Growing a garden is great because it keeps you busy and provides you with fresh food. Whether trying to grow flowers or a veggie garden, your soil has to be rich in nutrients to ensure that your plants grow healthy and yield bountifully.
This brings us to one of the most common questions in gardening; are worm castings good for the garden?
During the planting season, gardeners like yourself will be looking for the right nutrient booster to improve their soil's fertility. Natural fertilizers like worm castings have proven to be the best solution for gardens.
The importance of worm castings spans beyond improving plant growth alone as it also benefits the soil significantly. Maintaining soil health is paramount to prevent mineral depletion and other factors unhealthy soil brings to the table.
Without a doubt, one of the things you need as a gardener is healthy soil. Your soil should contain billions of beneficial microbes, maintain an appropriate level of nutrients, and have good water retention- using worm castings can make this happen.
Are you new to worm castings? Let's look at how using worm castings takes your garden to new heights.
Worm casting is simply worm poop made up of organic matter and desirable microorganisms. Worms help the plants and soil by creating spaces for air and water as they burrow through the soil. Meanwhile, they feed and digest organic material, which is broken down by their digestive system. These materials exit their digestive system as worm poop (worm castings), rich in nutrients. Alongside, worm castings release humic acid that aids plants in absorbing the nutrients the castings provide.
Worm manure is a pure form of organic manure that is stable and balanced. It releases nutrients slowly over time - just the way plants love it. Worm castings are also free of any strong smell. Moreover, unlike other animal manures or synthetic fertilizers, worm castings don't burn plant roots.
You can use worm castings on any plant, including raised beds, hanging baskets, container plants, potted plants, etc. First, you need to choose your form of worm castings - dry or liquid. Gardeners sometimes call the latter worm casting tea. This liquid fertilizer (worm casting tea) is made from soaking worm castings in water for instant plant growth.
To make the natural liquid fertilizer (compost tea) with worm castings, mix ½ to one cup of castings in one gallon of water, then leave it to rest for 24 hours. Next, pour it into your watering can for watering garden beds, hanging baskets, container beds, you name it!
If you grow your vegetable plants from seeds, mix the worm castings on your seed starting soil, such as your potting soil. Use one cup of castings for every one cup of potting soil for your seedlings. This earthworm manure will aid in faster sprouting because of its moisture retention benefits, especially in the root zone.
When transplanting vegetable plants or flowers, open holes in your garden beds where you wish to transplant your plants. Then power plants by mixing a quarter cup of castings into each planting hole. Since worm castings are a slow-release fertilizer, it is perfect for the delicate transplant's roots. You can also fertilize vegetable plants by watering them with liquid fertilizer.
If you are into container gardening, power plants in hanging baskets by either using worm castings or earthworm castings tea. Before planting in the hanging container, mix worm castings with soil first. Use one cup of castings for every four cups of potting soil for a rich soil structure.
You can water with worm castings tea or reapply worm castings on the soil's surface inside the potted plants. While for purchased hanging baskets or container plants, add half a cup of castings on the soil's surface in the container. Then you can water the plants with worm casting tea using a watering can or spray bottle.
If you are starting seeds indoors, use one cup of castings to one cup of seed starting soil or potting soil. Now, plant your seeds in a planting hole and then water. You can also transplant this potting soil.
When planting perennials, mix a quarter cup of castings into your planting hole and another half cup on top of the soil after transplanting. This helps the plant adjust to the new soil while providing enough nutrients in its new environment.
Worm castings and compost both provide organic matter for garden soil. However, worm castings are better because they have higher nutrients and do not burn plant roots.
Worm castings are more expensive than other fertilizers, e.g., chemical fertilizers. However, you can make your homemade worm castings with your own worms and a worm bin.
Harvesting worm castings from your worm farm is easy. All you have to do is scoop the worm castings out with a shovel. Before this, make sure to migrate all your worms to a different location, by sifting, to avoid reducing the population of worms in the worm bin.
You can either apply your worm castings directly to your plants as dry castings or a worm tea. In this article above, you can find out how to make worm tea (worm casting tea).
Organic material, like worm castings, is best for soil structure improvements. Earthworm castings are excellent organic fertilizers for all types of plants. You can use them on vegetables, flowers, trees, shrubs, seedlings, and herbs alike.
Unlike other types of fertilizers that release nutrients in large quantities, worm castings release its nutrients slowly over time. So, it’s difficult to “overdo it” when it comes to worm castings. You can either choose to use dry or liquid fertilizer worm castings. The liquid castings will also provide the same benefits dry casting provides to the soil.
Finally, you can add worm castings to your garden soil at any stage of growth. Whatever your gardening goal, worm castings tick all the boxes. They are natural, effective, budget friendly and work wonders for plant growth. Plus, you can farm your own worms to make them yourself. Definitely, an overall winner.
Do you wish your plants would grow bigger? Was your garden less than it should've been last year?
If you're tired of growing puny vegetables and fruits, it's time for an upgrade...Simple Grow Worm Castings!
What are worm castings? Another term for worm manure. Why would you want to use it in your garden, raised beds, and house plants? Because it makes them grow bigger, faster and healthier...with no chemicals!
How do worm castings do this? It's like giving your plants a powerful multivitamin with everything they need to grow. Trace minerals, nutrients, and most importantly...worm castings are chock full of beneficial microbes. Why does that make a difference?
In recent years, we've learned the importance of gut bacteria for humans and know that it impacts so many different parts of our health. The same thing applies with worms. Gut bacteria from the worm's digestive tract gets into the soil from the worm castings and promotes plant health. Plants have a symbiotic relationship with the microbes from the worm's digestive tract. Plants respond to it and grow really big...really fast!
If you've never tried worm castings before, you owe it to yourself to give them a try. Instead of using traditional chemical fertilizers from the big box store, why not try fresh, certified organic worm castings this year? You'll be able to grow bigger, healthier plants that you actually can feel good about eating.
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