How to Use Worm Castings as a Green Fertilizer

Great yards start with great soil
Great yards start with great soil

The Scoop on Worm Castings

The main thing that makes worm castings produce such an excellent "green" fertilizer for any garden is the rich nutrient food they are feed. If the worms that produced the waste were feed all organic material, then your castings will be considered organic and will be considered truly a "green" product.

All you need to do is to top-dress your lawn or garden with worm castings just as you would regular fertilizer.

These castings have excellent water-soluble nutrients that enable the plants to quickly absorb all the good stuff the castings have to offer. The best thing is that plants can take up all these trace elements easily which helps the plant not to be stressed.

Synthetic fertilizers aren't broken down as well as worm castings even though they may actually have just as many nutrients. You see, worm castings provide an excellent mix of nutritional needs to the plant that may be used by the plant over a period of time rather than all at once as seen with some fertilizers.



More Cool Stuff About Worm Castings as Fertilizer

  • If you hate white flies, aphids, and spider mites as much as we do, you will love to know that worm castings repel any type of insect that such the juices from the plant because of an enzyme produced by the plant itself in reaction to the compost.
  • Soil structure is greatly improved by improving aeration and soil structure. This enables the plant to grow quickly and stress free. When plants are less stressed, they aren't as prone to insect and disease attacks.
  • Improves soil drainage so roots aren't waterlogged producing root rot.
  • Excellent source of nitrogen, phosphates, magnesium, calcium, and potash.
  • Completely environmentally safe for plants, animals and humans. Yea!
  • Orderless and fragrance free.
  • Does not burn plants like some fertilizers do.
  • Has well over 60 micro nutrients and trace minerals
  • Top dress your garden by sprinkling on 1/2 to 1 inch layer. No need to add a layer of mulch unless you want to.
  • Side dress vegetable rows or add a scoop in your square foot garden once you harvest a crop and before you add your next one.
  • Use as a potting soil mix by adding 1/3 worm castings to 2/3 potting soil.
  • University studies show that just adding a little bit of worm castings to your soil, greatly improves plant production.
  • Sprinkle on top of indoor plants so the nutrients will filter down each time you water. Be sure no worms are in the mix as they won't survive in the pot.

Souds great but isn't it expensive?

Maybe your ready to take the plunge and go totally organic with your fertilizer.

If so, your next stop will be your local garden center.

Check out different suppliers and get an idea of the range of cost. Figure by the price per volume rather than by the price per bag since you'll probably find all different sizes.

Average costs may be about $15 for a 2 lbs bag to around $75 for a 25 lbs bag.

You may be lucky enough to find a supplier that allows you to buy worm castings in bulk like we did in Nashville. If you can find someone like this in your area, you will be able to get your castings considerably cheaper. Plus, you won't have to haul around those bags!

Just a warning about suppliers. Be sure you know that the worms were feed an all organic, preferably vegetarian, diet. You don't want your lovely vermicompost to be contaminated with unhealthy hormones and pesticides from animals.

Books

1.
The Worm Book: The Complete Guide to Gardening and Composting with Worms
The Worm Book: The Complete Guide to Gardening and Composting with Worms

Learn probably more than you want to know about worms...remember high school biology...and the basics of how to start your own worm bin, as well as how to maintain and use the castings. Excellent for beginners.

 
2.
Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set up and Maintain a Worm Composting System, Second Edition
Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set up and Maintain a Worm Composting System, Second Edition

Revised and fully illustrated, this book also guides you through the process of producing your own worm castings, also known as vermicomposting.

 
3.
The Worm Cafe, Mid-Scale Vermicomposting of Lunchroom Wastes
The Worm Cafe, Mid-Scale Vermicomposting of Lunchroom Wastes

A great resource on how to start your own worm composting bin for schools, businesses, and communities.

 

Worm castings were used in our square foot gardens

Our spinach loved the compost!
Our spinach loved the compost!
Early lettuce really took off too!
Early lettuce really took off too!
We had beautiful healthy blooms on our flowers.
We had beautiful healthy blooms on our flowers.
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