VERMICOMPOST. HOW TO DO IT STEP BY STEP TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ITS BENEFITS
Vermicompost has become one of the most important elements in agriculture for decades. Vermicompost helps to keep the soil fertile to properly nourish the plants and shrubs in the area. To create this Vermicompost these specimens must do their job, and sometimes this practice goes unnoticed. Vermiculture intends to raise the most suitable worms to improve the productivity of the soil and therefore agriculture.
In this post we take care of collecting all the relevant information about worm castings and what you need to know to use it correctly.
If you are interested in the subject, continue reading, and discover how to do it step by step.
WHAT IS THE JOB OF WORMS IN VERMICOMPOST?
As we mentioned, worms have a fundamental role in agriculture, and this for decades. In fact, they are mentioned in historical documents of Cleopatra where the earthworm is sanctified as an animal of prosperity for crops.
All due to its natural characteristics, considerably helping the soil to have a better absorption capacity for minerals and water.
To answer the question in this section,
We will begin by knowing each step of the work of worms and how they help the soil to become more fertile.
THE IMPORTANCE OF WORMS IN VERMICOMPOST
They feed on the organic matter: This means that all the roots, animal remains, and even dead plants on the ground are eaten by worms. This also helps clean the ground and subsoil to improve the soil structure.
They return organic matter: Like all living things, when consuming food they must discard it and in this process, it provides organic matter to the soil.
That is, earthworms are capable of adding organic compounds such as urea to their excrement and at the same time fertilizing the soil with this.
It favors the balance of the subsoil: You may know that the subsoil has different layers, each of them with a specific function.
The worms also collaborate by maintaining this balance through channels or tunnels,
causing the clay and the soil to mix to improve the hydration.
Helps with aeration and fluid retention:
All soil needs air and water,
which is why the worms again with their channels help the earth to have both more easily.
Provides minerals to the soil: One of the most important characteristics is that the worm excrement contributes minerals to the soil such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
These minerals are responsible for providing better nutritional absorption to the plants. In themselves, these are the tasks that earthworms do on the earth to help us in our work as farmers. You see how necessary they are for this job and how they can help revive the soil for our plantations.
There are many types of worms that are used in Vermicompost,
Among them the most recommended by experts in the red earthworm or also known as the California earthworm.
CALIFORNIA EARTHWORMS IN VERMICOMPOST
This type of worms are the most used to make humus .
They are characterized by having a reddish color and more than 100 segments in the body in adulthood, with a length of up to 8 centimeters.
Californian earthworms contribute all the minerals that we mentioned to the soil and are exceptionally used in low-temperature fruit plantations.
The climate they need to reproduce is between 14º and 27º Celsius, so they avoid temperatures lower or higher than this average to procreate.
An important fact is that these worms can die almost immediately in direct contact with sunlight, so their offspring must be under specific care (mainly in the shade and indoors).
Until now, studies on these worms show that they are not capable of transmitting any disease, nor do they contract it. For this reason, it is guaranteed that the average life of each worm is 4 years.
VERMICOMPOST. A GOOD COMPOST FOR THE EARTH
Vermicompost should be the main compost for every skilled farmer. There are many reasons that we have already mentioned and that we will now detail. To answer the question What are worm castings? we must be very specific and brief. The answer would be “one of the best organic and natural fertilizers”.
For sure we can say that, if you are thinking of an orchard or fruit plantation, worm compost is the basis for feeding your soil.
Very good, but surely you are wondering how does worm castings work? We have already detailed all the work that this species performs to improve the planting ground.
In addition to this,
it is important to recognize the great nutritional value that worm castings contribute to the soil and how this process occurs for vermicompost.
HOW DOES WORM CASTINGS WORK FOR VERMICOMPOST?
The functions of this compost are associated with each experience of the farmer.
Its benefits allow its use not only for fruit plants, but you can also take advantage of it to plant lawns and even ferns. In some cases, the mixture of compost with some substrate is essential. However, worm compost has many minerals that make these mixes unnecessary. Depending on the gravity of the soil, you can make these mixtures and thus achieve much more powerful worm humus. You need to be careful when applying these mixtures, as they can sometimes burn roots and plants in general. To do this, you must measure the pH of the soil and thus have control of how much you can use or even, if necessary.
To recognize what type of substrates you need to mix with the worm compost,
it is necessary to know what type of plant you are going to feed and thus choose the best one.
WAYS TO USE THIS ORGANIC COMPOST (Vermicompost) TO IMPROVE YOUR GARDEN
We can apply the worm humus in various ways ,
but always depending on what we want to do in the garden.
To fertilize your garden with growing plants :
If you already have a plantation and you want to improve soil conditions,
you should apply approximately 1 kilo of worm castings on the surface for every square meter. In this way, you will help the soil to be nourished with the previously made mixture. Spread it over the entire surface and let the nutrients do the rest.
