Worm Castings Uses
Organic Vermicompost for Flowers, Vegetables, Trees and "Trees"
Worm Castings grow plants 126% larger than chemical fertilizers!
Vermicompost is superior fertilizer. Cornell researchers agree that treating your plants with local, organic worm castings will raise larger, healthier plants with less environmental impact. The same study has also shown that beneficial microbes in vermicompost can colonize a seed's surface and protect it from infection. Increase your success rate with your plants by mixing 1/3 volume of worm castings in with your potting soil.
One article on the beneficial properties of worm castings quotes a Napa Valley wine grower who has used vermicompost on his vines for over a decade. "A cup or a half-cup in the hole we plant each vine increases the vine's ability to establish itself at a much faster pace and it creates a healthier plant."
Uses for worm castings fertilizer are being discovered all across the planet. Some of the more popular uses of vermicompost are:
Worm Castings for Flower Gardens
Worm castings used for flower gardens provide high levels of soil-boosting nutrients to produce hardy, fast-growing flowers. Roots develop much more strongly, reaching deeper into the ground and assuring robust plants throughout any spring or summer environment. Plants are hardier, and transplanting is more consistently successful.
Flowers respond well to worm castings fertilizer because it delivers the essential nutrients plants need, along with plant growth hormones, in an easily absorbed, time-release manner. The nutrients in worm castings are readily available, and work synergistically with your existing soil to make the mineral reserves within your soil available when you plant need them. Worm castings also improve the ability of the soil to retain more water and help flowers resist root disease.
- Delivers essential nutrients and plant growth hormones
- Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are easily absorbed
- Helps soil retain water
- Improves flowers’ resistance to pests and disease
Vermicompost for Vegetable Gardens
Our worm castings grow tasty vegetables in the garden. Besides being loaded with nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, worm castings also have the calcium, carbon, iron, manganese, copper, zinc and cobalt plants need. All of these nutrients and trace minerals are readily available to the plant through its root structure.
Another great benefit of worm castings: no matter how much you put around your plants, it won’t burn them like chemical fertilizers can. Worm castings are completely non-toxic and entirely safe for the planet and its occupants. Because the nutrients are released over time, an application of worm castings typically lasts about 2 months. Best of all, it’s not uncommon to see yields increase by as much as 25%. Vegetables love worm castings!
- Won’t burn plants no matter how much you apply
- Completely non-toxic, no special handling needed
- One application feeds plants for 2 months
- Increases vegetable yields as much as 25%
Vermicast for Marijuana Cultivation
Dirt Dynasty’s worm castings for marijuana plants have been proven to be beneficial. Growers of both medical and recreational marijuana have found organic vermicompost to be the best solution for maximizing production and quality of their crops.
The best results appear to come from combining worm castings with compost. This is a conservative way to maximize the crop without risk of favoring too much or too little of one particular nutrient. Worm castings and compost work exceptionally well together.
- Increases size and potency of harvest
- Will not burn plants even if grown directly in castings
- Easily made into a “tea” for more readily absorbed fertilization
- One application feeds plant for 2 months
Worm Castings for Orchards and Trees
Vermicast fertilizer for tree cultivation is safer and easier to use than commercial NPK fertilizer. Many orchards put worm castings or vermicompost under fruit trees to stimulate growth. Our nutrient-rich worm castings help build up micronutrients in the soil, while holding down harmful microbes.
Generally, fruit growers try not to put the worm castings fertilizer too close to the tree trunk, as there is concern the added moisture they retain in the soil may cause the tree to begin rotting at the trunk. Within this one caution, the use of Dirt Dynasty worm castings fertilizer is sure to produce healthier trees, larger yields and larger fruit. Inquire about our affordably priced bulk shipments.
- Easy-to-apply full spectrum fertilizer – no special handling needed
- Produces healthier trees, larger yields and bigger fruit
- Helps soil retain moisture
- Builds up micronutrients in the soil
For Aquarium Use:
Commercial and synthetic substrate is expensive and can be harmful to your plants, fish, and other aquarium inhabitants. The use of 100% natural worm castings requires some prep-work but offers lush, healthy plant growth. This method is dubbed the ‘Vladimir Simoes’ method, for the pioneer who developed and tested it.
