What Are Worms Castings In Compost? Now Answered

What Are Worms Castings In Compost? Now Answered

Worm castings compost aerates and enhances the structure of the soil while also supplying valuable nutrients to the plants. Many pests that eat plants, such as aphids and spider mites, are also deterred by them.

What are Worm Castings?

Worm castings are a type of organic fertilizer made by earthworms. Worm castings manure, sometimes known as vermicast, is simply earthworm excrement, or worm poop. As these critters consume compost, their feces acts as an excellent soil enricher.

Worm castings are football-shaped particles that help with soil aeration, drainage, and water retention.

Read also: How To Care For Composting Worms In Winter

Can You Use Worm Castings for Plants?

Plants benefit from organic worm castings. They provide all of the basic nutrients required by plants while also improving the soil in which they are cultivated.

This fertilizer can be used on almost any type of plant and can even be applied straight to plants without causing them to burn.

Worm castings manure can be used as a top dressing, a side dressing, or as a soil amendment.

How to Make Worm Castings

Worm castings, also known as vermicomposting, are simple to make. Worm bins or boxes can be bought or built, and they come in a variety of sizes and shapes.

However, when creating bins for this activity, they should be shallow, with a drainage opening at the bottom and a depth of 8 to 12 inches (20-31 cm).

They may become odor-problematic if they are very deep. Smaller bins also fit perfectly in the home, either under the sink or in another comparable location. Layer sand and wet newspaper sheets at the base of the worm castings bin.

Then add another layer of damp newspaper sheets and soil, as well as compost, manure, or leaf litter. Add some worms and some food, such as food scraps or garden debris, to the mix.

Read also: What To Feed Composting Worms?

How to Harvest Worm Castings

Worm castings can be harvested in a variety of ways. The dump and sort technique is one of the most common. Simply empty the contents of the worm bin onto a sheet of plastic or newspaper.

Gather the worms and place them in a new vermicompost bin, then fertilize your plants with the remaining castings.

Transferring the worm castings to one side of the bin while introducing additional bedding to the other is another option.

Put fresh food on this site, and the worms should relocate over in a few weeks. Castings should be removed. In rare circumstances, gathering worm castings may need the use of additional bins.

Which is better: worm castings or compost?

Worm castings contain far more humus than soil or compost, which enables them to retain more moisture and stay oxygenated while also supplying binding sites for micronutrients that would otherwise wash out of the soil after heavy rains.

How To Use Worms Castings For Houseplants And Container Plants

  1. For every 6 inches of container diameter, add 1/4 cup of odor-free earthworm castings to your potting mix.
  2. 1/4 cup of castings are required for a 6-inch diameter pot, whereas 1/2 cup is required for a 12-inch container.
  3. After a month, add more castings to replace nutrients and increase healthy activity.

How To Use Worms Castings For Compost Bins

  1. Between each layer of compost ingredients, sprinkle 1/8- to 1/4-inch of earthworm castings (i.e., layer castings as you build your compost pile).
  2. Every two or three months, replenish your castings bin.

Recommended: for details, check our article about adding worm in compost bin.

How To Use Worms Castings For Your Garden

  1. 1/4 to 1/2 cup earthworm castings every 100 square feet are a good starting point.
  2. When planting, integrate them into the top several inches of soil.
  3. Once your plants set buds and fruit, reward them with more castings.
  4. Apply more castings around the base of the plants, carefully scraping the granules into the soil to prevent damaging the roots.

References

  1. “Microbial stability of worm castings and sugarcane filter mud compost blended with biochar”, Retrieved from Tandfoline Research Journal
  2. “Worm Cast | Secondary Production: Activities of Heterotrophic Organisms—Microbes”, Retrieved from ScienceDirect