Vermiculture is the term used for the raising of earthworms in a controlled environment and Vermicompost is partly broken down organic waste produced by earthworms in compost bins, while the castings are the worm manure. The worm leachate is the liquid that is collected from the composting bins or by mixing some Vermigro with water and this is a great plant fertilizer.
Earthworms are nature’s most amazing recyclers. Earthworms help in maintaining soil fertility by increasing the breakdown of organic waste and producing mineral-rich castings.
The earthworms most suited to compost bins are Red Wrigglers (Eisenia Foetida) 6 – 10cm long, red on top and paler underneath. They have a voracious appetite and can eat as much as half of their weight in a day and a worm population can doubles within 5 – 7 weeks. Worms will digest almost 90% of organic materials. Earthworm digestive tracts remove disease-causing pathogens from the food they have consumed.
Using earthworm compost increases soil workability, water holding capacity, porosity and drainage. Soil temperatures are moderated, making plants less susceptible to extremes of heat or cold. Compost nutrients are released slowly, and made available to the plant. Compost creates enhances microbial action in the soil.
- Place in the hole before transplanting seedlings.
- Mix 1 part Vermigro organic compost: 4 parts soil (potting soil/seedling mix, etc.)
- Mulch around the base of plants.