After reading a bit on how to create a worm farm and making worm castings or vermicompost, now you are probably wondering exactly how to use worm castings. Worm Castings can dramatically enrich your soil and help plants in a number of ways. Everything from insect repellent to disease control are some benefits from worm castings.
Adding Worm Castings to Your Soil
If you have ever used the same soil for growing plants year after year you would naturally notice the plants not quite looking or producing the way they first were. This is from your soil losing its potency. By mixing worm castings back into the soil you are revitalizing it with the necessarily enzymes and good bacteria that helps plants absorb nutrients and aids in disease control as well as absorption rates.
There are reports out that says you need a 15% ratio to soil and worm castings. I believe, from my experience, that a ratio of at least 25% works best. This equals out to about 1 lb of work castings per sq ft of soil. This varies on what type of soil you are starting with of course. You cannot over use worm castings in my opinion. I have raised plants successfully in 100% worm castings but you lose benefits per dollar spent so there is no need to use that much.
Worm Castings Used Like Mulch
One way that helps keep bugs at bay is to use worm castings or vermicompost like you would a mulch. This also adds more good bacteria into your soil when they are watered. Indoor plants will not need as much, possible a tablespoon or two. You can mix it in the top soil, but make sure you do not disturb your plants root system. Outside plants may need a bit more, I would say anywhere from a 1/2 – 1 cup per plant should work out perfectly. Your plants will show you how much they love it!
Transplanting and Seed Starting
When I start seeds I use exclusively 100% vermicompost or worm castings to give them the very best start possible. Depending on the plant I may mix some potting soil in with the mix for added water retention. The worm castings will help prevent damping off in your seedlings as well.
When I transplant my plants I like to use a cupful for each plant as it helps the root structure to have a great start. This is where your plant gets its long term disease protection. Learning How to use Worm Castings is a vital part of having very healthy and over producing organic plants/
Best Looking Lawn Around
Worm castings can dramatically improve your yard. If, you are using vermicompost, you may need to sift. Some larger chunks you may not want in your yard and may clog up the fertilizer spreader. Make sure you do not allow your compost to completely dry out as this kills the active microbial bacteria and makes your worm compost nothing but filler. Use a regular fertilizer to spread them and set back and watch the magical of worm castings go to work.
Other Products From Your Worm Castings
Ever hear of worm tea? Well here is another fine way to get nutrients and protection to your plants. One basic way to create worm tea from your worm castings is to create a tea bag of sorts out of a nylon stocking or similar material. Fill up a bucket of water and let stand to clear the chloride out of it or use non chlorinated water. Rainwater works best for me.
A small aerator like for a fish tank is necessary to create proper worm tea. You will also need something to feed the good bacteria your about to grow. For this I like to use molasses (high is sugar). A little molasses with will feed the bacteria while you are aerating it for around 24 – 48 hours. I usually do the 2-day mark. The water will turn a dark brown color (where it gets the name tea from) and will be ready for immediate use.
You would dilute this tea as more than what is needed is simply wasting it. 3 – 6 ounces per gallon will work great when using it as a foliage spray. With outside gardens I like to use this about once a week if possible. Indoor plants, in my opinion, can go 2 weeks easily. You can use this directly on the soil as well, but my experience it works best when sprayed. I use a typical garden sprayer for this. I never make more than I need as worm tea in hard to store. The good bacteria will die off without proper aeration and sufficient food source such as the high sugar content of the molasses.
How to Store Worm Castings
Worm castings is not all that picky as long as you do not let it dry out or have it in an air tight bag. I like using a 5 gallon bucket with holes in the lid for air. I have used a 55 gallon drum in the same manner. Just keep moist and put air holes in the lid and it will last a very long time. During storage do not be alarmed if you end up with worms. Many worm castings contain worm cocoons which will hatch in the right environment. These style worms will not hurt your garden whatsoever. They make holes, create more castings and allow water and oxygen to reach the roots of the plants. If, you are using indoors you can always sift the casting to remove the worms.
Where to Buy Worm Castings or Vermicompost
There are many places to purchase worm castings. Now that you know how to use worm castings and understand all of its benefits you can make a more informed decision. I like using Unco’s worm castings. The Unco’s Wiggle Worm Castings are made all over the United States, but with a very controlled process for quality and uniformity. There are many companies out there with all sorts of claims but I am here to share with you this is the best on the market. They have taken worm farming to a new level with scientific approach and created a worm growing system that can be duplicated, thus the worm castings can be duplicated and you can depend on the quality received.
I invite you to leave comments or suggestions below. I will answer most questions and respond to comments usually within 24 hours. Thanks for reading and I hope you have learned how to use worm castings for you and your families benefit.