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Worm castings

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Worm castings

Post  EricS on 7/7/2013, 11:27 pm

I wasn't planning to come here and ask so many questions- but I've been learning so much I hope you don't mind one more.

Should worm castings be used as one of my 5 compost sources, or is it an adjunct/additive?

I have several local sources, but this one in Berkeley urbanwormcomposting.com describes theirs as:

Vermicompost (Worm Poop)


Price:
15 lb bag – $15.00 – Shipping soon to be available
35 lb bag – $25.00 – Onsite pickup only
Cubic Yard – $250.00 – Pickup or delivery available
What Comes in the Bag:
A blend largely made with worm castings, with trace amounts of decomposed horse manure, Peet’s coffee grounds, and Voila Juice pulp.
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Re: Worm castings

Post  camprn on 7/7/2013, 11:31 pm

@EricS wrote:
Should worm castings be used as one of my 5 compost sources, or is it an adjunct/additive?

Yes, it is an adjunct. However, if you start your own compost pile on the ground there is a great likelihood that the local worms will find their way in there and do their magic.  Es[ecially if you add some used coffee grounds. Wink

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Re: Worm castings

Post  jazzycat on 7/8/2013, 12:41 am

Eric, you live in the San Francisco area?   I would suggest searching to see if you can find bulk compost made by a local farm or nursery or something.  The city might even have some.  Just make sure it has a good mixture of different sources in it.  (Doesn't San Francisco collect food scraps for composting?)  

In Petaluma, you can apparently get great compost from Sonoma Compost, at least according to John Kohler.  http://www.sonomacompost.com   

I image there is something similar in the Bay area.  If you can find that, you won't need to buy bagged compost.  Although, it's always beneficial to add some worm castings.  Just my 2 cents.  Take it with a grain of salt.  This is my first year, and I'm still learning.  But we have a local compost source here that's recommended by just about anyone who gardens, or is involved in the local food movement.

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Re: Worm castings

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/8/2013, 1:22 am

By the description, that sounds like a great product but it sounds like the largest ingredient is worm castings. It would be good if you can contact the company and try to find out percentages of each ingredient. Something also to check out in that bag is whether they use forest humus or wood chips. It may not be listed. It got me thinking that using mostly worm castings would be expensive, that is why I am a little suspicious, but I may be wrong in that suspicion. You may get a better idea of the quantity of each ingredient by contacting the company. Worm castings should be no more than 5% of the ingredients in your compost if my memory serves me correctly. Worm castings are like super food, but too much is not good.

I like Jazzycat's idea to do some searching for someone in your area who makes compost. But do remember that it should be made up of at least five different ingredients like how homemade compost is made. She was able to find an organic source for her compost that will work perfectly for her. Most of us are not that lucky, lol!

Keep doing your research, you also learn a lot from the research as you have found out.
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Great info

Post  EricS on 7/8/2013, 1:48 am

Thanks everyone for the helpful replies. I'm sure I'm over-thinking all of this, but what else to do on a Sunday night?

I've found a couple local popular sources of bulk organic compost- but I've only been to their web sites. I have a hunch when I go in person I'll drive away with what I need and then some.

Actually the reference to the place in Sonoma is helpful too. If I don't find what I need at the other places, Sonoma is only about an hour drive from here.

The advice of 5% worm castings sounds good. Like you said, I'll verify that it is essentially "pure" worm castings and not something already diluted to 5%.

I actually do have the option of just buying bagged mel's mix here at Lowes. But no, I have to be rolling manure around in a tarp to feel like a real farmer.

Thanks again,
Eric
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Re: Worm castings

Post  southern gardener on 7/8/2013, 1:53 am

Try the Sonoma place or "roll your own" lol.
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