to pour over your plants.

One thing’s for certain, you cannot use too many worm castings when putting them on your plants or in the dirt. It is eco-friendly and won’t burn plants like chemical fertilizers do. It can be used on both indoor and outdoor plants, as well as edible and decorative plant life. 

Overall, using worm farm castings is one of the best things you can do to ensure you have strong, healthy and happy plants.