Worm castings or vermicompost is earthworm excrement once they have digested organic matter that is decomposing. Vermicompost can be used by gardeners to increase the growth of crops and improve plant tolerance to dryness. Worms and other microorganisms through vermicomposting can turn decomposing material into humus that is rich in nutrients. Worm castings are organic and are a natural soil enhancer. They are odorless and non-toxic and won’t burn even the most delicate of plants. They are a great source of phosphates, nitrogen, potash, calcium, and magnesium.
Why Vermicompost is Good for Plants?
There are many different trace minerals and micronutrients in worm excrement. Worm castings help plants do well in soil that has pH levels that are either too low or too high. The castings make it possible for plants to soak up soil nutrients even at extreme pH levels. Worm casting humus helps to extract harmful bacteria and fungi as well as toxins from the earth. They can keep plants from succumbing to plant diseases. Such pests as spider mites, aphids, and whiteflies get repelled by vermicompost.
Vermicompost can be used all gardening season long and stored for a year. To use as an organic fertilizer, you can mix worm casting directly into your garden or potting soil. You can place compost on top of both outdoor and indoor plants. Don’t use undiluted vermicompost in containers and pots. There has to be a mixture of 1:4 ratio when combining vermicompost with potting soil. You want to dig the vermicompost into the soil you have just added when you prepare new plant beds. Put a bit of it around shrubs, mature plants, and trees. After you’ve spread it, water the plants and make sure the worm compost is saturated so that nutrients will quickly mix with the soil. Store the worm castings in a breathable container, so they don’t dry out. The active microbes in them will last up to a year.
Vermicompost can also germinate seeds by mixing half of it with half of the potting soil. You can spray the roots of transplants with brewed worm tea that has been diluted. Whatever way you choose to use vermicompost, you can be sure that your plants will grow better and stronger than they would have without this organic fertilizer. Earthworms are friends of the garden and will keep you in vermicompost for a long time to come.
Difference Between Vermicompost and Regular Compost
Vermicomposting does not require as much labor as regular composting. Composting requires that you stockpile so you’ll be ready for the next time you need to fertilize. With vermicomposting, that is not necessary since the worm activity helps to fragment, mix, and aerate waste. It also does not require as much space as regular composting piles. With vermicomposting, you only need a five-gallon bucket or a twenty-gallon bin so you can also have indoor systems. When it comes to proper composting methods, they tend to slow down in freezing weather. You can use vermicomposting all year round. Earthworms can improve the fertility of the soil and can boost crop production with their worm castings. They excrete microbes that are beneficial to the soil and other nitrogenous compounds.
Vermicomposting does not require as much gathering of materials and worms can accelerate waste breakdown. It also gives the advantage that the biomass acquired from the worms can be sold or used to feed other animals or for starting other worm composting systems. It also has the advantage of being used indoors. The downside of vermicomposting is that weed seeds don’t get eliminated. It needs to be applied in thin layers and needs to remain at low temperatures.
Composting with worms is faster, and under ideal conditions, worms eat half their weight in vegetation per day. There is less odor with vermicomposting than with regular composting. Therefore, you can do vermicomposting indoors as well as outdoors. Worm castings contain the gut bacteria and mucus of worms that can be helpful to plants. Vermicompost has more nitrogen-fixing bacteria than regular compost. It helps plants to get minerals much more quickly.
Regular composting reduces trash volume and odor and makes a perfect organic fertilizer. Composting worms make the process go faster and makes the resulting compost more beneficial to plants.