Black Gold from your Wormery

If you have owned a wormery for any length of time, and have diligently been feeding it your food waste, you may be wondering what to do with the vermicompost building up in your container.

Vermicompost, (worm castings or worm poo) is what is left behind when the worms have 'processed' all the waste food and their bedding, in a wormery.

Microbiological magic in the garden

It is pure magic in the garden and a little of it goes a long way. Teeming with beneficial micro-organisms- including bacteria, yeasts, and fungi, vermicompost is of particular benefit in urban or container gardens. These gardens have often been watered with domestic (chlorinated) water and have been subject to the over-use of chemicals which may have rendered rendered the topsoil near-sterile.

These microorganisms not only ensure soil is healthy, they promote plant health. Roses fed with vermicompost for example, grow stronger and are less prone to fungal diseases or aphid infestation. Potting soil made with one quarter vermicompost not only results in faster, stronger seedling growth, it significantly reduces the problem of 'damping off'.

Free Organic Compost

As an organic fertiliser or soil conditioner, vermicompost is hard to beat. The nutrients in vermicompost are at the ideal ratios for plant roots. After all, plants have had millions of years to adapt to growing in topsoil mixed with worm castings. And the nutrients are in a stable form, remaining in the soil long after chemical fertilisers have been washed away.

Compost tea

A valuable compost tea (or worm tea) can be made by steeping some fresh vermicompost in a barrel of water and stirring regularly to aerate. Within a day the water will be full of useful organisms and may be diluted and sprayed on the soil or on the foliage of plants. A more powerful version of worm tea is made by adding an aeration stone with air pump to the liquid while it is fermenting, and adding a number of nutrients to feed the beneficial organisms and make them reproduce faster, and convert the added nutrients (eg molasses, fish meal, seaweed concentrate) into an even more usable food for plants. Worm tea can help protect plants from a number of diseases and pests

Convert Waste into Organic fertiliser and Grow New Plants from Waste.

For gardeners who want to grow a large amount of plants in a small area, vermicompost and compost teas saves on fertiliser bills. It is also ideal for organic gardeners as vermicompost is considered an organic product as is worm tea if all the additives are organic.

And what could be more satisfying or sustainable than growing this years vegetables in last years waste?

Vermicompost Makes Plants Stronger and Healthier

Healthy Plants Grown with Vermicompost
Credit: c.daly