How do you use your vermicompost?

gerris2March 31, 2013

Yesterday, I made some quick compost tea out of fresh worm castings. In a 5 gallon bucket I placed about 5 inches of fresh castings out of my worm bin. I then added about 4 gallons of dechlorinated water, swirled it around with a stick to break up the clumps. I then put the liquid portion of the mixture into all my indoors plant pots using a turkey baster. The volume varied with the size of the pot. The worm castings are teeming with beneficial microbes and the idea of using the worm poop tea was to increase the beneficial microbial population in the plant root zone. I took a basic composting class from soil scientist Dr. Elaine Ingham last week and wanted to put some of the useful information I learned into action.

Please share your experiences on specifics on how you use your finished vermicompost / worm castings in your gardens so that we may learn from each other.

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I am occasionally the recipient of spider plant babies, and I root them and once going well, I give them to friends. It usually takes about a week in plain water for new roots to be long enough to add to a small pot of soil. The last batch I rooted, I added about a tsp of vermicompost to the water, and every time I walked by, I picked up the cup and swirled it to mix the castings in the water. I had roots on the 3rd day!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 5:21PM
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That is awesome! I need to give that a try.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 6:47PM
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Great picture! I love how it is all mixed up yet dispersed in increments. Consider next time letting the water age for a bit possibly with the bubbler going. Then the next day sprinkle in the vermicastings. Somehow the approach you used seems so sterile and by the book. Have some fun with it. Get dirty. Toss in a few moldy mushrooms. While you have the cross the t's and dot the i's science down perfect, vermicomposing is an art not a science. Once in a while it may benefit the vermicomposter to look up at the moon for guidance, do a bit of a worm dance, prepare for the worms a bit of rot stew and crunchy bedding swirl. Howling at the stars may help.

Sometimes following each and every instruction exactly does not allow one to get a feel for the worms needs. Failure is a really great teacher here. It has taught us all a lot. Mostly how and when to break all of the rules and reach for success.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 10:50PM
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I may do the aerated tea some day. At present time the quick and dirty way will have to do. I am still learning and keeping it simple at present time fits both the amount of free time I have for gardening and my current state of cognitive ability. Hahahaha

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 12:19AM
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I don't have time or space for aerated tea, and while I am more than willing to defer to wiser heads than mine on anything, I'm not willing to waste this stuff on tea from what I've read about it.

The baby spider plants were moved to soil late Sunday. The soil had a small amount of castings added to the top and just stirred in an inch or so. Today, the roots are deep enough to resist tugging on a leaf. I also have not lost any lower leaves on the babies like I usually do.

With worm poop, I've moved from close to two weeks to get to this point, to five and a half days, with less leaf loss.

I can't wait till it really warms up!!!


    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 8:05PM
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I make tea for indoor house plants but the bulk of it goes in the garden a trowel full at a time in each planting hole. Any plant that looks as though it is struggling gets extra, shallowly worked into the soil around its base. Been doing this for years and years. Every spring I find overwinterd egg cases and little worms. These are worms I picked out of my mother's compost heap 20 odd years ago to bring to my basement worm bin. When repotting house plants I also work some vermicompost into the mix. In autumn just before first frost I take tomato vine cuttings and pot them in soil less mix with perlite. Once the cuttings have roots I pot them in the same mix but with vermicompost added. The tomato plants overwinter on the kitchen windowsill and come spring I have a headstart on the tomato plants. All winter I can brush those tomato leaves and smell.....summer.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 2:09PM
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I have used my castings as a seed starter, in the planting hole, as a top dressing, and as a base for both aerated and non-aerated teas great results. I use the tea to foliar feed and soil drench. It's all good if you have enough. If I only had a little it would start seeds or go in the planting hole.

This past fall I put several inches of casts over most of my garden beds, covered it with several inches of horse manure, and mulched that with straw. Those beds are looking good and will be planted soon. I have also been using very generously around my apple tree the past 12 months or so. Last years apples were the best ever and the pests and diseases were minimal compared to years past. I no not spray anything.

For me vermicomposting is more fun than gardening. I like to garden, but it interferes with my other hobby (obsession) which is fishing.

Good luck! Pete

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 5:59PM
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I find reading everyone's responses inspiring. I hope I have enough worm poop to add to all my plant containers.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 10:13AM
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priswell(9 CA)

Every spring, I harvest half of my worm compost and most of it goes into the veggie garden. The rest is used for starting plants. Nothing spectacular, but a quiet statement of turning kitchen garbage into something other than a landfill.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 10:35AM
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My use of vermicompost.

I have three plastic bucket systems, one 5 tier worm factory and one bench with two hidden compartments for vermicompost. I try to cycle the vermicompost so that I have one tier of worm factory vermicompost available at beginning of each month.

How I use it: In 5 gallon buckets I put in declorinated water with a shovel full of vermicompost. Stir once or twice. Let sit a day. Strain, with a noodle strainer, and then pour out over plants. The gunk that got filtered out goes back in the 5 compost bins or vermicompost that I have.

When I make my tea I make about 7 5 gallon buckets worth and try to do it when plants are flowering in early spring.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Hello thanks for the great posting!

I have worked with both worm castings and worm tea for years now and am blown away again and again by the amazing impact they have when added to the soil as soil conditioners and plant food!

Our Worm tea is produced when worm castings are mixed with water and molasses and brewed for 24 hours.

The molasses will serve as a food source for beneficial microorganisms that are part of worm castings.

The brewing process multiplies the beneficial microorganisms of the worm casting tea rapidly.


The finished product will achieve the best results if used within 24 hours after the end of the brewing process but will still be beneficial for several months.

If you bottle it just shake it before using it to activate the remaining microorganisms.

Liquidized worm castings have many positive properties for soil and plants.

They act as a natural fungicide and insecticide

÷can be used as an organic fertilizer

÷will never burn plants

÷and will improve soil structure and plant health.

To brew earthworm tea you will need...

- a bucket or tank,

- an air pump with some piping,

- an air stone usually used for fish tanks,

- some worm castings and molasses

-and water.

ItâÂÂs really easy to produce and the results will speak for themselves.

Follow the link for a easy worm tea brewing recipe!

It is easy and takes less than 24 hours!

Here is a link that might be useful: How to brew and use worm tea

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 3:00AM
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