1. Obtain Dirt Dynasty worm castings to ensure they are pure and authentic.
2. Rinse castings in a large bucket of water, eliminating all that floats. (This excess can be saved to fertilize your garden or houseplants.)
3. Boil 10-15 minutes, make sure there is plenty of water so the castings don’t dry out.
4. Allow the casting mix to cool, rinse again, and one more time, eliminate floating debris.
5. After thorough rinsing, the water should become relatively clear.
6. Drain the bucket and place the castings in shallow pans under the sun, allowing them to dry.
7. Store in Ziploc bags for future use.
Earthworm castings should be used in moderation, and do not need to be completely dry for aquarium use. Dilute the castings with washed sand in a 50/50 ratio. Use the mixture as a first, bottom-most layer of your substrate. If you plan on the substrate to be deep, you can use it in the middle layer as well. Cover with an inert layer of gravel or rocks.
Do not pull plants from the substrate, cut them instead.
Worm castings are biologically and chemically different from compost or soil due to large percentages of humus generated by the worms. The humus is a very beneficial component of planting soil because it helps the soil hold more water, stay aerated, and provides a binding site for micronutrients that would otherwise wash out of the soil during heavy rains. The castings are also full of nutrients like cytokinins (promotes cell division in plants), auxins (promotes cell elongation), and increased levels of micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Castings also host a much higher level of microorganism activity than plain soil – as much as twenty times more. Studies have shown these levels contribute to much bigger blueberries and blueberry bushes, as well as higher fruit yields compared to those treated with cow manure or chemical fertilizer.
For Bonsai Trees:
Bonsai experts will tell you that there are no “indoor trees”, only certain species that can survive indoors. Sunshine and fresh air are crucial for survival, so make sure your tiny tree gets enough time outdoors and lives in a sunny but not too hot window. Their small statures mean small pots, and these require regular watering. Trees crave damp soil (but never too soaked) and can benefit quite a bit from some extra nutrients. A recent study of vermicompost tea used on bonsai trees showed increased plant production, total carotenoids, and total glucosinolates in plant tissue. Vermicompost tea improved mineral nutrient status of plants and soil while enhancing the biological activity of the soil. Vermicompost tea can positively influence the growth and quality of your bonsai. Learn how to make worm tea and watch your hobby flourish.
Earthworm castings are the best fertilizer for growing cannabis because worms live naturally in the soil and produce the things soil need to make it healthy and nutritious. Worms specifically eat dying plants and other soil matter and turn it into useful material. It is the most organic of all fertilizers. Keep in mind for use: worm castings are time-released, meaning it takes time for them to break down in the soil – typically about a week.
See how organic vermicast helps cannabis grow.
For Citrus Trees:
Depending on where you live in the world, cultivating citrus trees can be a difficult task. Weak sunshine and short growing seasons will definitely prolong fruit harvests in certain areas, but success will come through perseverance and proper care. No matter where you are, unfortunately you will probably experience pest problems. Citrus plants can be a favorite for certain unwanted bugs, but you don’t want to use harmful or toxic pesticides, because ideally you want to eat the fruits of your labor! An earth-friendly, natural, non-toxic alternative to pesticides is to add a 20% mixture of worm castings to your plant’s top soil. Worm castings are a natural pest defense, and offer a balanced mix of nutrients to allow your citrus plant to thrive. Try Wisconsin’s best vermicompost, you’ll be amazed how easy and effective it is. More good news, worm castings also suppress plant disease!
While worm castings don’t add a significant amount of nutrients into the soil, they do substantially increase the microbial activity in your soil. This is a good thing for your garden because this activity stimulates plant growth at a rapid rate. Home garden experiments have shown that a 20% worm castings to 80% soil/compost mix yields the greatest germination rate. Also see our take on worm castings vs. compost!
