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Having good healthy plants is every plant owner's dream. That dream becomes a reality based on your materials to help your plants grow. For the sake of your plants, you should only put organic materials in your potting mix.

If you take pride in your plants and would like to help them be the best versions of themselves, two options come to mind; Worm Casting and Perlite. These two elements have become everyday household mixes for healthy plant growth. 

Want to know our thoughts on these two ingredients? Then it would help if you read this article to the end. 

What Are Worm Castings?

In simple terms, worm castings refer to worm poop. It refers to the breakdown of food waste, weed, and other organic matter by the worms that you rear on a worm farm or in a worm bin. The worms release these materials as 'poop' afterward. 

Not to worry, though, worm castings are not harmful to your plants because they are as organic as it gets. They're healthy natural wastes from worms that provide some much-needed nutrients for your plants and vegetation. 

Worm castings contain micronutrients and natural growth hormones that help your plants or vegetation grow strong and healthy. Once you put in the worm castings, these microbes and bacteria dig into the soil and attach themselves around the plant roots.

Worm castings are also a good source of mycorrhizae, a fungus that helps plants take in more water and absorb plenty of nutrients. Worm castings are a suitable supplement to compost. 

What's more, worm castings have little to no odor, are suitable for the environment, and are safe to use around your kids and your pets. 

Can You Use Pure Worm Casting Only?

You can use worm castings in several situations. You can use them on your farm, garden, potted plant, flower bed, or vegetables. Whatever kind of plant you have, you could always use some worm casting, except for maybe artificial plants or weed seeds. 

You can use the castings alone or mix them with other healthy additives you think your plant will love like food, like peat moss, coconut coir, vermicompost, or compost. Before adding different properties, please make sure you do proper research so your plants don't suffer. 

Just in case you're wondering if you can grow your plants or vegetables using 100% worm castings, you can. Most professionals recommend using pure worms castings because extra castings are rich in minerals and other nutrients that help your plants develop great. 

Disadvantages of Worm Castings 

As incredible as work castings can be, there may be a few downsides to consider. Even though these flaws have nothing to do with the effectiveness of worm casting, they may influence your decision to use them.

Time

One major setback of worm castings is the time it takes to prepare. Worms usually take a long time to consume, digest, break down and release the by-products as excrement. Even after the worms poop out the waste, it might take a while to become pure earthworm castings you can directly apply to your seed. You might have to wait a bit longer for the finished castings to become nutrients. Depending on your setup, the time frame for the breakdown might be 90 days or more. 

Expenses

Worm castings can be pricier than your everyday fertilizer. If you consider what it would take to arrange the worm bins, the number of worms you would need to break down enough waste for your garden, the time, and other factors, you can practically see the dollar signs racking up. 

If you're only using the castings for a small bed or a potted plant, you probably won't feel this heat as much, but if you need it for a big garden or a farm, you probably need to start saving up. 

What Are Perlites?

Perlites are organic volcanic rocks with a chunky foamy consistency. It is a soilless mix with an ashlike styrofoam form as a growing medium. It's majorly used for soil aeration and is a source of good drainage for the soil. You can include them in your potting soil, especially with fine sand, as it serves as a medium for water retention.

Perlite is particularly good at regulating the water, making sure that it's available for your plant, and at the same time, making sure that your plants don't suffocate. 

You can mainly use this mixture in instances where you only have fine or ultra-fine sand. This is because fine soil has poor drainage, and you can use perlite to balance the consistency of the sand for proper drainage. You can also use it in start plants.

Can You Only Use 100% Perlite?

Unlike most sources of soil aeration, perlite is a sterile plant mix. What this means is that it doesn't contain germs or other microorganisms. While some organisms could be healthy for your plants' life, most could be potentially harmful. With perlite, you won't have to guess which organisms would be detrimental to your plants because it has none, which is very convenient. 

If you would like to make your potting soil using perlite, you can mix it with peat moss and worm castings to get the proper consistency for your plants to grow. 

Also, just as you can add elements like vermiculite, you can mix perlite in your worm bins or containers for the perfect texture if you like. It's not harmful to the worms.

Disadvantages of Perlite

One major disadvantage of perlite is that it doesn't stay grounded in your potting mix forever and would eventually float to the surface. Because it's incredibly lightweight, it's impossible to keep it grounded. 

It's also able to decompose. The decomposition doesn't necessarily happen early on or during the plant's life span, but it happens eventually. If you plan to use perlite for your potting soil, you should keep this in mind and probably prepare for it. 

Another drawback of this soil mix stems from its availability. This medium is challenging to get and, as a result, very expensive. 

Can You Use Worm Castings in Place of Perlite in Your Potting Soil?

Why both worm castings and perlite are incredibly beneficial for your plants, they play opposite roles. Worm casting has more of a fertilizing function. It serves as food for the plant. 

On the other hand, perlite is used to make the plants breathe easily. It's also great for your root growth. 

You can, however, combine both for exponential plant growth when you include them in your potting soil. 

Conclusion

The only similarity between worm casting and perlite is that they're both additional soil mixes. They help to make your plants better versions of themselves.

Other than that, they make very different contributions to the health of your plant. They do, however, make an excellent combination when mixed to make potting soil for your plants. 

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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