Vermicompost as a Soil Amendment

comments (3) March 26th, 2013

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ChrisMcLaughlin Chris McLaughlin, contributor
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Photo by Tim Musson under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.
Photo by zempenfish under the Creative Commons Attribution Licenase 2.0.
Photo by Tim Musson under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.Click To Enlarge

Photo by Tim Musson under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.

You may have heard that worm castings make an excellent addition to the soil in your garden beds. But what's the scoop on worm poop?

It's quite possible that up until you began gardening worms had a place right next to gopher guts on your spot on your love-list. That is: yuck. I'd like to take just a moment to see if I can't get you to rank the red wigglers a little higher.

Worm castings do amazing things for the soil (and plants) and are the top of the line as far as soil amendments go. They have five times the nitrogen potency of good topsoil; seven times the amount of potash; and one and a half times the calcium.


Vermicompost Brings Something Extra to the Soil

Traditional composting and vermicomposting both break down organic materials and provide a perfect plant product for the garden. But worms bring a little something extra to the table -- significantly more beneficial micro-organisms, enzymes, humus, and plant stimulants than regular compost.

Castings offer these nutrients in a slow-release form and they're available for a longer period of time. "Available" meaning that the casting nutrients are easily absorbed by plants because they're water-soluble.  Worm castings offer superior soil-binding, and water-retaining, abilities. As well as excellent aeration, porosity, and structural properties. All of these things greatly improve the texture of your soil, as well.

Of course, worms are present in traditional compost piles and help with the breakdown of organic matter -- so you're getting castings there, too. But actual worm farming (vermicomposting) is done in a container suited that's specifically for this purpose. Raising worms in their own closed system intensifies the end product, so you have a super-charged soil amendment in bulk.

Worm farming is the perfect solution for people who live in apartments or condominiums who would love to have a compost pile but don't have the room. It's a portable composting system that's doable for anyone in any living situation. You keep the worms in a box-sized container or bin, which makes a large yard or garden area unnecessary. In fact, you can even keep a worm farm indoors.

If you're interested in becoming a worm-wrangler, check out these posts for more information ~

Let Worms Compost Your Kitchen Scraps and How to Start a Worm Farm


posted in: worm castings, vermicompost, soil amendments

Comments (3)

zsd writes: do you have any pics or diagrams of the worm tower?
Posted: 9:08 pm on March 27th
zsd writes: I used shreded coconut husk to start mine and some egg shells to start mine but it looks like it did not work out as i am unable to find them in the container. I may need to start again any suggestions out there?
Posted: 9:06 pm on March 27th
MikeTheGardener writes: I just set up a worm farm tower "for the kids" ... I am now up to tray #4 ... I find the worms move faster to the next tray when you put a fresh tray at the bottom as opposed to the top ... of course this also means they are easting the food waste much faster, but that is ok.

Can't wait to use tray #1 of freshly home made vermicompost.
Posted: 11:09 am on March 27th
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