For Compost Tea
Using worm castings for compost tea sounds gross, doesn’t it? Well, it shouldn’t, because compost tea is for the plants to drink, not you (sheesh, talk about self-centered!). Learn how to make worm castings tea yourself, as well as how to apply the mixture properly. Know how refreshing a cold drink feels on the most sweltering of hot summer days? Well, this is the same principle but for your grass. The stunning results will leave you breathless…and might even make your lawn start talking just to say “thank you!”
Worm castings are an excellent organic, green fertilizer. Completely chemical and pesticide-free, this is fertilizer the way nature intended. Mixing some worm castings into your soil is a great way to repel insects like white flies, aphids, and spider mites. Worm castings hold moisture well so you are less likely to waterlog your plant’s roots and cause root rot. Worm castings are odorless, fragrance-free and an excellent source of calcium, nitrogen, phosphates, magnesium, and potash. "Hey, get me some more of that pesticide-ridden chemical fertilizer!" - said no one ever. Read more in our bit about Worm Castings vs. Chemical Fertilizers.
Worm castings are an organic solution to aide flowering plants do what they were meant to do. The effect that castings have upon flowers can be huge: showy blooms, increased plant vigor, and insect and disease resistance. Making an aerated worm tea to spray onto your plants during the first four weeks of flowering is also a good idea, depending on your plant species.
See how organic fertilizer grows flowers and shrubs.
For Flowering Cannabis:
A worm casting mixture or tea is the easiest way to maintain appropriate nutrient levels throughout the vegetative and flowering cycles. You can make tea by combining castings and water. Growers have seen astonishing results using compost teas to inoculate their soils with vast amounts of beneficial microorganisms. Tea is perfect for foliar feeding as the microorganisms will live on the leaves and surfaces of your plant and actively defend against disease.
For Fruit Trees
A yard full of flowering fruit trees in the spring time is a fragrant symphony of blooming color. The promise of these beautiful buds becoming delicious fruit makes cultivating your own orchard irresistible. The most important thing to consider is pollination. If you want your trees to bear fruit, do not spray them with any insecticides or other toxic chemicals. They may keep pests away, but they also kill off and deter the important bees and butterflies that pollinate the flowers. What can you do to deter the pests? Make an aerated worm castings tea to spray over the leaves and soil. This organic solution not only allows the healthy insects to do their crucial part while keeping away the unwanted bugs, studies have shown worm castings increase plant growth by over 126% when compared to chemical fertilizers.
For Fungal Control
Initially, it might not cross one’s mind to use worm castings as a form of treatment for reducing unwanted fungi. Factual studies continue to show this idea actually works. Biologically, there are literally thousands of unique organisms within worm castings. Spreading the right layer of organic earthworm castings around the tree can reduce the toxic fungicide ratio. In other words, greater fungal control truly does begin with a healthy dose of organic vermicompost.
Worm castings are important to the home gardener as they are biologically safe, organic, contain no pathogens and are a far-superior alternative to chemical fertilizers. They can also increase your garden’s yield by 25%. Most importantly, worm castings supply enzymes necessary to sustain healthy gardens. A plant, like an animal, needs enzymes to prosper. Worm castings have been shown to promote plant growth by 126% more than Miracle-Gro-like fertilizers. Best of all, it’s a completely natural by-product made by earthworms whom Aristotle called, “the intestines of the world.”
If you are trying to grow grapes for wine production, worm castings are the perfect fertilizer for the few times a year you want to supplement growth. Wine grapes can infamously grow in lousy soil but now that people are more focused on vineyard cultivation rather than using only the best farmland for food production, the terroir diversity is changing rapidly. Worm castings are perfect for wine-making because you won’t ever taste fertilizers or chemicals in your prized vintages, just pure, grape-y goodness.
Depending on the grass species, lawns typically build up a thatch layer composed of decaying stems and foliage that quickly becomes a barrier to water and air necessary for a healthy lawn. Worm castings spread over your lawn’s surface will filter between the grass blades and become instant turf compost. Unlike synthetic fertilizers, worm castings are organic and natural and won’t burn sensitive plants and roots.
