Saturday, December 15, 2012

Worm Poop

Here's the poop (and nothing but the poop!)
Chances are, if you are reading this post, that I have just given you a jar of worm poop harvested from my worm farm and that you have followed the web address on the jar label. I didn't have room to fit all the fascinating details onto the side of the jar, so I have directed you here (hopefully, if it's very far into the future, you decided to click on the "worms" tag...)

Worm Poop (aka "Worm Castings" or "Black Gold" or "vermicompost") is a very powerful plant fertilizer that is also wonderfully gentle. One tablespoon full will feed a houseplant for a couple of months, but you can also safely plant seeds in it. Party bonus: Worm Poop is completely clean and nontoxic!

Here are ways you can use your Black Gold:

1. House Plants

Sprinkle a couple spoonfuls of worm poop into the top layer of the soil of a potted plant. Remember that castings are very potent, so you don't need to overdo it. You can also mix in a little bit when you transplant. Note: this stuff is very dry so it will repel water at first. If you add a little water to the jar and let it soak, or work it into moist soil, it will soon be damp again.

2. General Garden Fertilizer
(and check out the photo of Alice circa 1999 looking at wormies with her Papa...)

When planting annuals or perennials place a small handful of castings into each hole or you can sprinkle worm castings on top of garden soil.

If you are starting plants from seed, add a small amount of worm castings in the bottom part of the soil. Once you transplant the seedlings place a small handful of vermicompost in each hole. This works for all types of plants!

3. Making Compost Tea

This is a good way to extend your worm poop farther. Add two tablespoons of castings to one quart of water and allow it to steep for a day, mixing it occasionally. The tea should be a light amber color when it is ready to use. If it is darker than that simply dilute with water. IMPORTANT: Water your plants with this "tea" on the same day you make it.

Finally, here's a video to help you get acquainted with a few of my worms. If real, live, squirming, slimy, wiggly worms make you feel all oogie then you might want to skip it. But if you have heard me speak lovingly of them and would like to meet them, have at it!