Nature’s master composters, red wriggler worms excrete a highly nitrous fertilizer called castings, the highest quality compost in percentage of nutrients and micro-organisms. Red Wriggler Worm castings enrich the soil by providing the best nutrients for water retention, air flow, and minerals to enrich the garden soil and grow extra healthy organic fruits and veggies. Worm castings are packed with bacteria, enzymes, and minerals that are essential for plant growth and are immediately available to the plant. The humus in the castings extracts toxins and harmful bacteria and fungi from the soil to fight off plant diseases, as well as stimulating plant growth and the development of microorganisms in the soil. Worm castings allow plants to grow while acting as a barrier in the soil to heavy metals and extreme pH levels. This fertilizer increases the ability of the soil to retain water, reduces the acid forming carbon, and increases nitrogen levels without burning the plants. Use it freely to germinate seeds, as a soil conditioner, and as a fertilizer in the garden, for house plants, container plants, raised bed gardens, and for all types of plants and trees.
Gardeners can raise earthworms by building worm boxes or buying an earthworm bin at the local garden center. The bin should have air holes in the lid and holes in the bottom through which water can drain into a tray underneath. Place a bedding of coconut coir in the bin and add organic vegetable kitchen scraps, coffee grinds, egg shells, shredded cardboard and dried leaves. Spray the bedding with water to make it moist. Place the bin in a shady protected spot, like against the house foundation or in the garage. Bury kitchen scraps in the top layer every few days, keeping the bin moist. Do not feed the worms citrus, tomatoes, meat, or herbs. Worm bins smell like rich soil. About six months after starting a new worm bin, gardeners can harvest the compost and place fresh bedding for the earthworms. Check every three months to harvest more castings. Worm castings reinforce the base biology in the soil. Add castings when planting new crops and as a top dressing every 1 – 3 months.
When Michael Whitman and Brian Spangle from Organic Solutions Worm Farm came to speak at the Organic Garden Club of Ventura County’s meeting in November, they brought a worm bin, bedding, food, and red wriggler worms for one lucky member to win. That week, we visited their worm farm and discovered that earthworms like to travel out of their bins. The bins also like to travel as first Lynne Haavaldsen won the bin, but as she already had two, she gave it to me. My patio Garden Tower has a worm cylinder in the center; so I put the bedding, food, and red wriggler worms from Organic Solutions Worm Farm inside and fed them garden greens. I gave Lori Cameron the worm bin as she had red wriggler worms in a make shift container and needed a bin. Now Lori’s worms are very happy in their new bin and are busy making “the champagne of soil amendments”.