Worm castings are the richest natural fertilizer known to humans. As little as a tablespoon of pure worm castings provides enough organic plant nutrients to feed a 6” potted plant for more than two months. Worm castings stimulate plant growth more than any other natural product on the market. Unlike animal manure and artificial fertilizers it is absorbed easily and immediately by plants. Worm castings don’t only stimulate plant growth, but they also enhance your soil’s ability to retain water and worm castings even inhibit root diseases such as root rot!
Castings contain 5 times the available nitrogen, 7 times the available potash, and 1 ½ times more calcium than that found in 12” of topsoil. You will find that most potting soils have a nutrient life for 2 to 5 days; however, worm castings will last up to 6 times as long!
What are Worm Castings?
Worm castings contain highly active biological mixture of bacteria, enzymes, remnants of plant matter and animal manure as well as earthworm cocoons (while damp). The castings are rich in water-soluble plant nutrients and contain more than 50% more humus than what is normally found in topsoil
Benefits of Worm Castings
- The humus in the worm castings extracts toxins and harmful fungi and bacteria from the soil. Worm castings, therefore, have the ability to fight off plant diseases.
- Worm castings have the ability to fix heavy metals in organic waste. This prevents plants from absorbing more of these chemical compounds than they need. These compounds can then be released later when the plants need them.
- Worm castings prevent extreme pH levels ( which can limit a plants ability to absorb nutrients from the soil).
- The humic acid in worm castings stimulates plant growth, even in very low concentrations. The humic acid is in an ionically distributed state which can easily be absorbed by the plant, over and above any normal mineral nutrients. Humic acid also stimulates the development of micro flora populations in the soil.
- Worm castings increase the ability of soil to retain water.
- Worm castings reduce the acid forming carbon in the soil, and increase the nitrogen levels in a state that the plant can easily use.
- Worm castings reduces irrigation cost up to 50%
- Worm castings reduce all chemical costs by 75% first year of a 3 year program
How to use Worm Castings
Use 20 – 30% worm castings with sand as an excellent germination mixture. It will also ensure continuous and lush growth for about three months, without you having to add any other plant food.
As a soil conditioner
If you hoe a layer of barren soil, add a layer of worm castings and give it some water. You will be surprised at the growth of your first season’s plants.
As a fertilizer
Sprinkle worm castings around the base of plants or lightly dig it in, and then add water. They can also be sprinkled on a large scale with a spreader. Remember, you cannot use too much worm castings, it cannot damage your plants
As a liquid Fertilizer
Worm castings can easily be mixed with water. Use 1 cup worm castings for every gallon of water and wait 1 week. This liquid mixture can be used as an excellent fertilizer or leaf foliate spray. It also helps to control insects.
As a Turf Top Dresser
At 10 lbs/100 sq. feet worm castings will rapidly improve soil structure. These miniature football shaped particles improve aeration, which promotes rapid plant growth. It also allows for excellent drainage in soil so roots don’t become waterlogged and develop root rot.
As a possible repellent
Worm Castings can act as a repellent to white flies, aphids and spider mites and any pest that feeds on plant juices. According to recent studies, applying worm castings to the soil around your plants increases the production of a certain enzyme that is offensive to these insects.