Did you know that a tablespoon of worm castings has adequate nutrients to feed a 6-inch plant growing in a pot for about two months? Worm casts, also known as worm manure or poop, also have 50% more humus than topsoil. If you are tired of using chemical-packed fertilizers to enrich your garden soil, maybe it’s time you switched to worm castings.
So what exactly are worm castings? Worm castings are simply earthworm poops. The casts are produced from the digestion of organic material consumed by the worms.
What Makes Worm Casts So Great for Your Plants?
Worm casts are the best natural soil enrichers that you can use for your garden. Here are some reasons why:
Packed with Nutrients
Worm castings aren’t like common animal compost. These compositions are packed with nutrients and minerals that are beneficial to plants and the soil.
Some of the minerals they contain include:
Worms eat organic waste they are fed, and through the vermicomposting process, the worms break down the decaying matter into richer organic fertilizer comprising of good bacteria, nutrients, and enzymes. The digestive process of the organic materials eaten by the worms refines and adds more than 10,000 biological organisms to the castings. These organisms make it easier for the castings to break down so that plants can easily access the nutrients they need.
Soil is a living organism. Using chemical fertilizers on your garden destroys the soil in the following ways:
- Chemical fertilizers have acids that dissolve soil crumbs
- When soil is destructed by chemical fertilizers, its surface becomes hard and this makes it difficult for rainwater and nutrients to enter it
- The high acidity of chemical fertilizers affects the soil pH and can kill the microorganisms that prevent some plant diseases
- Artificial fertilizers kill earthworms that provide aeration and natural worm casts
With worm castings, you don’t have to worry about the above adverse effects on your soil. The casts are a natural fertilizer made up of a mixture of enzymes, bacteria, earthworm cocoons, animal manure, and remains of plant matter. Worm casts have a neutral pH of 0.7, which will not harm your plants or your hands. Unlike chemical fertilizers, the casts don’t require special handling and aren’t harmful to you, your plants, or your pets.
No Strong Smell
Worm castings are odor-free; they smell like forest soil. The digestion process of the worms leads to the release of castings that don’t smell terrible like regular fertilizer or animal compost. In addition, worm castings can be used with animal compost to eliminate odor. Mix 10% of worm castings with any decomposed manure and the strong smell in the compost will be gone. Castings also absorb odor more effectively and quickly than activated charcoal.