Worm castings are all-natural organic fertilizer for hungry plants.  Fruit and flowers leap out of the ground.

using vermicompost in my garden

What does a worm composting bin do for me?

You can feel great that you are diverting tons of waste yearly from our over-flowing local landfills, AND producing a wonderful non-chemical fertilizer for your garden and houseplants.  Your bin is a great way to expose your children to gentle, sustainable living practices, and open conversations with them about nature and science. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
What are worm castings?

Worm castings are the organic fertilizer produced by your composting worms.  Worm poop!  Also referred to as vermicompost or 'black gold', crumbly, black worm castings aerate your soil, provide bio-available nutrients to your plants, encourage the growth of beneficial microbes and bacteria and retain moisture.

 

How do I harvest my worm castings?

There are a few different ways to harvest your castings, I prefer the "turbo bright light method":  

 

1.  Stop feeding your worms for 2 weeks so that they process as much of the bedding as possible.

2.  In the meantime, prepare new bedding for your worms.

3.  Dump the contents of your bin onto a tarp in the sun or a bright light.

4.  Wait for the worms to migrate to the bottom, scraping layers of castings off the top of the pile every 45 minutes or so.

5.  Put the new bedding in the bin, moisten it, and add some food scraps.  8" deep at least.

6.  Keep removing layers from the pile until you have a pile of black castings, and a great squirm of worms.

7.  Move your worms into the fresh bedding, ready to start over.

8.  Remove any unprocessed scraps from your pile of castings, and put them in your new bin, thereby adding microbes to the bin for a good start to your worms' new home.

 

For really fine castings, sift them through 1/4" wire hardware cloth, found at most hardware stores, although you may use your castings as is....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
How do I use them?
To add to houseplants, mix with potting soil at a 20% ratio.  Top-dress with 1/4 cup every few weeks to keep plants healthy.  
 
Spread dried worm castings over your lawn before watering once per month for healthy, strong roots and vibrancy.
 
When planting anything, line the hole with an inch of castings before putting the plant in, and then top dress before watering.
 
Use the castings freely, you never have to worry about root burn as you do with chemical fertilizers.  And remember...a little goes a long way.  20-30% worm castings will do the trick.
 
Adding vermicompost in the fall under mulch prevents hardwood mulch from leaching nitrogen from the soil.  Top dressing with an inch or two before the winter provides even more protection and temperature stability.
 
What is compost tea, and how do I make it?
Compost tea is a liquid fertilizer made by steeping microbially active worm castings, or vermicompost' in water along with other ingredients such as molasses to feed the microorganisms, and aerated over a day or two.  The tea is then applied directly onto the plants and soil using a sprayer or watering can.
Bumblebee on Cheyenne Spirit coneflower
Hot Peppers grown in all-natural organic compost worm castings.
Hot peppers growing in compost worm castings, organic fertilizer.
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Email Robin at wormsdirtandflowers@gmail.com, Okotoks, Alberta

 

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