Worm castings are not a fertilizer. They are an all natural soil builder made by the earthworm. Because it is a soil builder and not a fertilizer, it has the ability to transform your soil into a living topsoil.With 50% more humus than normal topsoil, worm castings also help save water since this rich mixture retains more moisture.1/4
There are many ways Worm castings helpbuild soil, recycle nutrients, prevent disease,See what research has shown
Worm CastingsAre a natural slow release soil builder. Thats because the microbes, occurring naturally in the worm bed, are available to the plant much faster. As an all natural enhancer it is safer to use to avoid burning from excess chemical fertilizers.
Full of nutrients and living microbes, they continually work to improve your soil and makes a great environment for all living things. Castings are a natural product so they will never burn your plants, which gives you a lot more flexibility than you get when you use a synthetic product. For example, you can use your castings on your fruits and vegetable and use the same product to feed your orchids and hibiscus and not worry about it burning your plants.2/4
It never loses potency over time like synthetic products. The microbes in worm castings stay dormant until activated by water so the product has an unlimited shelf life.Worm castings will also aid in breaking down your compost. The living microbes will break down compost about 45% quicker and will kill the bad nematodes in your garden and leave the good ones. As the worms consume their bedding, they excrete castings. Also when burrowing through the soil, the earthworm aerates the soil and turns it into nutrient rich soil, full of living microbes.3/4
Worm Castings enable the plant to absorb vitamins and minerals for its health. It encourages strong roots and sturdy plants.Worm castings are the dry, odorless by-product earthworms create as they burrow through the soil. Earthworms not only aerate the soil but they also break the soil down so that the natural elements and minerals are more easily absorbed by the plants. This makes bigger and healthier plants and a greener planet.A little goes a long way! Only a tablespoon a month is enough for a small potted plant or 10 lbs. per 100 sq. ft.4/4
Worm castings Research
According to Don Lotter, PHd. of Rodale Institute, over the past decade research has shown that worm castings go beyond the benefits of plain compost.
An article in the IMP Practitioner discussed vermicompostís ability to increase crop yields dramatically. One study found a 200% growth increase in lettuce when the plants were germinated and transplanted in a worm casting mixture. One of the main classes of active plant growth in worm castings are the humic acids. These were found to be associated with significantly greater plant height, leaf area, shoot and root production in tomato and cucumber seedlings. It also promoted better growth and flowers in raspberries.
Worm castings have also been known to suppress certain plant diseases. Castings added to the soil carry to the root zone a rich complement of soluble plant nutrients and growth enhancing compounds. Unlike soluble plant fertilizer,worm castings are a naturally occurring product.
Therefore, the plant will draw nutrients from the castings as it needs it over a two-week period. All of the product is being used instead of 3/4 of it going washing away. The reason for this is that plants have an immune system like humans, and they are resistant to chemicals that do not occur naturally. Worm castings provide a diverse variety of microbial life that is a storehouse of nutrients that is not lost in rain or irrigation.
The plant is delivered an ongoing reliable food source when the bacteria and microscopic fungi present in worm castings feed on the organic matter releasing some of the nutrients into the soil and storing others for their own energy and reproduction. When nematodes and protozoa feed upon them, the nutrients are stored in the bacterial and fungal bodies and then released into the soil in plant available form.
Hair-thin fungal tentacles called hyphae wrap around soil and organic particles in their search for food forming aggregates that are the basis for good soil structure. Both the fungi and the organic matter are held in the soil. Bacteria eexude sticky glues that enable them to cling to solid particles of mineral and organic matter ensuring they too remain in the osoil and like the fungi aid in the formation of aggregates. It also aids in the diversity of organisms in the root zone which helps disease and pest suppression.
Chemical fertilizers provide only symthetic nutrients, much of which is lost in watering the plants and are also detrimental to the soil because they either bypass or destroy many of the natural beneficial bacteria. They also add toxins to your plants and food and are a main source of the countryís water pollution.