Did you know that worm castings (worm poop) is rich 100% organic humus which contain microbiological colonies that help fight soil-borne plant diseases and repel insects. If this is news to you then you might want to read the following report issued by University of California – Agriculture and Natural Resources – UCCE Master Gardener Program: http://ucanr.org/sites/mgfresno/
Worm-castings are water-soluble allowing plants to quickly and easily absorb essential nutrients and trace minerals. When the manure passes through the worm’s digestive tract, it forms a coating around the grain which allows for the nutrients to “time release” into the soil. Nutrients are readily available to plant material over a greater length of time and will not burn even the most delicate plants.
Analysis of earthworm castings reveals that they are rich in iron, calcium, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (NPK rating: 5/5/3 %). They are much richer in nutrients than bulk compost, therefore application rates are much lower. Chemical fertilizers are a one-shot wonder. The plant uses what is immediately available – the rest leaches out into the soil beyond the plants reach.
Improved Growth: Extensive University testing has been performed by Ohio State, Cornell University, UC Davis and the Australian SIRO to prove the worth of worm castings. The tests have shown improved flower size, bloom quantity, quality and color. Fruit and vegetables tests have resulted in yield improvements from 57% to over 200% as well as improvement in taste and appearance.
A worm castings tea can be made from the castings resulting in a 100% organic spray that improves nutrient absorption. It will NOT burn your plants. This easily absorbed water soluble mixture can be sprayed directly onto plants for immediate absorption or applied once a month while watering.
Putting Worm Castings to Use
Worm Tea – Soak 1 part worm castings in 3 parts water for 24 hours or more – mixing several times. Apply 8 ounces of worm tea per plant every 30 days, or, as a foliar spray, add 4 ounces of worm tea to 1 gallon of water and apply every 30 to 60 days.
*This section on worm poop is entirely taken from an article furnished by University of California – Agriculture and Natural Resources. This blog’s author, although interested in utilizing worm castings to increase vegetable production, does not have direct experience testing the efficacy of worm tea in his garden.