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Are my homemade worm castings "blended"?

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Are my homemade worm castings "blended"?

Post  SoCalET on 8/10/2011, 5:03 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC, the compost that should be added upon planting should either be a blended compost from five sources, or your homemade compost. I don't have a regular compost heap, but plant to start one. However, I have been vermicomposting for a few months. So, I have a decent amount of vermicompost that my little squigglers have produced.

My question is: is my homemade vermicompost adequate on its own, or does it need to be blended with four other store bought composts?

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Re: Are my homemade worm castings "blended"?

Post  Goosegirl on 8/10/2011, 9:52 pm

@SoCalET wrote:
My question is: is my homemade vermicompost adequate on its own, or does it need to be blended with four other store bought composts?

TIA

Worm poo is about the best compost you can get! If you already have your MM in your boxes and are just adding the extra between crops, your worm castings should be just fine.

GG
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Re: Are my homemade worm castings "blended"?

Post  boffer on 8/10/2011, 10:25 pm

@SoCalET wrote:My question is: is my homemade vermicompost adequate on its own, or does it need to be blended with four other store bought composts?TIA

From everything I've read, worm poo is great stuff. I will suggest that no one has done the comparison testing to see if worm poo alone is comparable to a 5 way compost blend that Mel says to use to re-plentish a square after a harvest.
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Re: Are my homemade worm castings "blended"?

Post  Unmutual on 8/11/2011, 1:58 am

My $0.02 about worm castings and blended compost: It should depend on what the worms were fed. If you have the worms and feed it table scraps then I'd think it would be considered blended IF you don't just feed it broccoli stems. If you feed it bread, broccoli/cauliflower stems, leftover carrots, onion/potato peelings, bean/pea pods and a few other things, then(in my opinion) it's blended.

If you're buying castings from the store, then I'd treat it as not blended since you don't know what the worms were fed. Just like regular compost, if all you're composting is cow manure, then it's not blended. But if you throw in cow manure, chicken manure, straw, kitchen scraps, spent plants and grass clippings then it's mixed. It's the source of the compost that is important, not the end product.

This is why Mel tells us to buy at least 5 different kinds of compost: bagged compost is generally the waste product of a single industry and therefor only contains certain plant nutrients(buying 5 different brands of composted cow manure doesn't count either).

But I will tell you this, when my worms finally produce some castings, I'll still be mixing it with bagged compost from the store(plants need desert too!) and compost from the back yard. I might even just throw it all together after I make a 3-boxed compost bin and let it really blend together well.

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Re: Are my homemade worm castings "blended"?

Post  SoCalET on 8/11/2011, 12:14 pm

Thank for the feedback. My squigglers certainly get a diversified mix of feeding. I guess as diversified a mix as what comes out of my kitchen. This includes stems and leaves of broc/cauli, ends of cukes and zukes, egg shells and coffee grounds (usually together as my breakfast scraps). I try to give them a healthy amount of fruit scraps (which they seem to enjoy) including banana peels, papaya shells (but not the seeds), grape stems, and of course melon rinds (their absolute favorite). They also get plenty of shredded newspaper and egg cartons for bedding. And when a potted plant dies on me, I give them a scoop or so of the soil.

They get minimal citrus, although after cutting a whole pineapple, it pains me to throw all of the scraps away, so they get some of it. I don't give them lemon/lime rinds. Minimal onion and garlic scraps, they just don't seem to care for it. Also, I learned, no peanut shells. Especially salted, the sodium, even if rinsed isn't good for them. But also, they don't break the peanut shells down. Shells from three months ago are still sitting in the bottom tray, completely whole. They will break an avocado pit down faster than a single peanut shell.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I guess I'm comfortable with assuming that my worms are producing diversified poop. So, I'm going to go with it as my compost for replanting.

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Re: Are my homemade worm castings "blended"?

Post  quiltbea on 8/11/2011, 12:24 pm

I consider worm castings wonderful compost.

I usually use mine as a booster around the plants since I have compost from my bins for the normal additions to the soil square when planting.

It doesn't burn, has no chemicals, and is very diversified so you can't go wrong with it to add in the holes when planting.
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