Vermicompost, also known as worm castings, is the end result of worms feeding off of organic material such as food waste. Vermicompost has shown in studies that it contains much needed water soluble nutrients your vegetables, fruits and flowers crave.
You can either make your own vermicompost by adding worms and food scraps to a ventilated container or buy vermicompost commercially. Either way is fine and if just adding nutrients to your soil is not enough proof to use vermicompost than read these three other ways to justify its purpose.
I have mentioned this already and that is vermicompost adds much needed nutrients back to the soil. Each growing season your plants will use certain nutrients in order to flourish. If you do not replenish those nutrients, your plants will eventually stop growing or die. Also, vermicompost enriches your soil with various micro-organisms by adding enzymes such as phosphate and cellulase. Vermicompost also more deep burrowing earth worms already in the soil and will actually increase your soil’s water holding capacity.
Your plants love vermicompost obviously for the nutrients it provides but also for the fact that vermicompost has been shown to enhance germination and increase crop yields. Recent studies have even shown an improvement in root growth and structure of various plants.
Since you are using your food waste to create vermicompost, it goes without saying that you when you do this you are adding less garbage to local landfills. And because you are not simply throwing the food away, it reduces the amount of biowaste which in turn reduces potential contamination in our streams and waterways. Also in some parts of the country, in large scale production centers for vermicompost, jobs have been created. Somebody has to do the work right? Vermicomposting is a low cost way to create natural fertilizer, thereby making it possible to add much needed nutrients to the soils of a lot of less developed agricultural regions.
Large scale productions of vermicompost have been shown in some studies to have a higher yield of valuable soil microbial probably because of the feedstock waste available. This does not mean that your homemade vermicompost is not adequate enough for your gardens though.
You should definitely start implementing a process in creating your own vermicompost so that you can add it to your soil so your plants can start enjoying all the benefits mentioned above and more. If you want to learn more about the vermicomposting process there are a number of good books on the market and you can visit the Cooperative Extension Service website which is a division of the United States Department of Agriculture. The COE is an informal educational program that exists only within the United States that was designed for the sole purpose of helping people with research based knowledge.
Vermicomposting is a must for any gardener that wants to improve their plants and the soil that their plants grow in. If you are a gardener or an aspiring one, and you are not creating your own vermicompost, then you should be. Start your vermicompost bin today.
About the Author
Bruce is the co-author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person. It is a practical easy to follow book that teaches gardeners everything from composting techniques, aeration and frost conditions, to choosing the right tools and picking the right seeds. To learn more about Mr. Tucker you can visit: AveragePersonGardening.com.