How do one use vermicompost?

zaleon(Gauteng ZA)July 9, 2008

I've had my bins now for some time, and some vermicompost are ready for harvesting. How do one use vermicompost in the garden for (1) existing plants, (2) seedlings (3) to make tea? What are the methods and procedures involved? Is there anything else one can vermicompost for?

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vermiman(7)

1] Lightly mix it in the soil near the plants, being sure not to disturb the roots.

2] I start my seeds in pure vermicompost. Usually cutting the germination time in half.

3]

parts:

Five Gallon
A two hose fish aquarium air pump
Two hoses
Two air stones
Dechlorinator if using tap water
Molasses for feeding microbes
Four and a half gallons of water
Half gallon of castings

Dechlorinate the water or let stand for a couple of days. Or you may use rain water.

Pour castings in water
add about two ounces of molasses
stir ingredients
put the air stones in and wait 24 hours

Filter it through a cheese cloth and spray it on your plants leaves. You can also use it as a soil drench.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 3:55PM
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zaleon(Gauteng ZA)

Thank you very much. I'm going to try the tea next week.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 4:37PM
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Karchita(WA Z8)

You can also simply mix it with water and apply to the soil. This is my favorite method because it is so easy and quick and the castings are already very loaded with beneficial organisms so I don't feel I need to enrich it further. It may depend on what shape your soil is in. My soil is already very healthy and I constantly mulch with compost, so the non-aerated tea is all I need.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 1:54AM
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mike1970(5B)

Here's how I use my vermicompost:

1) After starting my seeds (tomatoes, veggies, etc) in a soil-less mix, I transplant them into a 50/50 mix of potting soil and worm compost. They seem to just love that mix and it knocks about 2 weeks off of the indoor growing time.

2) When planting my seedlings in the garden, I toss about a half scoop of compost in the hole under the plant and mix it with the other organic fertilizers I apply and the regular garden soil. I figure all the microbial life in the compost will help break down the organic fertilizers faster.

3) I make compost tea every few weeks with a half scoop of compost in each 5 gallon bucket of water. To this I add bone meal, blood meal, and some organic potassium. I don't have an aerator, but I do stir the mixture several times each day to keep it aerated. After a few days I apply a few cups to each plant. Again, I'm trying to encourage the bacteria in the compost to start breaking down the fertilizer before I give it to the plant.

Mike

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 9:39AM
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tclynx

I often just sprinkle castings around the garden and in the container plants.

I've also started seeds in trays of worm castings though they do hold water really well and might stay too wet for some types of seeds.

I did once may aerated worm compost tea when a bucket of worm castings were left where ants got into them and handling them meant too many ant bites.

Simply putting a hand full of worm castings into the planting holes when transplanting is a great way to use them.

Here is a link that might be useful: TCLynx

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 4:28PM
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zaleon(Gauteng ZA)

Thank you for the answers. Down here, we are in the last month of winter, and with spring about to happen, the vermicompost will be like gold!!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 7:20AM
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hummersteve

One thing about VC is it is a water holding material so I rather use it between 20-30 % of the mix. I will use 1 part potting soil or peat , 1 part vermiculite and 1 part vermicompost. When I have it on hand I will use sifted composted manure, coco coir, verm. and VC. Dont expect to get overnight results from your vc. I usually will start seeing results after 3-4 weeks. What happens is each time you water you are leaching some of the rich ingrediants to the plant roots. Also Worm tea made from vc can be sprayed onto the leaves for quicker action and some protection from some insects.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2015 at 11:16AM
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hummersteve

Not sure what Mike is referring to didnt specify just said half a scoop of vc. In my mind that could be anywhere from 1/2 tbls to 1/2 yard of the stuff. I find this stuff quite precious so it would depend on the mix and type of soil its being added to. Also half a gallon to a 5gal bucket ? seems like a lot. To me if you have a good quality vc mix how much do you really need. That seems up for debate.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2015 at 7:10PM
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charlieboring

When I set out a plant, I mix about a cup or 2 cups of vermicompost in the soil directly around the plant. If I am planting seeds directly, I put about 2 inches of vermicompost in the furrow before putting in the seeds. For growing plants, I put about two cups around the plant like mulch.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2015 at 6:25AM
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nexev - Zone 8b

Precious resource as in scarcity is in the eye of the VC holder Steve. Consider the cubic yd of year and a half old VC Pete recently spread through his gardens and trees.

Precious in terms of what it contains yes.

I have read a few different experiments that did not appear to be done with any great controls but seem reasonable enough to believe. They found around 25% to be the sweet spot where going beyond that provided diminishing returns but still improved root and plant growth with increasing proportions. Of course this is going to be very much subject to what the other percentage consists of.

Figure though for a person of average soil quality that will grow but not produce spectacularly. Adding 25% to a garden for plant with roots in the top foot of soil would be one cubic foot per 4 square feet of garden. Thats a load of VC.

Now what about next year? Obviously the soil has improved with this addition but some of it has been washed away, taken up by plants or absorbed into the air and what of the bacterial life? Will they continue on in the soil absent of the freshly decomposing bedding they once were in and without their mass of worms or will fallow beds and winters cold pretty much reduce them to insignificant numbers?

So now looking into year two the how much VC to add becomes a new question. I think the answer for most is as much as you can get your hands on as it would just be terribly difficult to use too much and not likely to ever even get to 25% even for a small yard.

I am looking forward to starting to haul in horse manure and get started on some really big beds, as of now still yet to harvest any VC at all but that doesnt keep me from dreaming large :)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2015 at 7:27AM
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