Why Earthworms ARE Good for Your GardenBack to Diaries
It’s awful when your dog has worms. It’s frustrating when the fish end up with all your worms. But it’s downright wonderful when your garden has worms!
No doubt about it! If your garden is crawling with worms, your pods will be crawling with peas, your plants will be crawling with green beans and your vines will be crawling with tomatoes. And not just any kind of tomatoes. We’re talking tomatoes which actually taste like tomatoes – not the plastic ones in your daughter’s toy kitchen.
What you want is to get a whole bunch of worms in on the ground floor. Actually, below the ground floor.
Vermicast is MORE than Just a Fancy Word for Manure
The easiest way to do it is to use vermicast. There’s no elegant way to describe it. Vermicast is worm castings, worm humus or worm manure. Worm poop, that is. When this organic matter breaks down, it’s got less contaminants and more nutrients than almost anything. As you would imagine, worm castings are all-natural. Come to think of it, how could worm poop not be “all natural”!
No chemicals. No additives. No petroleum-based drudge left over from the last major oil spill. We’re talking Mother Nature’s finest here! (Actually, she needs to…well, we’ll discuss it later!).
What your garden gets is power-packed organic fertilizer, a fantastic natural fertilizer for vegetables. When plant doctors get together, they call worm manure a form of NPK fertilizer (three little letters, LOTS of big benefits).
Worm Poop Requires Careful Chemical Analysis?
”N” stands for nitrogen. Here’s what your garden dirt needs more of to develop strong leaves and stems. Adding nitrogen always gets things to grow faster. Ever notice how your lawn turns greener after a thunder storm? That’s due to all of the nitrogen from the rain! Likewise, worm droppings are like a lightning strike in your garden – perfect for leafy vegetables. It’s wonderful when leaves grow nicely since they’re what we eat with cabbage, lettuce, Swiss chard, and kale.
Then there’s “P.” Now we’re talking phosphorus. Even if you’re a home gardener or small farmer, you might also be interested in some nice fruit or flowers. Phosphorous form worm casting fertilizer is just the thing to help roots grow more quickly and deeply into the soil. No gardener wants lots of stems and leaves, but no fruit. Ever have it happen in your pumpkin patch? A bunch of green but no orange? Think phosphorous, young man! Think phosphorous!
Finally, the letter “K” is for potassium. With its heavy dose of potassium, worm castings fertilizer promotes healthy root systems and disease-resistance. It also joins with the phosphorus to develop bigger and tastier fruit – and more of it. If you need proof, just watch how much better your carrots and turnips grow. You’ll have to put up a six foot fence to keep the rabbits from jumping over!
Even better is this: putting down chemical-free fertilizer like worm castings softens and enables the soil to retain more moisture, attracting even more worms.
So, fellow gardeners, thank your lucky stars when your garden has the worms!