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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Introduction to Worm Castings & Worm Casting Tea for Your Vegetable Garden

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Introduction to Worm Castings and Worm Casting Tea 
for Your Vegetable Garden

I have been using worm castings and worm casting tea in my garden this year. I like to see how new products work with my vegetable plants before I talk about them. I am greatly impressed so far. The products I am using are from VermisTerra and I plan to work with them over the year. Not all worm castings and teas are the same. Their products are certified organic and they manage their products from worms to packaging. Their products are 100% theirs and they love what they do. Two qualities I look for when I work with companies. The third, a great product.

Aging Worm Castings to Ensure Composting is Complete

Worm castings are literally the end product of worm composting. Worms, as they have been doing for millions of years, eat and digest organic matter. Their castings are the perfect organic fertilizer that acts, as both, a slow release and immediate release fertilizer. They add so much more to your soil than just the big three, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. The video and pictures are from my garden as of today. Look at the difference with the tomato's leaves, color and resistance to the disease issue that is going on. As mentioned, I am impressed.

Problematic Chemically Fertilized Tomato Plant

Worm casting and teas are packed full on beneficial bacteria and microbes that Nature meant to be in your garden soil. Worm castings are odorless and it will not attract cats or wild animals to your garden like other organic fertilizers. Other organic fertilizers contain fish, bone and blood meals and other ingredients in raw form. These ingredients have not been broken down into a usable form of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium that your plants can use immediately. They have to be broken down by soil life to become available to your plants. This takes time. Worm castings have already gone through that process.

Deeper Green, Healthier Worm Casting and Worm Tea Fertilized Tomato Plant

Many organic fertilizer often give off odors, as they are broken down, that can attract unwanted visitors. Animals smell a potential meal. There is a good chance your fish emulsion, bone meals and blood meals attract animals to your garden, They also feed bad fungi and bacteria that can contribute to plant diseases and they attract insects. VermisTerra worm castings are fully composted. Their worm castings sit and age for 7 to 10 years to ensure the process is completed. There is no 'food' left for the unwanted and castings don’t have an odor but for the sweet light smell of forest soil. 

I just wanted provide some introductory information about Worm Castings and Worm Tea. I will be doing several videos and blog posts on the products and how I use them in my garden. If you want to try them in your garden, I recommend buying them from VermisTerra. You can enter this coupon code: therustedgarden and save 10% on your purchase. A little of their products go a very long way. They also offer free shipping for purchase over $55. This video summarizes the initial benefits I am seeing. I compare both tomato plants. 

Here are some of the benefits of using worm casting and worm teas (*not to be confused with compost teas)

Improving Soil Structure and Soil Fertility

Beneficial bacteria and microbes create soil space for plant roots, improve water retention and provide oxygen for more vigorous biological activity.

Adding Beneficial Bacteria and Microbes

Castings contain micro-organisms that are added to the casting during digestion. Nature adds what is needed to create a healthy living soil. The digested organic matter is deodorized during digest too, leaving an odorless product.

Helping Regulate Soil Plant Nutrients

Worm casting contain humic acid that help make nutrients immediately available to your plants. The casting also release slowly over time providing a steady source of nutrients to your garden. Worm tea provides bacteria that breakdown organic components in the soil and make them available to your plant.

Support in Fighting Pests and Diseases

A steady flow of nutrient, microbes, healthy soil provide plants the essential needs to stay strong and fight off pests and disease. Worm tea helps add and multiply beneficial micro-organism. In addition, when it is applied to plant leaves, these micro-organisms, populate the surface to the plant leaves and crowd out the unwanted microbes.

This is how VermisTerra’s worm tea differs from compost tea. Understanding the aerobic properties of compost tea is important. The information below is from their website.

Unlike standard compost teas, VermisTerra Earthworm Casting Tea does not have a limited shelf life of a few days. Since the necessary micro-organisms require oxygen to live, compost tea begins to lose it’s effectiveness right after aeration is cut off. As a result, harmful pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella causes a concern as they feed on the bacteria that die off in the compost tea. VermisTerra Earthworm Casting Tea breaks down to even smaller forms of bacteria and contains a higher concentration of nutrients than compost tea, so it can be stored for later use.

Our worm tea is a microbial solution prepared by a proprietary technique. It is an excellent fertilizer that help increase the ecological diversity and vitality of the soil. As a byproduct of vermicompost, it contains all the benefits of earthworm castings and more. Viable plant health and production rely on their relationship with beneficial microbes the tea provides. Applying our high-quality Earthworm Casting Tea will make your plants more vigorous and more capable of withstanding diseases and pests.

Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

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