For Growing Weed
Worm castings are the ideal fertilizer for growing marijuana; in fact, it doesn’t get any more “homegrown”. Some growers find success with bat guano, which can be effective, but the guano is often shipped from another continent. Dirt Dynasty offers worm castings made just outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin on their very own worm farm. Castings are good ol’ fashioned worm poop, sifted from the finest-quality compost. They are a natural pest-repellent, with no harsh chemicals or burning enzymes. Pest-resistance is not the only benefit for your plants. Worm castings contain millions of good bacteria that enable ammonium in the soil to be turned into nitrogen, a big boost for your plants. It also helps plants resist disease and studies have shown plant growth increased by as much as 126% when compared to chemical fertilizers. Completely organic, the way nature made it.
For Hermit Crabs
In the wild, hermit crabs have an eclectic diet. They try to eat whatever they happen to stumble upon, whether that may be a coconut, mango, or bit of animal waste. Hermit crabs are bottom-feeders, and they do us the favor of cleaning up around the beach here and there. As your pet, treat them to organic worm castings. The dirt-like material that earthworms leave behind are a favorite for hermit crabs, and it is very good for them. High in nutrients and beneficial microbes, worm castings are full of zinc, sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, which is important for a strong exoskeleton. Treat your little crab to a beneficial snack.
Are your houseplants wilting despite your best efforts? Worm castings are the organic, easy solution when your indoor garden is looking lackluster. Traditional fertilizers contain the ingredients you associate with plant health, like nitrogen, but they don’t have some of the essentials your plants need to thrive. Plants require a balanced range of nutrients and bacteria to maintain vigor. In nature, these are delivered through the action of fungi, microbes, worms, and other insects that generate soil minerals into plant food. When your plant is in a pot, eventually the soil becomes depleted of these essentials. Re-potting your plant with a 25%-50% worm casting soil mix will give your plant the boost it needs to thrive for months.
A hydroponic system is an efficient way to grow crops quickly in a small space with less influence from pests and disease. Substitute diluted worm castings, also known as “worm tea” for chemical fertilizers in your liquid solution. Experienced growers have reported faster growth, healthier plants, and better tasting crops due to the purely organic nature of the castings. Synthetic fertilizers are expensive and made in laboratories. Worm castings are produced by friendly little earthworms under our feet as they aerate the soil, leaving nutrient-rich, dense, organic fertilizer in their wake. Take advantage of what experienced farmers and gardeners have known for years: Mother Nature has the best solution already.
For Indoor Plants
Useful in all plant applications, worm castings can be added to potting soil in new and existing houseplants. You can mix the worm castings into the potting soil or simply scatter the castings on top of the soil bed. Every time you water, the nutrients soak down into the roots and soil and will provide benefits to your plant for 2 to 3 months. When starting seeds indoors, mix 1-part castings with 3-parts soil or seed starting mix. The size and growth rate of seedlings and transplants will be noticeably improved.
Earthworms are an integral part of a healthy lawn. They tunnel through, consuming the soil, digesting the dirt, dead leaves, and humus, excreting the remaining soil. The castings tend to deposit on top of the soil, looking like teeny-tiny mole holes, but these are fantastic for aerating your lawn and if left alone, will result in a lush, green turf. Worm castings are supremely rich in nutrients and valuable to lawn grasses and plants in general.
For Lawn Fertilizer
Worm tea is a product that can be directly applied on your lawn without having to worry about burning it, unlike chemical fertilizers which have to be carefully measured. It is a completely organic solution that is readily absorbed by the grass roots and sod. As an organic fertilizer in liquid form, plants and grasses are able to quickly absorb the provided nutrients. Worm tea can help protect your root systems from potential plant diseases. Spraying your lawn twice a week during the spring time will yield desirable results.
There’s nothing religious about mulch per se, although it has commonly been referred to as a miracle cure with plenty of evidential reason. Using worm castings for mulch is a practical solution to reducing diseases and pests which could be killing your plants and trees. Mixing some organic vermicompost with your mulch eliminates decay and waste, since these are two things worms like to eat up, meaning your plants won’t absorb them instead. Go ahead, re-read that last sentence. Yes, mind blown!
