Worm Casting Fertilisers – What Are They And How To Make Them
Worm castings may be one of the most expensive organic fertilisers out there. Luckily, there’s a way to use worm castings to your advantage, without breaking the bank. Find out what worm castings are and how to make your own at home.
For all of you using soil to grow your beautiful cannabis plants, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. Fertilisation is one of them. Deciding which products to buy and if you should use manure or not might leave you wondering if you could’ve had it better.
VERMICULTURE, VERMICOMPOST, AND WORM CASTINGS: WHAT IS IT?
Vermiculture is the practice of using worms to compost organic materials. The result of utilising this method is vermicompost, which is also called worm castings. Vermicompost or worm castings is a rich, organic, compost-like material that results when organic matter passes through the digestive systems of worms. This process has many advantages for the cannabis grower. The digestive process removes diseases and pathogens while adding humic acid and a number of beneficial minerals, nutrients, and enzymes. Worm castings will also contain worm eggs that will eventually hatch and increase the number of worms in your vermicompost setup. They will also end up being added to pots or garden beds where the new worms will improve the overall health of any organic growing medium.
We can’t help you with all your growing doubts at once, but we’ll try to explain one important topic now: worm castings.
WHAT ARE WORM CASTINGS?
Cannabis is a plant whose genetics predate civilisation. Plants have grown and adapted to certain environments. The biggest challenge growers face today is trying to replicate these conditions as best they can.
Worm castings can help with that. Worms are everywhere in the soil and their importance is often overlooked. Much like regular manure, the digestion and excretion process that worms go through on a daily basis plays a crucial role in your soil’s health. Worms are beneficial for how their systems break down organic matter. The finished product of worm castings is material that has been consumed, then expelled by the worm’s digestive system.
Worm casting fertilisers are absolutely packed with nutritional bacteria, fungi, and nematodes that will revitalise the soil and provide beneficial nutrients for your plants to thrive.
HOW WORM CASTINGS WORK
Bacteria and protozoa will help maintain the soil’s health and will also keep away harmful diseases that may kill your crop. Additionally, they will break down ammonium in the soil to form nitrate. This is the easiest way for cannabis to consume nitrogen, which is one of the three essential macronutrients it requires.
Bacteria and fungi will also stimulate growth in the root zone, contributing to the plant’s resistance to disease. Nematodes are micro-animals that feed on the unwanted substances in your plant’s medium and therefore, will help keep your soil balanced and healthy.
By now, you can see that there are numerous benefits to using worm castings. This is one of, if not the most, organic option out there. While the product is being made, the worms move around the soil a lot. This gives it constant aeration, which is really hard to achieve in soil. This will provide resistance to drought by allowing the soil to maintain its humidity and consistency all throughout the bucket/pot. Depending on how you feed the worms, they’re able to produce extremely high-quality manure. It will have no smell and the results will manifest themselves in vigorous plants.
One of the main problems growers face are nutrient deficiencies. If you’ve ever encountered one or read one of our numerous blog posts on the subject, you know that pH is one of the predominant factors responsible for deficiencies. If the pH is off, it won’t eliminate the nutrients themselves, but will force the roots to lock them out. Worm castings correct this almost straight away after inserting them into the medium. This is why many growers now use this method even as a preventive strategy. It allows growers to treat nutrient deficiencies with more confidence and accuracy.
Obviously, if you’re looking for naturally-grown cannabis, worm castings will be a great option. Whether for yourself or your customers, it is a great idea to grow purely organic cannabis plants. As time moves on, it’s important for growers to use methods that are environmentally responsible. Although some individuals argue for and against how organic cultivation effects that taste and highs of buds, there is no hard evidence directly correlating these variables.
HOW TO USE WORM CASTINGS
Worm castings are very expensive to use for 100% of your medium. This is why we are referring to them as fertiliser instead of as a medium. Worm castings are nutritious enough that some growers use them for their entire medium, although we don’t necessarily recommend this method.
Used as a fertiliser, worm castings can also increase the germination rate of your seeds and keep the medium at a respectable equilibrium. This is the kind of environment cannabis plants are naturally used to growing in. Worm castings rarely ever put undue stress on plants as they have worked symbiotically for generations.
But for all of you using a hydroponic system, there is now a liquid worm casting solution available. This can be used all throughout the different stages of life for your plant. Just be sure you know what you’re doing before using it. Add some to your water reservoir and you’re certainly going to see positive results.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN
Now that you know almost everything there is to know about worm casting fertilisers, it’s time you learn how to make your own. It sounds harder than it actually is. You’ll be needing very few ingredients and most of the process is done while you wait, so you won’t have a lot of work to do either.
