Worms hard at work making rich
Vermicomposting is the process of composting using worms, the end product of the breakdown of organic matter by earthworms known as vermicast, worm castings, worm compost, worm humus, worm manure or even worm poo, is basically the excrement of earthworms.
It is a water-soluble, rich organic fertilizer and soil conditioner. Worm castings are high in organic matter, humus, beneficial organisms, bacteria and microbes and are extremely rich in calcium, nitrogen, magnesium, phosphates, and potash that are plant ready nutrients and by far the best fertilizer available for garden or nursery.
There are many different types of worms but only two or three that are suitable for producing in a situation where they can be farmed and their castings harvested as a usable product.
Photo left - The fancy name for these valuable little garden fertilizer makers is, Eisenia fetida, also known as the red worm or red wiggler.Mouse over image to enlarge.
Photo Right - Unlike many of the common garden variety of worms, these little fellows are adapted to crowding, warmer temperatures and will devour almost any form of organic matter available to them along with many living organisms such as nematodes, bacteria and fungi, making them perfect for worm farming. Mouse over image to enlarge.
You don’t need to be heavy handed when using vermicastings, a little of this rich nutrient source will go a long way.
When using seed cells for starting vegetable seeds, mix 10 - 15 percent vermicompost, approximately 1 1/2 - 2 cups per US dry gallon or 1/2 - 3/4 cup per liter, into the seed starting mix and it will last until transplanting without you having to add any other plant food.
Photo Right One - When pricking out seedlings or re-potting, as little as a tablespoon of pure worm castings per seed cell or pot will provide enough organic plant nutrients until transplanting Mouse over image to enlarge.
Photo Right Two - Worm castings can also be used to make worm tea, worm castings mix easily with water to make an excellent liquid fertilizer and leaf foliate spray. Mouse over image to enlarge.
In most cases the cost of this product will prohibit the large quantities being broadcast over the garden. However adding a thin layer of worm castings to the garden will give amazing results.
A more common use in the garden is to sprinkle Worm Castings around the base of plants or lightly dig it in, and then add water.
Use worm compost tea, as a liquid fertilizer and leaf foliate spray at all stages of plant growth in the garden.
For an interesting little side track to answer a fun question click this link to, “do worms sleep”