No matter your growing goals, worm castings can help you get there faster and more efficiently. Let’s look at the benefits of worm castings and why you should consider this soil amendment for your own SoHum Living Soils garden.
What are the nutrients in worm castings?
Worm castings (aka vermicompost) are waste excreted by earthworms. Though we might think of earthworms as simple and humble creatures, they eat a lot of soil each day and the stuff coming out of them is so much better than the stuff going into them. Through digestion they help release soil nutrients such as nitrogen, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and calcium. In fact, so much calcium is released from the soil they ingest that the pH of worm castings is often close to neutral (7.0).
How are worm castings used in SoHum Living Soils?
SoHum Living Soils use worm castings not as a fertilizer but more like a probiotic for the soil. Just like many who take a probiotic for your gut health, worm castings contain thousands of different species of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and other microbes to give life to your soil. In fact, a single teaspoon of the worm castings we use will have over a billion bacteria that are essential for the health of the soil and to your plants.
Overall Soil Benefits of Worm Castings
Unlike other animal manures or even plant based composts, worm castings have the added benefit of passing through the digestive system of the worm which kills many pathogenic bacteria like E.coli and Salmonella. Although, not extremely high in any one nutrient, worm castings help grab and hold on to free nutrients supplied by other fertilizers and actually help in their uptake into plants. The castings help create the ideal environment for nutrient-demanding crops like cannabis in that the bacteria in the castings create a soil structure that allows for great nutrient cycling and helps prevent soil diseases.
Some benefits include:
- Quality organic castings typically include more than 60 micronutrients and minerals.
- Castings act as a buffer against soil pH extremes and facilitate nutrient absorption.
- By breaking down toxins, castings full of beneficial bacteria and fungi guard against soil and plant diseases.
- Castings help hold on to toxic heavy metals preventing a plant to absorb them.
- Castings are repellent to a wide range of common flies, mites and other pests.
Benefits for Indoor Plants
- Worm castings are easier and more pleasant to use indoors than other fertilizers;
- With high margins for error, worm castings are ideal for first-time indoor growers;
- Many growers report accelerated early growth when using castings in starting pots;
- Worm castings are especially good for managing soil moisture levels indoors.
Benefits for Outdoor Gardens
- Castings make it easier to grow in outdoor soil where pH levels are harder to control;
- Castings help plants eat a balanced diet and therefore plants are less desired by aphids, spider mites and white flies;
- You can use as much as you want unlike potentially harmful synthetic fertilizers;
- Castings release immediate nutrients as well as “slow release” benefits for up to two months.