The “Lowdown” on Worm Castings
What are worm castings?
Put simply, castings are earthworm poop. They are the natural byproduct of worms’ eating organic material and dirt. A calculation that has stood the test of time done by Charles Darwin estimates the earthworms in an average acre of garden soil will produce eighteen tons of castings in a year.
What is the nutritional content of worm castings?
Just as with humans, what goes in determines what comes out. The advantage of our worm castings is the diet. It is strictly controlled with a specific proprietary mix of composted dirt, peat moss, and worm food. Therefore, our castings are consistently of the highest quality. In any case, worm castings have a much higher nutritional content than worm compost.
What is the difference between worm castings and worm compost?
Both worm castings and worm compost can be used for the same purposes, but if worm compost were silver, then worm castings would be gold. Castings are pure worm manure, and the earthworms must process their bedding material for a much longer time to produce a usable amount of castings. Earthworm farmers leave the worms in their beds until they have consumed all organic material and dirt. When the castings are sifted from the worms, very little refuse is left. Castings are biologically active and contain thousands of bacteria. Worm compost, on the other hand, is a mixture that is comprised of castings along with bedding material, earthworms, cocoons, and other organisms. Worm compost varies greatly from batch to batch since it is generally comes from compost heaps with worms fed food scraps from a household or landfill. It is much better than just plain dirt, but it is not on par with castings.
What can I do with worm castings?
Since worm castings are concentrated, a little goes a long way. Never plant into pure castings. Castings can be mixed into potting soil when putting plants into pots. A small handful in a half-gallon pot of soil is plenty. The castings have a time-release quality that will feed the plants for months. Castings can also be used as plant food on established potted plants. Simply sprinkle a small handful on the surface of the soil and water in. Both of the previous uses can be implemented on a larger scale. Work the castings into flower beds or garden soil. Use a spreader to broadcast castings onto your lawn. Castings can also be used as mulch around a tree within the drip line but not directly up against the trunk. Finally, using a spoonful of castings in the hole you make when transplanting seedlings not only prevents shock but also provides hormones that make deeper roots.
The benefits of worm castings are almost endless. They provide nutrition to the plants, work as hormones to promote plant growth, transmit resistance to some plant diseases, and deter pests. Try some; the results must be seen to be believed!