See how to use worm castings with mulch.
A 2008 University of Guelph study partially substituted worm castings for peat moss as a substrate in mushroom production and saw a 20% increase in fungal growth. Data taken from the study also suggests worm castings may enable the mushrooms to remain on the growing shelf longer, providing better opportunity for staggered harvesting. Growers cultivating mushrooms at home have been delighted to discover that one can actually grow mushrooms on top of a functioning vermicomposting system. Add the spores of your choice and watch them pop up faster than you can harvest them. Do not let them take over completely, however, as your worms need oxygen to survive.
Worm castings are perfectly holistic, organic soil fertilizer. They are very high in nitrogen, yet the additional nutrients are balanced and therefore much better for your plants than synthetic fertilizer. Compared with untreated soil, when worm castings are added, soil has ten times more potash, five time more nitrogen, seven times more phosphate, fifteen times more calcium and four-and-a-half times more magnesium. It is not just how high the nutrient levels are, but how they balance and work together to support the plant’s vitality. Commercial fertilizers can appear to give the desired effect because they are very high in nitrogen, but the levels are too high. The high levels upset the chemical balance of the natural soil and biota which protect the plant so that it becomes dependent on the chemical fertilizer to grow. Save yourself time and money by using worm castings for a nitrogen supplement instead.
Orchids need very little fertilizer. Too much will hurt more than it will help. Orchids require a balanced, heavily-diluted solution of one teaspoon per one gallon of water. Worm tea is a favorite of orchid growers. It is perfectly balanced and loaded with natural microbes that are symbiotic with the plants. Worm tea has far more significant benefits for orchids than synthetic fertilizers. Growers have enjoyed a 30% increase in water retention in the roots. Vanda roots do not dry as fast when watered with worm tea. Miniature orchid growth is noticeably stronger as well. The biggest bonus is that it is an organic, natural insecticide without the harmful effects of chemicals.
For Pest Control
North Carolina University has recently studied the attributes of worm castings as completely natural, chemical-free pest control. Worm castings have a natural resistance to insect infestation because earthworms produce an enzyme called Chitinase. Chitinase degrades Chitin, the element that comprises the exoskeleton of most insects. If a pest feeds on the leaves of a plant treated with worm castings, its exoskeleton will begin to dissolve and it will soon perish. Chitinase is especially effective against aphids, thrips, whiteflies, mealybugs and mites. At the same time, worm castings are completely harmless to animals, including pets and children. The Chitinase is only effective against insects. If you have a problem with Fire Ants, spray some worm tea over the hill and watch your problem disappear.
There are plenty of reasons you should use worm castings for plants. Indoor plants, outdoor plants, flowers, trees, lawns…organic vermicompost is a plant superfood. Who would have thought that worm poop would aerate soil with such phenomenal results? Even if you aren’t convinced, we encourage you to just try a little gardening by picking up a 20-lb bag. When you’re impressed – and you will be – Dirt Dynasty is still going to be right here, ready to provide you with more.
Aside from water and sunlight, nothing is more natural for your pot plants than earthworm castings. Earthworms live in natural harmony with the soil (just as they have loooooong before humans were around). After swallowing soil and organic matter as the worms push through the soil, they produce a rich substance known as vermicompost, aka worm castings. These castings are chock full of nutrients that will stimulate plant growth without burning them.
For Pot Plants
The best soil grows the best medicine. By choosing an organic soil that is rich in microorganisms, it is possible to take some of the work out of growing medical cannabis. Worm castings are naturally full of every nutrient needed by your cannabis plants. They already have an appropriately balanced pH level and pore space for superb uptake and drainage. Try it once and you will never go back.
If your business depends on plant production, you are losing money if you don’t already include worm castings in your cultivation methods. Several top university studies have proven that plants grow an average of 126% better when treated with worm castings compared to chemical fertilizers. If you want to double your profit potential, read on about how to make worm tea, along with the benefits of using vermicompost.
