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Are you looking for a good fertilizer for your garden and are considering using worm castings or peat moss? Naturally, it would be best to go for a superior organic fertilizer instead of chemical fertilizers. Some people prefer to use worm bedding because they have a higher nutrient content. Others say they add peat moss due to its low nitrogen levels, so they don’t harm plants.  

The crux of this article is to give an in-depth guide on picking the right fertilizer best suited for healthy plant growth. 

About Worm Castings  

First things first, what exactly are worm castings? To put it formally, this type of fertilizer is a fecal matter that worms (especially earthworms) excrete.  

Getting worm poop is no easy feat. The process starts at a worm farm. Depending on their size, they store earthworms in either windrow, composting bins, worm bins, large worm beddings, or containers. Farmworkers then collect all the feces to produce finished compost.  

Interestingly, you can create your own worm farm for your garden bed at home. Worm composting or vermicomposting requires a worm bin which you can purchase online or construct yourself.

We recommend using soil and moist strips of newspaper to form a thin layer. You would need other layers of compost manure, soil, and other treatments.

When you’re set, you can introduce your European night crawlers or any other earthworm to produce your soil amendment. Now, all you need is some earthworm activity and food to

You need adequate moisture content to run to the healthy bin. Also, remember that your bin shouldn’t get to a high temperature. Thermophilic compost might work for creating other fertilizers, but it doesn’t help increase the worm casting rate. However, you can conduct a greenhouse experiment to determine what works best for your own compost.

Only earthworms with high metabolism and appetite are used in castings because they can roll out feces quickly. Red worms and European nightcrawlers are commonly used. The worms eat different kinds of specific food scraps to get the best castings.  

The ingredients in this fertilizer are worm poop, enzymes, kitchen scraps, and other organic materials. This form of fertilizer is perfect for water retention and soil aeration. It also contains numerous nutrients which are quite beneficial to plants. These nutrients include concentrated nitrates, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, iron, cobalt, nitrogen, zinc, copper, and carbon.

Also, besides being rich in nutrients, you can never use too many vermicasts in your garden because it is a natural fertilizer best suited for plant growth. They also prevent the drying of soil because they retain moisture.

Your plant’s roots will thank you for this since they can now absorb more water necessary for growth. 

Pros 

  • You cannot use excess vermicast; any amount is safe
  • Rich in nutrients
  • Contain healthy bacteria for plants
  • Retains moisture in the potting soil
  • Aerates the soil 
  • The production of castings does not affect the environment as much as chemical fertilizers
  • Worms eat kitchen scraps

Cons 

  • The nutrient content is not as high as many chemical fertilizers and cow manure
  • Vermicast is expensive to buy

About Peat Moss 

Peat Moss is composed of organic matter, just like vermicast. It is a fibrous dark brown substance created from a mixture of decomposing sphagnum moss, coconut coir, and other organic materials. 

The decomposition process happens over thousands of years in peat bogs. Manufacturing peat moss is a long process because it is anaerobic and decomposes without air being present. The sphagnum peat moss only gains one millimeter in depth a year throughout the process. Eventually, producers drain the peat bog and dig the layers of the peat moss. The production of peat moss is entirely a biological activity.

Manufacturers use hands on the moss to process, dry, and turn it into finished compost. They then package and supply the prepared peat moss to gardening stores.

Keep in mind that peat and peat moss are different. Peat (like black peat or sphagnum peat) is what organic matter creates after being submerged into bogs for a long time. However, peat moss is a type of moss that is composed of sphagnum moss in peat bogs over thousands of years. You will be delighted to hear that using this form of fertilizer is much less messy than others.

Pros  

  • Sterile
  • Contains no bacteria, fungus, harmful chemicals, or weed seeds
  • Retains moisture in potting soil quite well
  • Peat moss typically has a pH level of 3.5 to 6, making it acidic and great for growing blueberries and strawberries
  • Coconut coir and other organic materials are easily accessible for potting mix
  • Doesn’t aid weed growth

Cons 

  • Low nutritional value 
  • Non-renewable resource
  • Stores a lot of carbon

Similarities Between Worm Castings and Peat Moss 

Peat moss and worm castings are organic forms of fertilizers. Vermicast and peat moss are very good at retaining water and aerating soil. As a result, ensure not to put excess water on your plants. They also do not require mixing with other products to get suitable moisture-holding capacity.

When it comes to aeration of the soil, peat moss and vermicast do not produce dangerous amounts of nitrogen, unlike cow manure.

Differences Between Worm Castings and Peat Moss  

Worm castings are created from worms, while peat moss is not. In terms of the production process, vermicast takes a very short time to produce - about three months, while peat moss can take thousands of years to form.

Vermicastings are richer in nutrients than peat moss. However, peat moss has a low pH level, while the pH level in vermicast is neutral.

Though they are both organic forms of fertilizer, only vermicast is renewable and environmentally friendly. Peatland often doubles as carbon land. Thus, peat moss is ecologically unfriendly, just like manure. Collecting and containing worms is also much more manageable than mining peat moss.

Conclusion

After extensive research on various soil amendments, we discovered worm casting is a better option than potting soil. Hopefully, reading this article in depth helped you realize why.  

Bear in mind that being more nutrient-dense is one of the advantages of vermicomposting over peat moss. Increased nutrient availability is suitable for plants. Also, vermicomposting cannot damage your plants or your soil. It is also much easier to make than peat moss and is renewable.  

That said, if you want to buy vermicast for your garden, you can buy from a dedicated vermicast retailer:simplegrow.com. They offer high-quality soil amendments to suit your needs.

Grow Bigger Plants with Simple Grow

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!

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