Get a large container. There are a lot of worm containers available online now, but you don’t need to buy a specific one or break the bank. Just a normal plastic container will work fine. As long as it is an adequate size and can store the materials until they’re done, it’s perfect. The next step is to get your earthworms. You’ll be needing around 1,000, so you’re better off buying in bulk than searching around your backyard.
Once you have your little friends, it’s time to create their home for the next couple of months. Shred some newspaper or cardboard to coat the bottom of your container. To give this consistency, add coco coir, sawdust, or a similar material. Now it’s time for your organic products. Add your fruit and vegetable peelings. This will be a cheap, easy, and environmentally-friendly way of using kitchen leftovers. You can also add ground coffee, bread, and grains. Just stay away from meat and dairy. This will attract bacteria that you do not want.
Now, you can leave the container be for two months. After this, remove the worms. What’s left will be your worm casting fertiliser. Just remember that this is reusable. The worms will continue to reproduce, and as long as you feed them, they’ll survive. When mixing the final product, we suggest using around ¼ or even ⅕ worm castings for your medium by volume.
This is one of the most sustainable fertilisers to feed your plants. Be sure you understand why and how to make your own worm castings very cheaply.
Organic Vermicast for MMJ Growers
Grow Marijuana Faster and Healthier with Worm Castings
Growing Tip: Remember, worm poop only works on legal marijuana plants. Outside of these states it will spontaneously evaporate and/or lead to hard drug use.
Cannabis growers love these worm castings – from commercial operations to home growers. Dirt Dynasty vermicast is highly effective whether your operation calls for 400 lbs or 20.
Vermicast Stimulates Growth Naturally
Faster growing cannabis plants are the most basic benefit – without the need for harmful chemicals. Harsh fertilizers will burn your weed in all the wrong ways. Worm castings are safe to place right up to the base of the plant.
It Protects Against Disease
Not for you, for the plants. Worm castings are ripe with helpful microbes, all fighting for space against the harmful pathogenic ones.
It Doesn’t Stink
For real – the ingredients for worm compost start out kind of smelly, but the completed product (pure worm castings) smells like fresh earthy dirt. Your grandma has worse smelling potpourri in her bathroom.
Other animal manures aren’t so kind. To be blunt, they reek, burn your plants, and can even make someone sick if you aren’t careful. You don’t want cow manure going from your buds to your taste buds. Not speaking from personal experience.
We’ve Perfected our Blend
We’re constantly tinkering with our worm food (and environmental conditions) to produce the most nutritious worm castings possible.
Dirt Dynasty is the good sh*t. Plants want it, and other worm turds want to be it.
Worm Castings Fertilizer in Higher Demand
The recent legalization of marijuana in a few states for recreational and medical use has many growers looking for improved yields and quality. Nutrient-rich worm castings are becoming an increasingly important part of the marijuana cultivation industry. Read more about how to use worm castings fertilizer.
Boutique growers all have their own unique soil blends, and worm castings figure prominently in the mix. The standard ratio is 25% castings and 75% soil, although many growers supplement their mix with bat guano, Epsom salts and other natural additives. Others swear by a blend of worm castings and compost. Regardless of the specific blend, the phytohormones in worm castings increase germination and growth rates, while the microbial organisms worm castings introduced to the soil strengthen plants’ resistance to disease.
Because worm castings will never burn a plant, marijuana can even be grown directly in worm castings – although this is not a particularly cost-effective method. If plants are already established, you can achieve excellent results with just a quarter inch of castings sprinkled on top of the soil. This application will feed a plant for approximately 2 months.
Organic Worm Castings Tea for Marijuana
Worm castings can be easily dissolved in water to make Worm Castings Tea. This allows you to fertilize without bulking up your soil. The tea can also be sprayed directly on to leaves. Since liquids are absorbed more readily than solid fertilizer, you will see results much quicker.
Marijuana growers have seen astonishingly lush growth with applications of worm castings tea. The natural phytohormones in worm castings boost plant growth, while the beneficial microorganisms help prevent disease. Most growers use worm castings tea throughout the vegetative and flowering cycles to help protect the plants from pests and disease. However, growers usually stop fertilizing shortly before harvest because increased foliage growth will slow resin production.
Experienced gardeners and growers all have their own preferred recipes for worm castings tea. If you talk to other growers, you’re sure to find variations on the basic recipes.
Organic vermicompost grows healthy medical and recreational marijuana plants without the use of harmful chemicals.