to use wormcastings and
vermicast on plants.
worm leachate ?
is vermicast ?
How to use it on houseplants.
use it in the garden.
How to use it in the nursery.
How to use worm leachate.
The sorting table I use, to separate worms
wormcastings from the raw vermicast .
Wormcastings are the feaces of
worms, you will see these on your
lawn when it threatens to be raining soon and shortly after the
rain has come down, or early in the morning; they look like little
black heaps of soil.
I grow the worms in my wormfarm, and the castings are a by-product of
the wormbreeding industry.
The castings are full of all the minerals which were in the foodstuff
which are fed to the worms, the castings also have microbes
which are essential to the worms, to digest the food, and are shed out
with the feaces.
It is therefore important, to wash
your hands after handling
wormcastings, especially children and older people.
Wormcastings have compounds, which are easily taken up by the roots of
your plants, very soluble, as compared to most
commercial fertilisers and also compost from the compost heap.
It follows, that wormcastings are a fast medium for growing plants, but
not as long lasting as compost and other ferilisers,
and is absolutely safe using over the plants in the garden, it does NOT
BURN [ like some
fertilisers ] if it hits the leaves.
worm leachate ?
see my drainage system here; incidently the picture also shows the
covering of the wormbeds.
Worm leachate is the fluid which
drains from the bottom of the
wormbed ; worms need a coating of water around the body to enable them
to move around so it is essential to water the beds carefully, not too
much, but certainly not too little.
that moisture finds its way down to the bottom of the box, and then
drains to a receptacle at the end of the shed.
The shed has been built on a slight slope, so that there is enough fall
to do this in several places along the drain.
The leachate can also be produced by setting up a drainage box, fill it
with wormcastings or vermicast, and collect the fluid from a tap in the
bottom of the box.
To get a good strong quality of leachate, you should re-use the
collected fluid by pouring it through several times in the unit.
The leachate is richer in minerals and microlife than
that is why it needs mixing with water when in use.
Worm leachate is sometimes called "wormjuice" or "wormpiss", it is not
coming from the worms so those names are incorrect.
is vermicast ?
I use a
bucket to collect the vermicast when the worms are finished filling the
Vermicast is the raw material
left in the worm boxes, when the
worms have been working in them
for about twelve- to eighteen months of feeding and looking after them
by the wormfarmer.
The worms can be collected by
several methods before
the vermicast is harvested; you can read all about that
in the wormfarming-information part of the website .
Vermicast has some of the food and impalatable stuff, the worms have
not processed yet, so it can contain sticks, shells, bones
milkbottle tops, plastic bread ties, plastic paper-shreddings [ from
shiny advertising pages ] etc.
There is nothing wrong with vermicast, but it is not as easily packed
and sold as the wormcastings which have been sorted out and screened
with hand-sorting and/or machinery.
We sell it in bulk for use in the garden, especially recommended for
starting a garden from scratch, to make it fertile.
It can be used for building up and maintaining the fertility of a
rundown garden as well.
to use it
plants benefit from a weekly- or forthnightly dose of a spoonful of
Just give them from 1 teaspoon-
to a desertspoonful of pure
wormcastings a week according to the size of the plant.
You must water it in well for it to start feeding your plant.
If you have plants, which are somewhat spindly, they will improve with
this treatment by developing a squatness in time.
You may have to restart the growth if they are very spindly and thin,
by trimming them down before feeding the wormcastings, to give them
opportunity to "pull up their socks" and start behaving to your
I have had great success with an outside box in front of a shop, which
had geraniums growing up and not out.
I gave them a handful of wormcastings and then listened to the comments
from the customers to the shop who did see the difference in about
I use pure wormcastings when I set up a hanging planting, and the
plants are never set back, and come away vigorously.
Sickly plants will recover if you transplant them into a pot with pure
wormcastings for a while until they have recovered , then transplant
them back in ordinary pottingmix and keep feeding them with wormcast
It is most important, to water well at all times.
use it in the garden.
when sowing or
planting in the open ground.