For the time of sowing with Vermicompost :
If you are going to start planting, it is best to apply the humus on the root ball or mound of earth where the plant will be. As a result, you ensure the future of the plant by nourishing yourself with all the minerals in this natural compost. The recommended amount is approximately 100 grams. This will produce the necessary nutrients for proper seed germination.
For fruit transplants :
In this case, it is advisable to administer at least 4 kilos of worm humus once the ground has been raked in the area to carry out the transplant. An excellent idea is to leave a space between several trees and take advantage of the humus by spreading it between them. The great advantage of providing nutrients with worm fertilizer to fruit trees is that it increases their flavor and also the size of the fruit in the future. In order to take advantage of each of these functions, it is necessary to recognize how the worms are doing the work.
To do this, we continue with the next section of this post and explain how these worms are.
HOW TO USE WORM CASTINGS STEP BY STEP
Now is the moment of truth and at the same time to discover how we use worm castings in our plantations or orchards .
Before explaining how to apply this compost, it is necessary to attend to some instructions to obtain the worm compost already finished in the process. Later you will see that to make the worm castings we need several perforated boxes with several drawers inside. These drawers are intended to allow the worms to go down to the second drawer and not be exposed to the sun. The worms hate the sun, so they will go down to get away from it and we will also make them survive for the next time. Leaving it for about 5 hours in full sun will be enough. We will see that there are a lot of organic matter, waste, and worms left in the humus, but nothing happens.
STEP-BY-STEP APPLICATION OF COMPOST
At first, you must sift the humus to separate all the material that has not decomposed and return it to the first box. With a sieve and some quick movements, we will leave the finished hummus in the container we have chosen. The top of the sieve will be returned to the worm bin to continue their work. You must drain the liquid compost that we will also use as a natural fertilizer. To continue with the use of humus, it will depend on what you need to plant. As we mentioned before, sometimes it is necessary to mix for a better result. On the other hand, if you want to add nutrients to existing plants in your garden, read on to discover how. The first thing to do will be to open a furrow around the plant being very careful not to damage the roots, all the earth that we are removing will be saved for later use. When we see the roots, it is time to apply the fertilizer around the plant (approximately 100 grams) and then fills in with the soil that you had previously removed.
HOW ARE THE WORMS AND THE VERMICULTURE PROCESS?
This is commonly asked questions . Where can I get the worms?
To get California worms it is necessary to contact agricultural stores and see that they are the red ones. Another way to get them is in fishing stores, where they are often used as bait for fish. Let’s go with the vermiculture process! The process is often called vermicomposting and this refers to the raising of worms to obtain the precious humus or worm compost. The operation of this brings with it a process that we will see below and you can also take advantage of two types of humus, solid and liquid.
Let’s see the process as steps to follow for the process of vermicomposting at home:
Step 1 : We must collect a box with thermal insulation. Also called worm compost.
Step 2 : We drill the compost bin with several holes and place a bottom without holes to retain the humus liquid (this also works as fertilizer)
Step 3: We place in the bottom of the vermicomposter the neck of a plastic bottle with its respective lid, this will help us to collect the liquid that will release the humus. With a little silicone or rubber, we cover to prevent the liquid from coming out of the container.
Step 4: We place some wooden blocks to make the feet of the vermicompost and thus prevent it from being on the ground. Subsequently, we place coconut fiber or peat previously moistened.
Step 5 : This step is based on creating the habitat of the worms, we place them in their new home and cover them with more soil.
The next thing you will do is place the organic matter from our kitchen or vegetable waste that will be the food of the worms.
Step 6 : It is important to bear in mind that the food of our worms is only organic and vegetable matter No rotten meat, cigarette butts, or fish scraps. Now that they have their food, we cover the box and pierce it.
We must place our compost in a shady place and away from the elements to promote growth. It is advisable to place plastic on top to prevent it from filling with water in the event of rain.
THE LIQUID WORM CASTINGS. WHAT CAN WE DO WITH IT?
The liquid worm humus can also be used to feed the soil ,
improve fruit production and regulate the Ph of an acid soil. In this way, we will take advantage of absolutely everything of the worm humus . Surely you are wondering where am I going to get this liquid humus? P ou can do this in two ways, let ‘s see what they are:
EXTRACT LIQUID HUMUS (FIRST METHOD)
- Uncover the drainage of your compost bin: After a week or two, you will have enough liquid stored to extract everything that is left in the bin.
- Mix with water: You should have a measure of approximately one part of liquid humus for every 9 parts of water. We do this to avoid burning the plants with the concentrate since it is very strong and what we want is to feed the soil.
With this method you can already put it in the soil of your plants!
