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worm castings per square

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worm castings per square

Post  greatgranny on 5/17/2014, 2:11 pm

When top dressing how much worm castings per square?  Want to use especially on the garlic and multiplier onions but also off and on throughout the summer.  No, I don't make compost tea.

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Re: worm castings per square

Post  camprn on 5/17/2014, 3:45 pm

@greatgranny wrote:When top dressing how much worm castings per square?  Want to use especially on the garlic and multiplier onions but also off and on throughout the summer.  No, I don't make compost tea.
just a small amount, its powerful stuff. Are there any instructions on the package?

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Re: worm castings per square

Post  greatgranny on 5/17/2014, 4:06 pm

@camprn wrote:
@greatgranny wrote:When top dressing how much worm castings per square?  Want to use especially on the garlic and multiplier onions but also off and on throughout the summer.  No, I don't make compost tea.
just a small amount, its powerful stuff. Are there any instructions on the package?
It says "side dress 1" on soil around plants".  Whatever that means.  I don't think I would put 1" deep next to the plants would I ?

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Re: worm castings per square

Post  llama momma on 5/17/2014, 4:13 pm

I would not put it one inch deep but one inch outside the plant, like a ring of it  Generally the amount you use depends on the quality. The best answer I've come across is if it is pure and fresh castings from worms fed a high quality diet then as little as 5 to 20% in a soil mix can have a large impact on the health of the plant. 
What is a simple quick answer to your top dressing question?  Put some around the plant and dig it in a little and water it in.  Repeat every couple of weeks.  For new transplants I put a little scoop in the bottom of the hole and will top dress later on.  I'm very pleased with the results.  The quality of castings is so different from one batch to another depending on the quality of the food that was fed to the worms.  It seems there should be a simple answer but my humble opinion says to try the recommendation that was given and see for yourself.

 Here is a 5 minute video from Bentley Cristie you might like-

http://www.redwormcomposting.com/reader-questions/using-castings-and-worm-tea-in-the-garden/

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Re: worm castings per square

Post  greatgranny on 5/17/2014, 5:19 pm

Sparingly.  Okay, thanks.

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Re: worm castings per square

Post  southern gardener on 5/17/2014, 5:24 pm

oopsies!! I think I may have put too much?? We harvested our bin the other day, it had lots of egg shells still visible. Ours isn't nice and soft like the video, it's thick and sort of gummy, then dries like concrete?? I don't add any moisture, just feed veggies etc and paper. ANYWAY, we put several globs around the base of some of the plants and watered in? Hope I didn't mess it up?? We don't really get a lot of castings, in fact, I wonder sometimes if it's worth it, but then you read the benefits and off you go again lol

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Re: worm castings per square

Post  llama momma on 5/17/2014, 6:25 pm

IMO, you're probably ok if I was to make a bet on it, if its chunky with some unprocessed things in it, then its more like vermicompost.   On the other hand, pure castings can be over done with its salt content and can possibly cause harm. But its one of those things you'll have to try it on your plants and see what happens.

I've read the quality decreases when it gets rock hard. Some microbes will form cysts to protect it then come alive again when conditions improve. 

I'll be preparing vermicompost this week for next weekends start of the local farmers market.  If I need to dry things out a little more, as I expect to, I'm going to put a bunch on cardboard and run a fan to dry it somewhat then sift it to bag up and sell. I mention this in case you were interested in making it more crumbly for yourself.

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Re: worm castings per square

Post  southern gardener on 5/17/2014, 6:56 pm

@llama momma wrote:IMO, you're probably ok if I was to make a bet on it, if its chunky with some unprocessed things in it, then its more like vermicompost.   On the other hand, pure castings can be over done with its salt content and can possibly cause harm. But its one of those things you'll have to try it on your plants and see what happens.

I've read the quality decreases when it gets rock hard. Some microbes will form cysts to protect it then come alive again when conditions improve. 

I'll be preparing vermicompost this week for next weekends start of the local farmers market.  If I need to dry things out a little more, as I expect to, I'm going to put a bunch on cardboard and run a fan to dry it somewhat then sift it to bag up and sell. I mention this in case you were interested in making it more crumbly for yourself.
ok...I'm not very educated in this area. What's the difference between castings and vermicompost? I'm assuming castings are just pure worm "poop"? My bin is never pure, it always has recognizable stuff in it?  How would you ever get it pure?  TIA

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Re: worm castings per square

Post  llama momma on 5/17/2014, 10:26 pm

It's hard to get pure castings without anything else in it.  This article suggests screening it down to 1/8 of an inch.

http://www.redwormcomposting.com/?s=castings+

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Re: worm castings per square

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/17/2015, 2:26 pm

My boss gave me two 30 pound bags of worm castings that he'd had hanging around for a while. I wanted to mix some into a couple of inground squash gardens and didn't know how so I read through this thread before opening a bag. When I opened the first bag there was a 6" plant growing in it. 


As I used some of the castings I came across more but smaller plants and small clumps of moss in it. I don't know how old this stuff is but these plants were alive growing in a sealed bag in someone's garage for years probably.


Do you think its okay to use this stuff?  Do worm castings go bad? They had no scent at all.

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Re: worm castings per square

Post  sanderson on 5/17/2015, 3:23 pm

CC,  At least it is nutritious as the seedlings grew in it!

I spread one woman's hand full per square.  The stuff I get out of the worm tubes is pure gluck and I can't sift it.
The stuff I screen from the free range bin (open bottom on the ground) is like coffee grounds and easy to spread among the other boxes and containers.

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Re: worm castings per square

Post  Windmere on 5/17/2015, 4:42 pm

I know it can be hard to find high quality earthworm castings.  I'm beginning my third year of using them.  The best I could for a reasonable price was this:

http://www.amazon.com/Unco-Industries-Earthworm-Castings-Fertilizer/dp/B00062KQ42/ref=sr_1_1?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1431895182&sr=1-1&keywords=worm+castings

This stuff is a joy to work with.  Over the years I've probably bought over 15 bags.  They are only 15 pounds though.

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Re: worm castings per square

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/17/2015, 5:39 pm

Windmere, that's the same stuff I'm using except my bag looks a little different because it's so old. Wiggle worm soil builder. Here's the 30 pound bags on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Unco-Industries-Earthworm-Fertilizer-30-Pound/dp/B00V4RI88Y/ref=lh_ni_t?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER#customerReviews

The reviews are outstanding...no wonder some of you folks raise worms.

Sanderson, I didn't think to use them in my ANSFG because I have so many worms in my compost already. But at one handfull per square, for free, why not.

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Re: worm castings per square

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 5/17/2015, 6:30 pm

@sanderson wrote:CC,  At least it is nutritious as the seedlings grew in it!

I spread one woman's hand full per square.  The stuff I get out of the worm tubes is pure gluck and I can't sift it.
The stuff I screen from the free range bin (open bottom on the ground) is like coffee grounds and easy to spread among the other boxes and containers.
What comes out of my worm tubes is the same as Sanderson has described.  I simply grab a hand full and crumble it around the plant, then water it in.  I've never had any problems.  Because my worm tubes are in my sfg beds, I don't put the worm castings there (they have enough in them from the worms traveling).  I put them in other gardens around my yard.  

My red wigglers have multiplied so amazingly that they are now in places in my garden where I did not put them, even 50-100 feet away from where I have planted them.

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