How to Use Worm Castings
Worm castings (vermicompost, worm poop, worm manure) can be used in many different ways and with any type of plant to provide essential nutrients and beneficial bacteria. Can be stored indefinitely in a cool dark place. Always store with air holes. Here are some common ways people use worm castings:
1) Top Dressing- sprinkling worm castings near the base of the plant will gradually allow the nutrients and bacteria to penetrate the soil and travel to the plant roots every time you water your plant.
2) Mixing into Soil- can be done before planting or carefully near the plant roots and will allow the plant roots to access the casting nutrients and beneficial bacteria faster than top dressing. If planting in a pot, mix into the soil 10% to 25% worm castings by volume. If in the ground, mix into the soil roughly 1 liter per 1-4 square foot of ground (concentration depends on how fertile your soil is and if you are using other composts or fertilizers with the worm castings).
3) Using with Other Amendments- worm castings work well with other amendments such as compost, manure composts or powdered amendments. For example, use worm castings together with composted manure to get the beneficial bacteria of worm castings but the affordability of composted manure.
4) Make your own Potting Mixes- worm castings can be used with any neutral medium or potting mix with good results. For example, you can reuse and rejuvenate old potting soil by adding worm castings. Or you can mix worm castings with mediums such as compost, coco coir, composted mulch, peat moss, bark fines and other amendments to make your own soil mixes.
5) Use as a Seed Starter- add worm castings to your seed starter mix to increase germination rates and decrease germination times. The beneficial bacteria and moisture retention properties will help you start your seeds as soon as possible and get healthy seedlings.
6) Grow Large Plants and Encourage Root Growth- plants grown with worm castings will grow to their full potential and their root structure will be large. Potted plants grown with worm castings get root bound easily due to high root growth and will require larger pots quickly!
How to Use Worm Casting Extract
Worm Casting Extract can be used on any plant and provides fast nutrition and beneficial bacteria to the plant roots and soil. Can be stored indefinitely in a cool dark place for 6 months. Common uses for extract are as follows:
1) Provide Fast Nutrition to Plants- pour extract plus water at the base of the plant and see results in as little as 24 hours. In worm casting extract, the nutrition is already dissolved and instantly available if absorbed by the plant roots. Extract can be diluted 10 parts water to 1 part extract for healthy plants or 1 part water to 1 part extract if faster results are desired. Use on a regular basis for best results.
2) Rescue a Struggling Plant- pour 1/4 - 1/2 cup of straight extract at the base of the struggling plant every 24 hours. If the plant is small or young, the extract can be diluted 1 part water to 1 part extract. Repeat until plant shows recovery. This is especially helpful when there is not enough time in the season to start a new plant.
3) Use Instead of Repotting Plant- extract can extend the time a plant can remain in its current pot. You may not be able to repot a plant that needs it immediately for various reasons including time, access, convenience, or supplies available. Perhaps you have a plant that is close to the end of its life but needs to be repotted. Instead, you can feed it extract to keep it healthy until it is time to start over with a new plant. Another example would be to feed extract to seedlings that cannot be planted yet due to time or weather.
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