EXTRACT LIQUID HUMUS (SECOND METHOD)
You may not have enough liquid hummus concentrate in the bottom of your vermicompost. In case this happens to you, let’s see how to make a worm humus tea with the following steps:
We place the worm humus in a flannel
We can use a pillowcase, a tied flannel or a piece of fabric. The important thing about this is to avoid spreading all the humus once we mix with water.
Mix with water
Put our worm cast tea in a container and fill it with water and leave it like that for a whole day,
being careful not to spill the solid from the makeshift filter then strain the liquid.
We can use a kitchen strainer or other fabric, to avoid any residue that is in the mixture.
We water the plants with humus
It is time to place the mixture already cast in a watering can and apply it to the bases of our silver.
This will give a lot of value in nutrients and improve water absorption to the plants.
This is how we can obtain liquid worm humus and have in our repertoire another essential fertilizer to improve the life of our gardens.
What did you think? If it is still not clear why you need this worm compost in your garden, read on.
In the next section, we will specify all the benefits that worm humus brings, so we will clarify all your doubts.
THE BENEFITS OF VERMICOMPOST. HOW ITS QUALITIES CAN HELP YOUR GARDEN.
Without a doubt, this compost is one of the most used for its extensive benefits. Without a doubt, it represents one of the best natural and organic fertilizers, even backed by science. It is important to recognize what all its properties are and how it acts in our garden. Stay and continue reading to know all the benefits you give to your plants!
Here are some benefits of worm castings: It is the number one fertilizer When we talk about compost or organic compost, worm castings are among the best.
Earthworm composting has been used for decades by farmers from multiple eras.
Protect your plants
In addition to providing nutrients to the soil, worm castings also protect plant roots against pathogens and bacteria. This is mainly because worm castings contain more than 20 billion microorganisms per gram. These little soldiers are responsible for avoiding any disease or fungus.
We get more tasty fruits
Its use makes the fruits larger and better tasting. Humus helps plants assimilate minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium, providing a higher sugar index to fruits. In addition, you can guarantee a longer life span of the fruits, since it slows down plant
Worm compost is a traditional compost
Vermiculture is not a trending technique, it has just become more popular in recent years. Farmers discovered the importance of worms through the manure pits, spaces where food waste was stored. These filled with worms and multiplied at high speed creating the humus.
It improves soil structure
Another great advantage is that it improves the structure of the soil. Through tunnels that transmit more air to the soils, they avoid the suffocation of the roots in very compact soils. With these tunnels, the worms transform the natural clay of the soil into sand, improving the passage of air.
Does not smell bad
Perhaps one of the best benefits. When we talk about fertilizers that particular smell of manure comes to mind. The worms by their own digestive processes assimilate all the nutrients and discard the humus that has a particular smell of wet earth. By its own natural processes, humus will not cause any rot or decay of any kind. Thanks to this we can say goodbye forever to the bad smells in our garden.
It is 100% ecological for vermicompost
Not only is it an organic process, but we also avoid disposing of our garbage and use all kitchen waste as food for the worms. Californian worms are usually very voracious and in this way, we can maintain our vermicomposters achieving a totally ecological process.
Does not burn plants
Many chemical substrates and fertilizers tend to burn plants over time.
In the case of earthworm humus, as long as its incorporation into the soil is controlled, there is no danger for the plants.
Remember that liquid humus is usually a very strong concentrate,
it is necessary to mix it with water to avoid burning the plants with irrigation.
Helps in the transplant process
When you want to include a plant in your garden or perform a transplant,
fertilizing the soil with a little humus helps the plant to take root faster. In addition, the roots will have a greater fixation in the ground and will be stronger. You can already see that the benefits of worm castings far outweigh other fertilizers and artificial substrates. In addition to being an organic and ecological fertilizer, it brings with it all these properties.
HOW MUCH DOES THIS PRECIOUS COMPOST COST?
For people who want results in their gardens for the shortest possible time, there is always the option of buying vermicompost in agricultural stores.
Remember that it is necessary to have knowledge about the brands and the amount of these. Each brand offers different types of presentations, the most common being 5 kilos.
The cost of each 5 kg bag of hummus can vary between € 2 and € 5, everything will always depend on the brand and the quality they offer.
In the case of being homemade worm humus, you must be careful not to buy mixtures with substrates that in the end do not enjoy the same properties.
It is also important that you take into account the type of worm with which they made the vermicomposting.
As we mentioned, the best option will always be the Californian red worms,
thus guaranteeing a safe purchase of your compost and all the benefits you need for your garden.
CONCLUSION ON WORM CASTINGS
Well, we have already compiled largely everything related to worm castings,
from its main functions, its preparation to its benefits and costs.
Each of the characteristics of this wonderful red worm compost helps your garden and its soil to have exceptional health to improve the production of your crops.
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