If you want the best growth conditions for your plants, your soil needs nutrients. Both conventional composting and worm castings are great ways to promote the growth of plants. Also, they help recycle food scraps, kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, and other organic wastes.
From our comparison between worm castings and compost, it is evident that the former is a far better option for this purpose. Besides being the best organic fertilizer, worm castings have more benefits for plants than compost.
Compost is a decomposed mixture of plants, organic material, and other bio-wastes. Over time, the organic matter breaks down into smaller fragments through a natural decaying process. Prolonged actions of heat, humidity, fungi, earthworms, and bacteria aid the process. After the decomposition process, the compost takes a month for curing. Depending on various factors, the entire process can take anywhere from two months to eight months. The final product is dark, crumbly, and rich in nutrients, humus, and micro-organisms. It enriches the soil and helps in plant growth. Furthermore, it destroys weed seeds and kills harmful pathogens.
Compost contains all the macro and micro-nutrients required for plant growth. However, the most common use of compost is with chemical fertilizers. It's so because traditional compost is more of a soil amendment than organic fertilizer. The primary function of compost is to improve the quality of the soil structure. Besides helping plants absorb nutrients, it balances the soil's pH level and allows the ground to retain water for longer.
Worm castings, also known as worm compost, are organic fertilizers made by breaking down decaying organic matter with the help of red worms, earthworms, and bacteria.
However, worm castings are not to be confused with vermicompost. The two are similar in many ways but are not the same. Vermicompost refers to the entire compost pile. Worm castings only refer to the worm poop that the worms excrete after consuming the organic waste. We can find the castings on the top layer of the compost pile.
The resulting wormcastsare rich in nutrients, beneficial microbes, plant growth regulators, and much more. Worm castings are a self-sufficient organic fertilizer that improves soil structure and promotes plant growth.
So far, we have seen that worm castings and compostare different. While it's true that they have many different properties, they share some common ones too.
Traditional composting and worm composting use organic matter like food scraps, kitchen waste, and even office waste like shredded paper. Also, one should not use non-veg kitchen waste for an odor-free compost pile.
We can also compost fresh manure like chicken manure, cow manure, etc..
Compost and worm castings contain many vital nutrients required by plants. Some of them are ammonium, nitrates, sodium, and potassium. They also supply various micronutrients like zinc, copper, sulfur, magnesium, and iron. Plants need micronutrients in trace quantities only.
Not only do earthworm castings and compost increase the nutrient content of the soil, but they help aerate the soil,holdingnutrients and moisture for longer. Also, they increase the number of beneficial microbes in the soil, making the absorption of water and nutrients easy for plants. One of the primary uses of these organic fertilizers is to alter the chemical composition and pH of the soil.
Worm castings have more nutrients for plants than traditional compost. Also, they contain many plant hormones absent in compost, and compost takes longer to be ready for use. Traditional compost and worm castings have many striking dissimilarities; let us look at some important ones.
Mesophilic bacteria begin to break down the organic matter. After awhile, traditional composting requires a high temperature. For instance, thermophilic bacteria need a temperature of40 degrees Celsius or higher for composting to happen. Good oxidation and constant turning of the pile are necessary for odor-free results.
Compost and worm castings can be made indoors and outdoors in small quantities in suitable compost bins and worm bins. However, we can make a traditional compost pile outdoors by digging a pit. A worm farm is required to make earthworm castings on a large scale, and a shallow worm bin is preferable.
Traditional composting takes much longer to produce than earthworm castings. Generally, large compost piles take three to six months. After the decomposition, the compost needs to cure for another month. Temperature and moisture levels largely influence the process and the quality of material produced.During cold weather, the process slows down.
Worm castings take one to three months to produce. Furthermore, the time depends on the amount of compostable material, the size of the worm bin, and the number of worms. Worms accelerate the process.
The traditional composting process doesn't break down the constituents into small fragments, and the particles are enormous compared to worm castings. The breakdown depends on heat and bacteria in the case of compost.
Organic matter passes through the worms' digestive system for earthworm castings, making fine particles. Due to the finer particles, plants can easily absorb the nutrients.
Plant Growth Regulators
The high temperature kills unwanted plant pathogens and other harmful micro-organisms during the traditional composting process. The compost is rich in humic acids and ammonia, and it can work wonders for your garden soil when used with chemical fertilizers.
On the contrary, after passing through the digestive tract of worms, the earthworm castings get rich in beneficial microbes. The castings are also responsible for increasing plant growth hormones. The hormones affected by the castings are gibberellins, abscisic acid, cytokinins, auxins, to mention a few.
The effectiveness of worm castings, like Simple Grow, over compost is proved by scientific testing. Due to the more refined nature of earthworm castings, it is excellent for garden soil. It readily improves vegetable and fruit yield and the quality of flower beds. Additionally, for potting experiments, it makes an essential constituent of the potting mix.
Both worm casting and compost are great ways to recycle organic wastes while reducing chemical fertilizers. However, certain factors make one better than the other. We hope that this comparison has helped you select the best organic fertilizer for your plants.
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.
Take advantage of our special bundle sale on 25lb bags today!