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How To Use Worm Castings To Grow All Kinds Of Amazing Plants !
Revealed in this article below we are about to reveal many methods of how to use worm castings for gardeners who want to organically grow some amazing plants!
Worm castings which is which are also known as “worm manure” or “worm dung” in many circles is a very powerful soil building amendment with fertilizing capabilities that is used for planting and growing any kind of organically grown plants.
These worm castings are used to dramatically enhance the growth of
- House Plants
- Plant Seedlings
- Rooted Cuttings
Worm castings are good for all varieties of organically grown plants and can also be used for plant propagation. Young seedlings really prosper with use of the castings.
Seed germination is also a key area where you can really see the power of how to use worm castings giving the seedling a much healthier start to enhance growth of the plant throughout its life.
Now A Little About Worm Castings Terminology
Worm castings are also known as Vermicast. which the name “Vermi” means “worm” in latin. This ought to tell you something, people have been using this “worm dung” long before the English language was even thought of!
We who live in america which are english speaking people call them worms instead of vermis.
So if you ever see the terms vermi compost, vermi castings , verm icast these all have similar meaning to what we talk about on this post just remember to change the word vermi to worm.
Worm castings can also be added to compost piles and compost tumblers and compost bins as a humus to enhance the compost with living bacterial life and speed up the composting process.
This leaves you with a super soil full of life and nutrients to organically grow all of your garden plants in.
Now that we have covered the terminology which will be used throughout this article we can now move on. All the terms above mean the same thing so when you see any of these terms you will know what they mean.
Worm manure or vermicast is derived from a process we call worm composting here in the U.S. where you contain and raise composting worms in a worm composting bin also known as a worm farm to collect their castings over time.
These practices described below has worked great for me over the last few years and it needs to be said upfront that I am using the worm manure straight out of my own home worm farms.
Packaged worm castings products purchased in stores may or may not work as well depending on how old the product is and whether there is any microbial life left in it.
With that being said lets get started.
What Are Worm Castings Used For?
Do you know who the largest industry is that buy and use worm castings?
Commercial plant nurseries are the largest buyer according to interviews that have been conducted with worm farming operators.
Worm castings also known as vermi cast in the plant nursery world are used in their seed germination process and plant growing methods.
This is the industries biggest secret of producing large beautiful plants that everyone rushed out to buy every year.
When you discover the secret of how to use worm castings you can do the same.
Keep reading to the end of this post to reveal how to use worm castings and just apply this simple process below!
How To Use Worm Castings For Seed Germination
Worm castings are a great addition to your seed starting mix for planting seeds of all kinds that will allow for strong healthy plants that will sprout and grow amazingly fast.
No more leggy yellow looking plants when this seed starting method is used correctly.
First off, we want to start out with good quality seeds to insure germination and continued growth throughout the plants life.
Don’t use cheap seeds because you may wind up with amazing looking plants that produce very little yield.
Germinate only the best seeds to get the best results from your efforts.
Mix about 25% worm castings into a quality seed starting mix in a separate container and mix using your hands until it has no clumps and becomes a fine medium.
It is not recommended to use potting soil because it does not work as well in my experience.
There is no need in using more than 25%, through my testing I found it will make no difference using more.
Place your seed starting mix into your desired seed starting containers and soak with water several times until the water is running out the bottom of the cells.
Let drain until water stops and plant your seeds as directions on the package describe covering your seeds with a pinch of the dry starting mix until the seed is covered. Use a spray bottle to wet the dry starter mix you just added and you are set.
Place your seed starting trays under grow lights after about 2 days
for most plants starts and your will see them coming through about the third day. (Some plants have longer germination rates check the packet).
The main concept here is to get the plants under the lights as soon as they break the surface to prevent legginess.
I have had plant seedlings that grew an inch overnight because I wasn’t paying attention.
Keep the the seedlings as close to your grow lights as possible without touching the bulbs. ( within a half inch is good).
Maintain this practice until you see the first set of true leaves appear.
No watering will be needed for at least a week or until the cells dry out a bit.
This will let the plant starts develop a strong root system by reaching out for the moisture.
The worm castings have a great water retaining capability and do not require as much watering.
Bottom water only when watering is needed this reduces any chance of fungus growing in the cells. It is always better to be a little damp than wet.
Seed Germination is not a rocket science but by applying a few good tips and tricks on how to use worm castings you can get strong healthy professional looking plants that will produce very well in your garden.
This technique can be used for germinating any kind of seed because the worm castings supply the beneficial nutrients all plants need to thrive and grow strong and healthy.
There you have it, you now know how to use worm castings for seed germination.
How To Use Worm Castings When Transplanting
Now that you have learned and applied the technique of how to use worm castings for seed germination, you now have beautiful robust little seedlings that are about to out grow their starter containers.
Now we will need to harden them off a couple of days before transplanting them into larger containers outdoors or into your prepared gardening beds that you have made for them.
