Vermiculture is the raising of worms for use in composting, bait, and the use of their castings for fertilizer. The castings can be used to make worm tea, or just added directly to your plants as an organic fertilizer.
We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.
It is all about the soil!
by David Proctor
June 17, 2021
Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine Published Weekly
The most common worm that is purchased from a worm farm or supplier is the red wigglers or Lumbricus rubella.
These little guys are great for fishing and do wonders for the soil.
These worms live just under the surface, ingesting soil along with organic matter and leaving tunnels that carry oxygen to the plant roots and improve drainage.
This activity breaks up heavy dirt clods, and the castings keep the soil loose.
The key to having worms is to have a place that keeps them happy and comfortable and to feed them.
Worms In Worm Bin
You can build a worm bin or purchase one.
I started with having a compost pile outside.
This is where I put the grass clippings, leaves, and kitchen scraps to be made into fertilizer.
You can use any wood or plastic container for housing your worms.
The key is to have one that breathes well.
Wood boxes tend to allow a constant supply of air, but plastic will work fine as long as holes are drilled for drainage and you stir in air every few days.
You can use a storage bin and lid, but I would recommend that you not use the lid but instead place burlap on the top.
This will diffuse the light, help keep moisture in, and allow a good supply of air.
Burlap Canvas Cover
If your worm bin is outdoors, keep it in a protected area, out of the hot summer sun or cold rains in the winter.
Vermicompost is the product or process of composting using various worms, usually red wigglers, white worms, and other earthworms to create a heterogeneous mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and vermicast.
Vermicast, also called worm castings, worm humus or worm manure, is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by an earthworm. These castings have been shown to contain reduced levels of contaminants and a higher saturation of nutrients than do organic materials before vermicomposting. (Vermicompost)
This is all sounding like a very good path to go.
How to make Worm Tea 4:53
How to make compost tea using worm castings.
Having a worm farm is a win-win.
They don’t bark, they stay to themselves, your kitchen scraps and grass clipping do not go to the dump, and you will not have an excuse to not go fishing.
Fish Just Waiting To Be Caught
Check It Out!
The Benefits of Using Worm Tea
by Yelm Earthworms and Casting Farm
• Worm Tea will out-perform chemical fertilizer. Increasing both plant size and yield. This is due to interaction of Worm Tea microbes with the soil microbes and protozoa, soil particles and the roots of the plant itself.
• Worm Tea used as an inoculant for potting soil will suppress airborne pathogenic fungi that can readily infect sterile potting medium. The organisms in Worm Tea also produce hormones, vitamins, nutrients, enzymes, amino acids and minerals needed by seedling cuttings and young plants. Inoculation should be done two weeks prior to planting.
• Plants grown in soil treated with Worm Tea are healthier due to the symbiotic relationship between the plant and the microbes in the root zone. Plants feed the microbes and the microbes produce or make available all of the food and medicine the plant needs to thrive.
Plants grown in soil treated with Worm Tea are more nutritious than plants grown in soil treated with chemical fertilizer. The food value of these plants is increased due to the availability of minerals, vitamins, enzymes and amino acids.
•Worm Tea can remediate soil that has been damaged by agricultural chemicals. With repeated application the microbes will adapt to the soil as well as convert and metabolize organic and inorganic chemicals. They will also sequester heavy metals not required by plants.
• Worm Tea can treat lawns affected with thatch, which is a condition caused by sterility in the underlying soil. Chemicals usually cause sterility. Worm Tea will repopulate the soil with microbes, enrich the roots and break down the thatch turning it into food for the grass.
• Worm Tea applied to the soil improves water retention. Many of the microbes manufacture protective mucus that acts as glue to agglomerate soil particles. Microbial colonies also make a bio-slime that is mostly water and is retained to protect the colony The water retentive property of healthy soil can be 3-4 times greater than unhealthy soil.
• Worm Tea applied along with insoluble granulated or powdered minerals such as granite, limestone, rock phosphate, etc will supply 95% of everything the soil needs. The other 5% is organic material applied as mulch or litter on the surface of the soil or as dead root material under the soil surface.
• The microbes in Worm Tea turn organic matter into humus, storing energy for later use. This is the basic unit of soil fertility.
• The microbes in Worm Tea feed other organisms in the soil food chain. Protozoa and nematodes feed on bacteria and fungi directly while worms ingest bacteria laden soil particles. All life in the soil depends on microbes, directly or indirectly.
• Worm Tea applied as a foliar spray will act as a fertilizer. Plants will produce more foliage and larger stems. This is a good treatment for plants that are stressed or lacking enough sun.
• Worm Tea applied to a compost pile will accelerate the breakdown of plant material reducing the amount of time to make compost. It can also be used to re-inoculate the pile after it has gone through its hot phase, which inactivates or kills many of the beneficial microbes. Re-inoculation increases the population of beneficial microbes, which continue to breakdown organic matter and form humus. (Worm)
Taken from http://yelmworms.com/compost-tea/
1. Do not store the brewed worm tea recipe inside a pet bottle, unless you want the beneficial microbes to die right away.
2. It’s best that you store it inside a container, with a lid that loosely covers it, or without a lid. This is important since the good microorganisms in the worm tea solution needs air. If you fail to do this, your tea may soon smell horrible; and your plants and soil won’t be able to fully appreciate the benefits that come with your worm tea.
3. To sum it all up, you’ll really need to consume it within 24 hours.
McCreary, Rosemary. Putting Worms to Work and Keeping Them Happy. ucanr.edu/sites/scmg/files/29954.pdf.
“What Is Worm Tea?” Worm Castings & Soils, yelmworms.com/compost-tea/page3.htm#What%20is%20worm%20tea.
“Wormery.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Mar. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wormery.