Using Worm Castings For Your Indoor and Outdoor Plants

Worm castings are one of the few available resources today that offer numerous proven benefits while offering no bad side effects.

Not like pesticides and fertilizers with special hazardous handling advice, worm castings promote plants and root development without the side effects of ingesting malicious chemicals.

Compost and worm castings are not one in the same.. Instead they are a biological process that takes place within the worm’s digestive tract. In fact composted material is what is actually fed to many worms in order to generate worm castings.

worm castings
earthworm castings can be collected from your yard after a good rain.

This brings me to a second point. The worms raised for vermicast should be cultivated in a controlled environment where the temperature is above seventy degrees Fahrenheit in order to create premium worm castings. Don’t get me wrong, just about all fresh worm castings are good for your garden with a stress on the word fresh which I will clarify later in this article. The reason for this is because individual beneficial bacteria thrive at temperatures of seventy to one hundred degrees Fahrenheit which aid the worms themselves and their digestive processes.

There are other benefits, too. Worm castings offer excellent moisture retention while improving soil aeration and drainage. They never burn plants; instead, they release nutrients over an extended period of time in a form that is readily available to roots. Plus, they aid fungus control by increasing the number of beneficial nematodes in the soil. They even offer natural pest control with an enzyme that repels a variety of harmful insects, including white flies, aphids, spider mites, mealy bugs, horn worms, and cucumber beetles. (who knew?)

I haven’t had my own worms in a few years now. So when early spring seed planting comes I walk around the farm with a bucket and small shovel or knife and scoop them up. I add them to the seedling mix. I have even started seeds with nothing but vermicast with excellent result.

A number of proven benefits of using worm castings in your garden areas and indoor plants by individual Universities show prolific root and plant growth, increased bloom and bloom colors as well as increased yields of fruit and vegetables. Studies have also shown that plants supplemented with worm castings were significantly more resistant to diseases and carcinogens while it is still not known precisely why. Some say it is due to the fact that worm castings produce healthier plants overall hence making them more resilient.

There are good nematodes that eat malicious fungi and others things, for instance, that are root eating nematodes. Tests have revealed that worm castings only exhibit the beneficial nematodes!

Worm castings are beneficial, also, as the bacteria, fungi and other assorted by products are readily accessible by plants as plant food as well as aid to recondition the surrounding soil so as to help sustain a healthy level of minerals which most other fertilizers strip away.

Items to keep in mind when you go to buy worm castings:

Related  On Vermicomposting...

When I refer to fresh worm castings, I am not referring to whether they were harvested yesterday or last week but rather the current state they are in as follows below.

First numerous worm farmers will take their worm castings and save them in a pile outside. One of the main issues here is the reality that seeds are air born and land in the piles. When you add them to your garden or potted plants, you start to develop undesirable weeds!

The second concern with storing them outside is the weather. As I mentioned earlier, there are various bacteria and fungi existing within the worm castings and temperature is a aspect in producing premium castings. Once they grow to be too cold or even freeze, many of the benefits of the worm castings can and will be killed off. The top way to store worm castings is in the same controlled environment in which they were generated.

Thirdly, many places selling what they call worm castings is actually vermicompost or worm compost. Worm compost or vermicompost is a mixture of decayed or decaying matter mixed with worm castings. And while this still makes an awesome soil amendment, it is not the same thing as straight castings.

Fourth many worm farmers keep their worm bins quite wet resulting in these worm castings being water logged, hence you are buying a bunch of water. The best moisture content for worm castings is approximately 30 percent giving you more bang for your buck!

This takes me to my final point of what to keep in mind… worm castings sold in plastic sealed bags and or containers. One of the benefits of worm castings is the fact they are full with aerobic microbes. By definition the word aerobic means “requires oxygen to stay alive”. This would be the same as winning a gold fish at the county fair and leaving it in the bag for a week. By then the fish will be floating belly up. Whenever ordering vermicast you want them in a breathable bag and freshly packed not sitting on the shelf for a month. The reason being is that when in a breathable bag, worm castings will dry out over time once again losing the benefits normally associated with them.

Best is to harvest your own from your own place. FRESH! Best place I know online to order worm castings is
Uncle Jim’s
uncle jim's worm farm

The Ready Store
"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease" ~ Thomas Jefferson

3 thoughts on “Using Worm Castings For Your Indoor and Outdoor Plants”

  1. How can worm castings “dry out” in a sealed bag? In a breathable bag..moisture escapes much more readily you would

    • Hi Tony,
      This was an article written by a home-schooled high school student as part of a literature grade. I had not visited it for some time. Now that they are come and gone, I think I should re-write the above article… tweak it a bit. The grammar is not so great! But to your question, I think the whole point of the article is that, there really is no way to market worm castings efficiently and keep the nutrients as available as they are in fresh (as in scooped up off the ground or growing your own) castings. Does that make sense? There are so many delicate microbes that can’t live without oxygen. A breathable bag is optimal, but it is not meant for long term storage. In fact, worm castings that are packaged for long term storage contain far less nutrients, beneficial bacteria, etc It is STILL better than chemical laden fertilizer, but not as good as freshly harvested worm castings. Hope that helps!


Leave a Comment