Hardening off your seedlings is not an issue with these healthy plants as long as it is not freezing, just set them in a sunny window sill for a few days rotate frequently then move them into outdoor sunlight for a couple of hours a few days of the week.
Place them in full sun after about the third day of being outside. Watch your plants , depending on the intensity of the sun in your area, you might have to pull them back into shade a few time during the day until they get accustomed to the sunlight.
If they fair out well you can leave them out in the elements. If you experience slight wilting the plants are probably root bound and you will need to move them into larger containers.
Transplant your seedlings into bigger pots of a fertile well draining growing medium
(I use finished compost made on site).
Fill the pot with your favorite growing medium and add a couple hand fulls worm castings around your root ball then water in well.
The plants should continue the enhanced growth cycle with no problems.
From this point within a week or so you should see your plants performing some pretty amazing growth.
When your weather conditions are right to plant out into your garden bed soil, just repeat the process that you did earlier into the pots.
Prepare your planting holes as normal and add a couple of hand fulls of the castings to your planting hole around the root ball of your plant then water in well and watch them grow!
How To Use Worm Castings In Potted Plants
When re-potting your house plants you may also use this same method as above, add about 25% castings into your potting mix and around the root ball and water in well. Watch your indoor plants come to life.
House plants tend to use the soil in their pots rapidly. Just add worm castings to the top of the soil, slightly work them in and water in.
No more need to fertilize.
How To Use Worm Castings During The Growing Season
Learning how to use worm castings throughout your plants life is very important for growing productive plants so now we will discuss some methods you can use now to enhance their growth.
How To Use Worm Castings to make worm castings tea
When it comes to a simple worm castings tea recipe there is no need to get crazy brewing this stuff because it is not necessary.
Unlike compost tea, there are already plenty of microbes present in the castings and all you need to do is let it sit overnight and let the living microbes present do the rest.
Just get yourself a five gallon bucket and add a few hand fulls of castings and add water.
Let the batch steep overnight stirring it several times during the process to keep air in the mix which allows more microbes to develop.
The next morning stir again and water your garden plants with it. This process will add microbes to your garden soil to help keep the biology alive that in turn helps feed your plants..
Give it a day or two and see the effects, you will be amazed!
There are many worm tea recipes online that you can use as you wish but it is not necessary to brew worm tea.
Another way to use worm tea is ti spray it directly on the plants leaves.We use a slightly different approach here which may require a bit more stirring.
Place the castings in a cache like (nylons or an old sock or some kind of bag ) so the they stay contained during the steeping process.
This method keeps the solution clean so you can use the tea in a spray bottle or pressurized sprayer to apply directly on your garden plants leaves to add some protection against the garden insect pests while feeding the plants at the same time.
The plants will love this and respond quickly to it.
This process is best if applied late in the evening as the sun goes down to prevent sun burn damage to the plants while letting the tea dry slowly allowing the plants feed through their leaves while absorbing the tea.
You can also use this process of spraying the tea on your house plants as well they will also love it.
How To Use Worm Castings To Feed Your Plants
Feeding your plants once in a while is also a good use for the castings. Worm castings tea like we mentioned above is a great food source on a regular bases for all plants while making your supply of castings stretch much further.
Working the castings into your soil around your outdoor plants during the growing season is also a good practice.
This is not only to help feed the plants but also creates new biology around your plant roots for stability in growth.
Work slightly deep (about 3 or 4 inches) into the soil and water in well about once a month.
Add castings to the base soil and lightly work in to the surface of your house plants and water in well to feed them also.
How To Use Worm Castings On Your Lawn
Many are reporting improvement in lawn growth overall by spreading castings on their lawn and watering in.
A year ago I took some extra compost added about 25% worm castings to it and applied to to bare spots in my lawn.
I have tried to repair these areas with many store bought products and even transplanted new grass into these areas and it just kept dying off for the last few years.
After the compost mix with worm castings were worked into the bare areas these areas have now fully grown over with grass.
I am here to say this method worked for me so there must be some truth to it.
Listed above are the top ways how to use worm castings.
Now that you have discovered how to use worm castings, I am sure there are more uses that you will find just be creative and experiment.
One rule to remember less is more when using worm manure. About 25% by volume is about all you need in a single application, from my own experience there is no difference in using more in most cases. Using more than this amount is just wasted. Just guess because there is no ratio to follow.
Worm castings can be used to start and organically grow any kind of plant
that you desire in your landscape and are not limited to just vegetables, flowers and herb gardens.
All conclusions listed above are derived from working with my own finished compost made on site and utilizing worm composting methods from my own worm bins. This process does work well for gardening or growing plants of all kinds indoors or out that use soil .
It is important to understand the importance of having fresh finished compost and fresh worm manure to apply to the process.
Using most bagged commercial products will more than likely show different results.
Maybe the results will be better maybe worse depending on the brand you buy.
You will just have to try and see the results for yourself.
Get started today!
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