Tom did it. That’s right. He ordered 15 pounds of worm poop for our garden.
And since it wasn’t my Valentine’s Day gift, I’m not complaining. We love worm poop (worm castings) for our vegetable garden and can’t imagine not feeding our garden with it.
Worm castings are simply loaded with beneficial bacteria and nutrients.
As they burrow through the earth, worms naturally aerate the soil and leave behind waste, known as worm castings or poop as we fondly call it.
Over the years, I’ve noticed that I get a higher yield with plants that receive a little worm poop over the duration of the growing season.
Not only that, you need worm castings for your compost pile, potted indoor plants and a plethora of other ways, too. There’s always a bag in my garage!
So if you’ve already digested your breakfast and are eager to learn more about worm poop, this is the post for you!
Is worm poop gross? Does it smell?
The answer to both is simple. No and no!
There is absolutely no scent whatsoever to worm poop. None. It is not sticky but rather hard and dry and you will not mind touching it, even with your bare hands. Worm poop is very similar to dry coffee grinds.
Worm poop are tiny little pellets that crumble in your hand. Orderless and hard (like Nerds candy really), non-offensive fertilizer.
And dark. Worm castings rich in nutrients are a rich dark brown color and have a firm and hard texture.
Worm poop is good for your garden when you allow it to work its magic!! Worms are powerhouses to your soil on so many different levels.
You can adds worms to your garden and wait for them to poop or you can buy worm poop and mix it in yourself.
I do both to cover my bases.
Why worm castings?
Worm castings are 100% organic humus. Castings contain rich microbiological colonies that help fight soil-borne plant diseases and repel insects.
Worm castings are water-soluble allowing plants to quickly and easily absorb essential nutrients and trace minerals.
And worm castings contain trace minerals including concentrated nitrates, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and calcium.
The poop also contains manganese, copper, zinc, cobalt, borax, iron, carbon and nitrogen.
In fact, worm castings stimulate plant growth more than any other natural product on the market.
Unlike animal manure (chicken, horse or cow manure) and artificial fertilizers (Miracle-Gro) worm poop is absorbed easily and immediately by plants for a quick rush.
Animal manure and those dang artificial fertilizers must be broken down first in the soil first before a plant can use them.
Did you know?….
Worm castings can remove heavy metals, toxins and pollution from the soil along with fighting off harmful fungi, bacteria and nematodes promote better plant and root health.
Worm poop can actually curb diseases and inhibit some insect pests including mites, aphids and mealy bugs. Oh my!
How to apply worm castings in your garden
Nothing could be easier than applying worm poop to your garden. I literally just sprinkle the worm poop by hand around the base of each plant to replenish nutrients and stimulate beneficial activity.
It doesn’t take a lot. Roughly two tablespoons per plant does the trick every two weeks or three if I get busy.
Don’t wait more than a month. If you do, I’d add 1/4 cup worm poop per 6-inch diameter of growing area.
You can lightly dig it in if you wish but that’s not absolutely necessary, especially if you water right away.
Worm poop is a wonderful additive for growing bigger and tastier veggies as you can’t add to much worm poop. It’s not like fertilizer.
Worm castings can’t damage your plants or burn them by mixing in too much. When you’ve finished sprinkling the castings in, I find it’s smart to water soon thereafter.
If you have healthy soil, I bet you already have worm poop in your garden but maybe haven’t noticed it before.
They look like tiny round piles of poop! Truly. But to the untrained eye, they may be harder to spot. Almost like tiny round rabbit pellets. Worm poop is cute!
Other ways to use worm poop….
Worm castings are also ideal for enriching your compost bin.
Apply a 1/8 to 1/4 inch layer of earthworm castings between each layer of your compost materials.
So layer worm castings as you build your compost pile. Enrich the compost bin with fresh castings every two to three months.
I also love adding a little worm poop to my potted plants. It’s just what the plant doctor ordered! A great time to mix in the castings is when you go to re-pot once a year or maybe two years to re-pot if you get busy!
A standard 6-inch diameter pot needs 1/4 cup of castings, while a 12-inch container requires 1/2 cup.
Also consider sprinkling worm poop as an additive for trees, vegetables, shrubs and flowers around your yard. Just realize, the bigger the plant, tree or shrub, the more you need to add.
My blueberries love worm poop! It’s smart to add castings in particular when the plant sets buds and fruit.
Remember: worm poop can’t burn your plants so you can use as much as you like or as your budget allows!!
Last….are you ready for this?! Use worm castings for germination purposes. Yep. Use 20-30% worm castings with sand and a seed starting mix as an excellent germination mixture.
They will also ensure continuous and lush growth for about three months, without it you will have to add another type of plant food.
How to make casting tea!
Another easy way to add worm poop to your garden is to make casting tea. Then you can serve it at your sister’s baby shower. Kidding!
Simply add two cups of earthworm castings to 5 gallons of water, directly or in a mesh bag.
Let it sit for 24 hours before watering your plants with your castings tea. Kind of like making your own iced tea.
With your fingers gently work the wet residue into the soil.
But whether dry or wet, earthworm castings provide so many awesome benefits to plants and the soil.
Benefits of worm castings in a nutshell!
1.) The humid acid in worm castings stimulates plant growth, even in very low concentrations. This is because the humid acid is in an ionically distributed state so it can be easily absorbed by the plant. Humid acid also stimulates the development of micro flora populations in the soil. Big win!
2.) The humus in worm castings extracts toxins and harmful fungi and bacteria from the soil. Worm poop can actually fight diseases!
3.) Worm castings act as a barrier to help plants grow in soil where the pH levels are too high or too low. They prevent extreme pH levels from making it impossible for plants to absorb nutrients from the soil.
4.) Worm castings reduce the acid-forming carbon in the soil, an increase the nitrogen levels in a state that the plant can easily use.
5.) Worm castings increase the ability of soil to retain water. Yay!
Just as an F.Y.I. it’s a good idea to use your worm castings are fertilizer within 6 months of purchase. It’s not like they spoil, rot or “go bad” but rather they are not as effective after 6 months.