By D. Converse This article may not be copied or transferred in anyway without author’s permission
Gardener’s Gold. Higher in plant available nutrients that traditional composts, manures, or chemical fertilizers….and yes, Worm castings are worm poop.
Worm castings are what is left over after redworms consume the compostable matter they are given. Worm castings have no noticable odor, and look like fine coffee grounds.The photo to the right shows a comparison of our native soil (Light brown) and worm castings (darker brown) which were generated in the redworm composting bin shown. Worm castings have many benefits for soil, gardens, greenhouse operations, vineyards, turf, orchard, aquaponics and houseplants.
Worm castings will improve soil texture, a very good thing for those with clay or sandy soils. Worm castings also help with water retention properties of your soil. This means by adding worm castings to your soil you will be able to water less if your soil drains too quickly. A cost savings on your water bill. If your soil does not drain well, worm castings will add texture that will allow it to drain. Because each granual of castings is coated with a calcium coat, the nutrients do not wash away after they are added to your soil. They are naturally “time released”. This is not the case with many chemicals used for nutrient additives.
Worm castings are naturally packed with with plant available nutrients. Plant available is the key. Due to the gut action of redworms, the nutrients they contain are ready for plant uptake. No “middleman” needed. Other nutrients in soil DO require the “middleman” and are not as plant available.. My intent here is not to go into a dessertation on soil microbiology, so “middleman” is as scientific as it is going to get here. Worm castings also contain natural plant growth hormones, good news for gardeners and greenhouse keepers.
Worm castings naturally contain a healthy beneficial microbial population. Healthy soil is very alive. Worms are one of the major players in keeping soil healthy. These naturally occurring healthful microbes are what can also be used on your garden/greenhouse orchard, vineyard plants to stop commonly occuring problems. By making a cold steeped “Tea” (Not for human consumption – don’t laugh, people DO ask.) that is applied, you can get rid of many insect pests, and stop many plant maladies/diseases. See the Worm Casting Tea section of this website for more information about that and instructions on how to make and apply the tea.
The tea can be misted onto seeds prior to planting to increase germination success and shorten germination time. This is a benefit of the natural plant growth hormones worm castings contain..
Worm castings in any concentration will not burn or harm plants in any way . This is good news, for those who want to know ‘how much” to use. You can plant your seeds directly in pure worm castings or a planting mix containing some worm castings. They are competely safe to use around children, pets, livestock or fish.
So how do I get the worm castings separated from my redworms? A common question we will answer here. Because we are a large operation, we use large scale equipment. We did start out small, and are very versed in the ways the back yard gardener, or small farms farmer, would need to accomplish this task. It is easy, and we will show you how below…..
Coming soon: “Separating Worms From The Castings”
More Worm Castings Info; “Not All Worm Castings Are Created Equal: The Dirt on Worm Castings” . Link to article on this website: https://freshfromthefarminthegorge.wordpress.com/redwormsvermicomposting-2/worm-castings/all-worm-castings-are-not-equal/
(More to come…we are in the process of growing this site…please be patient.)