After choosing where you are
going to plant seedlings, use a
string to mark your row, then use a small hoe to make a trench about
the depth of the roots you have on the plants already, say
cm deep, and wide enough to set out the roots comfortably.
Fill the trench with vermicast or better still with wormcastings, then
plant your seedlings straight out of the punnet
by [ carefully ] spreading the roots [ I have planted without
disturbing the roots, straight from the punnet ], and then using the
displaced with the hoe to cover the roots, and firming the soil
As always water well
for a few days, to get the seedlings
establishing fast, without wilting too much.
If you are sowing seeds in the open ground, do the same as for planting
seedlings; make a trench, and fill it with vermicast
or wormcastings, cover with the replaced soil, and firm it down.
Next cut it open again to twice the depth of the seeds, put in the
seeds, and cover it with soil, firm it down,
and jump back before the seeds come up and grow through your boots. The
young plants don't stop growing until they are established, then use
more wormcastings, to bring them to maturity for harvsting.
this process is absolutely "Organic", unless some one tells you to use
more fertiliser from the shop. )
As normally is done, water the
seedbed as required according to
the weather; if the packet says "do not water" then don't.
to use it
in the nursery.
Starting seedlings, and
recovery of sickly plants.
A mixture of two parts sand and
4 parts pure wormcastings is a
useful mix for seed trays.
Moisten well before use, then a few days later, sow your seeds the
normal way, and put the tray on a lightly heated pad in the early
spring, or in the cold frame out in the garden for the autumn seedlings.
I am experimenting with the mix of leachate to use for insect
repellent, to counteract any small insects attacking the seedlings as
they emerge, so watch this website when I get the results of my
experiment next year.
As the seedmix is rather rich, watch the growth-rate of the seedlings;
transplant them smartly if they are growing too fast.
Transplanting is best done in punnets, fill them with pure
wormcastings, and watch them grow into sturdy seedlings.
Watch for insect attacks, and stop them from getting the taste of the
young plants .
Sickly plants will recover quickly in a pot filled with wormcastings,
after recovery it would be a good idea, to transplant them
different environment as they were in before they deteriorated.
My neighbor dug a hole 100 cm deep into the [ pumice ] base soil on my
section, and I refilled the hole with composting material, mainly grass
As usual I covered the resulting site with a layer of garden soil about
30 cm thick, and planted silverbeet on it.
As you can expect, the silverbeet did not grow very well, due to the
composting taking all the nutrients; after three months watching this,
I decided to try wormcastings, so a handful went around each plant
The results convinced me to the wisdom to keep going with my
hobby of growing worms.
The last 8 years of usingwormcasings only in my garden has
made it "organic" I believe.
to use worm
Worm-leachate can be
used in two methods :
I sell it in bottles [
"wormjuice" or "wormpiss" ] you can see them on the floor in the
1.As a supplement for feeding your plants, in pots, the garden
or even in
the plant nursery.
You make a solution of 1 part leachate to 10 parts pure [
from the tap ] water,
and you can water the plants with it without fear of burning the
but it is better, and possibly more effective, to just pour it around
the plants under the leaves.
You will see the results quickly, even if it does not rain after
2. The other method, is to use it as an insect
repellent ( not
an insect killer ).
The solution proportions are 1 part leachate to 100 parts of
Put the mixture in a sprayer, and spray the whole plant with that, as
it will not burn the leaves, it is quite safe to do that.
You will find, that most insects do not like the smell and/or touch of
the leachate-mix, and will stay away from your plants.
I have used it above the cabbage plants, on a sunny day; the white
butterflies came looking for a place to deposit their eggs,
but sheered off before reaching the cabbage plants.
Unfortunately, the spay evaporated quickly in the sun, and I had to
stand over the plants all day, to stop the butterflies.
It works very well in repelling the little white bugs on tomatoe