Worm castings are the organic form of fertilizer derived from earthworms. When these creatures feed on compost, their waste creates optimal soil enrichment. Worm castings resemble football particles, which improve soil aeration and drainage and also increase soil water retention.
These products are widely used in organic farming because they are easy to manufacture, have low selling prices, and are easy to obtain. The harvest will be healthy with this fertilizer, which can even be mixed with the substrate that we put in pots. They are rich in nutrients and improve soil structure. Continue reading this article to know how to store worm castings.
Properties Of Worm Castings
- It is rich in nutrients – It contains the three most important of them (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) and magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, and copper.
- Protects crops – The microbes contained in the plant control and reduce the number of pathogenic viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
- Increases crop yields – The nutrients they provide are ideal for growth, prosperity, and fruiting.
- Improves soil structure – It makes the soil lighter, facilitates rooting, and ensures excellent plant growth. In addition, it stabilizes the pH and makes the soil more resistant to erosion.
- Non-toxic – During the composting process, all germs and pathogens contained in the worms are removed.
How To Make Worm Castings
Making worm castings is easy. Worm containers can be purchased or manufactured where they come in a variety of sizes and styles. However, when making bins for this task, they need to be shallow, 8 to 12 inches deep, with drain holes at the bottom. If they are too deep, they may have odor problems. Also, smaller bins work better at home, only going under a sink or other similar area.
In the manufacture of a worm casting, get a layer of the bottom with sand and strips of wet newspaper. Then add compost, manure or fallen leaves, and another layer of damp newspaper strips and soil. Then add some worms and food such as kitchen waste or garden waste.
How To Store Worm Castings
Storing worm castings can be a little tricky. They should be damp but not wet. They need air because the microbial population is still alive. So how do you efficiently store worm castings? The best recommendation is to use a bucket with a secure lid. Drill some air holes at the top of the bucket so that air can get in. Place the casts inside, then place a piece of damp newspaper on top and close the lid. Check them from time to time to make sure they are still wet.
If you are unsure of their moisture content, take a small handful and squeeze. Some castings should stick together, but they should break easily again. It should feel wet in your hand, but water shouldn’t come out when squeezed.
Sometimes casts of worms that have not been screened can contain worm eggs. Having an airflow in your vault ensures that the worms stay alive if they hatch until you check the bucket next time. Sifting through the castings can help remove worms and break up larger clumps.
Advantages Of Worm Castings
- Worm castings do not burn crops
Unlike other organic fertilizers, they are easily tolerated by plants because they are previously digested with worms. This immediately makes it ready for use on plants.
- They are rich in micronutrients
Although NPK in worm casting is relatively small, they bring many other minerals with them. Calcium, manganese, copper, and iron are just a few of the more than 60 trace minerals they contain.
- Worm castings increase the yield of plants
Microorganisms thrive in worm castings. Microbial populations are vital for most organic gardens. Typically, they can help your plants absorb nutrients more efficiently. Your plants will grow larger and bear better fruit.
- They protect the soil from disease
Many fungal plant diseases do not spread in worm-rich soil. Bacterial and microbial life in warm castings can kill dangerous fungi. The seedlings experience less attention. Certain fungal and bacterial diseases are also significantly reduced.
- Some pests hate worm feces
Aphids, spider mites, scale insects, ticks, and whiteflies avoid warm castings. By adding it to the soil surface, you can reduce the population of these pests. Also, mulching with warm castings provides constant fertilization while watering.
- Water retention is significantly increased
Worm castings can hold up to 90% of their weight in water. Soil enriched with this fertilizer is less likely to lose moisture.
- Plowing and soil composition are improved
Since warm castings contain a lot of organic materials, your soil will improve every year. Castings do not destroy the vital composition of the soil like chemical fertilizers. Instead, they create the soil, continually improving it over time.
- Adding castings can add worms to your garden
Worm eggs can be found in some castings. When worms hatch from eggs, they live in your soil. Research shows that earthworms eliminate heavy metal deposits from your ground. And, of course, they decompose waste in the soil, producing more castings.
How to Collect Worm Castings
There are different ways to correct worm castings. One of the most popular is the dump and sort method. Just layout a sheet of plastic or newspaper and pour out the contents of the wormhole. Collect the worms and add them to a new vermicompost basket, then use the leftover casts on your plants.
Another method involves moving the worm castings to one side of the hopper and adding new bedding to the other side. Put fresh food on this site, and the worms should migrate within a few weeks. Remove castings. In some cases, the procurement of worm castings may also involve the use of alternative hoppers. Using the castings in your garden is a great way to get healthy soil and plants.
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Worm castings are a natural fertilizer, which is compost of earthworms. It contains all the essential nutrients plants need and enriches the soil in which the plants are grown. Not only can this fertilizer be used on almost any type of plant, but it can also be used directly on plants without burning them. Storing worm castings is possible, and with this article, you know to store it.