Worm castings act as an organic systemic pesticide and fertilizer. Rose gardeners testify that applying castings to the soil of their plants and watering it in properly eliminates rose slugs and white flies, as well as prevents rust, blackspot, and mildew. Apply every few weeks or if you see pests or disease return after a period of time. Worm castings work wonders for the health of your plants.
For Seed Starting
A recent Cornell study on worm compost has shown that worm castings are vital in preventing plant disease, particularly damping off in starting seedlings. The study concluded that beneficial microbes in vermicompost can colonize a seed’s surface and protect it from infection by releasing a substance that interferes with the chemical signaling between the host and the pathogen. This is particularly true regarding Pythium aphanidermatum, the pesky microorganism responsible for damping off.
Worm castings significantly improve the soil structure in your lawn and garden. By mixing castings in with your soil, you increase drought resistance, plant minerals, trace minerals, and growth enhancers. Incorporating castings into the soil significantly increases microbial life in the root zone, essential for stimulating growth. Worm castings stimulate plant growth more than any other natural product. Castings also remove toxins, harmful fungi, and bacteria from the soil and replace them with good bacteria and microbes instead.
Treat your precious plants to tea time. Fresh earthworm castings contain more organic beneficial elements like nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium than occurs naturally in any soil. Worm castings and the resulting tea also wards off root-knot nematodes that cause root deformities and sap nutrients. Worm tea is simple to make and provides visible, lasting results.
For the Garden
Earthworms should be thought of as nature’s plow. The worm eats his way through dense earth, loosening and aerating the soil. This action allows better hydration and enables nutrients to better penetrate the soil. The product they leave behind, also known as castings or vermicompost, has countless benefits for your garden as a nutritive substance and pesticide. Try it for yourself and compare with past harvests.
For Tomato Plants
Your tomato plants will benefit tremendously from a weekly dose of worm tea. This solution is simple to make and has been proven through several prestigious university studies to offer superior organic fertilization, reduce pests, and prevent disease. Tomato plants are particularly susceptible to blight and other diseases, but also absorb soil components and its flavors more than many other plants. A completely organic solution is essential so that we do not eat harmful chemicals with our delicious tomatoes.
To achieve greater results when growing tomatoes, use worm castings and worm tea to improve the productivity and fertility of the soil. Twice a month, douse with freshly brewed worm tea or scatter about a handful of worm castings around the base of your tomato plant. The roots and leaves will soak up this magic solution, producing higher, tastier yields.
If you are planting, cultivating, or growing shrubs, fruits, nuts, or any other kind of trees, worm castings are your new best friend. For established trees, here is a formula: for every 1” diameter of your tree trunk, apply two cups of worm castings to the base of the tree. Top from the trunk to the drip line, then cover with mulch or compost and water.
See how vermicompost helps trees.
For Vegetable Garden
Prepare your soil for the next growing season by adding a hefty dose of vermicompost to your soil as you turn it. Cover your garden space with 2-3” of vermicompost and fold it in as you normally would. When spring comes, add a bit to your seed starting mix and watch your babies grow! Once your vegetable garden has been planted and established come spring, treat your plants to a dose of worm tea every couple of weeks.
See worm casting fertilizer for vegetables.
Worm castings have been proven in several university studies to outperform commercial and chemical fertilizers 2:1. Vermicompost is particularly effective for cultivating marijuana because it is completely organic, naturally occurring, and cannot harm your plants. Even if you use way too much, you will not burn or damage your plants, you will only waste castings, and may experience less growth because plants ideally like a 33% mixture (no more, no less).
For Whitefly Control
Worm castings are great for the soil and preventing whitefly infestations. Earthworms produce an enzyme called Chitinase, which degrades the exoskeleton of most insects. If a pest feeds on plants exposed to Chitinase, the exoskeleton will begin to dissolve and it will soon perish. Smart pests move on quickly. A healthy dose of worm tea or vermicompost is an all-natural pesticide solution that doubles as the best organic fertilizer known to man.