What Are Worm Castings
Worm castings are simply the manure from a worm, most commonly, the Red Wiggler worm. As the worm eats, it’s food passes through the digestive system of the worm picking up beneficial bacteria and enzymes along the way.
How to Use Castings Effectively
Using worm castings is very simple, requiring only that you top dress prior to watering, or if you’re making your own soil blend, mix the castings into your recipe even up to 20-25%. Castings are a gentle fertilizer, so you do not need to worry about adding too much. Beyond simply adding it to the soil, there are other ways to make use of this great product.
Quality worm castings have a nice crumbly texture with a bit of moisture. A trick to really boost the soil biology is to combine your worm castings with rock dust. In mixing the products, you will find that the castings become coated with the rock dust, providing perfect synergy of beneficial microbes from the castings, and trace minerals to feed the bacteria provided by the rock dust.
Furthermore, if you are growing in a living soil that contains living worms, try adding kelp as well as the castings & rock dust mix as it’s one of the worm’s favourite foods.
Brewing Worm Casting Tea
Worm casting are also partially soluble in water, allowing you to get some benefit from mixing the castings into your watering schedule. So, if you like bubbling compost teas to feed your plants, consider adding a few handfuls of castings to your brew. Using air stones, or better yet water pumps, you can liberate the beneficial compounds of the castings into the tea, giving you plant available nutrients while enhancing the numbers of beneficial bacteria.
Don’t want to get your hands dirty with the rich humic compounds in worm castings? We offer several products containing worm castings. Try out the Cinagro Bio-Vers Clear Earthworm Castings Extract!
Enhancing Plant Health
Other than the readily available nutrition, and soil microbes, worm casting help enhance plant health. An enzyme called Chitinase is excreted by the worms’ digestive system. This compound breaks down Chitin, the same stuff that makes up the exoskeleton of the pests we contend with as growers. Boosting the chitinase in your plant can help repel insects.
Worm castings aren’t new, but many are now appreciating their unique qualities. It’s great to have a product that can do so much good in the garden, and if your plants are looking like they’re struggling, give them each handful of worm castings at the base of the plant and water it in. You’ll be glad you did.