How To Harvest Worm Castings?
Using organic products as plant food remain one of the best ways to improve plant and soil health. But of course, this is not new information which is why people are turning to worm castings. Worm castings are also a type of organic plant food which is gotten from earthworms. Worm castings are worm waste or worm excreta. If you are interested in learning more about worm castings, you are in the right place. This is because we will be writing extensively on this. Importantly, we will be writing on how to harvest worm castings. So, continue reading and you might learn a few things.
6 Awesome Ways on How To Harvest Worm Castings
Now, we will be teaching you how to harvest those useful worm castings of yours.
Pyramid Or Cone Method
One effective method of harvesting worm castings is by using the pyramid or cone method. What you have to do is to form a pyramid or cone of worm castings. When this is done, you will find the worms burrowing or moving deep into this pyramid. The reason for this is because the worms do not like the presence of light and they will do anything to get away from light. After the worms burrow into this cone or pyramid, all you need to do is to scrape off the worm castings on the pyramid carefully.
Note that you should be careful enough not to scrape the worms with the castings when doing this. After doing this, you will find that the worms will continue to dig into this cone to avoid light. Repeat this process of scraping off the worm castings till all you have left are worms. Please note that this method is more effective when the sun is high in the sky.
Combination Of Light And Screen
Just like the previous method, you will be taking advantage of the fact that worms do not like light. What you need to do is to bring out your worm compost bin out in the sun. Next, get a screen and put over the bin. The screen can be a thick cloth or plywood. Now, take a handful of the worm compost and put on the bin. You will notice that the worms will start wriggling out of the screen into the worm bucket. This is because they are trying their best possible to get away from the sun.
Note that it might take a while before the worms move back into the bin below. You will repeat this process until you have enough worm castings to use. Also, you can always use lamps instead of sunlight for this process and you will get the same results.
This is another method of harvesting worm castings. This is not a complex system but some people prefer not to go through this system because they find it disgusting. It involves taking a handful of the worm casting and taking out the worms by hand. With this method, you can either apply the worm castings directly to the garden or accumulate them in a bucket.
This is one of our favourite methods as it is quite easy and effective too. To do this, you need to stop feeding the worms for about two weeks hereby making them extremely hungry. Next, you will get them a rich food that decomposes easily to be placed near the worm bin. We usually advise that harvesters should use a large pumpkin as worms can easily burrow through it. After 15 hours, you will find that most of the worms are already in the pumpkin you placed beside the worm bin.
Now, all you need to do is to collect the worm castings you need and return the worms into the bin. Remember that it is unlikely that all the worms will be in the pumpkin. This is why you might still need to do some manual sorting of the compost. Another trick you can use is by putting some rich worm food in a lot of onion bags. Next, you will bury these bags in the vermin compost. After a week or two, check back and you will find your worms in the bag making it easy to extract the worm castings.
Side By Side Method
Another favourite method of harvesting worm casting is by doing that from an ‘on-ground bed’ in a side by side method. To do this, move a heap of worm castings to one side, and place fresh worm food and bedding to the other side. Slowly, you will find that the worms will begin to move to the other side to consume the food. When this is done, you can remove the worm castings and perform the action over and over again when you need worm castings. You need to be patient as this process can take two to three weeks to complete.
If you have a large deposit of vermicast, you can use a flow-through bin to sort the worm castings and worms. It is an easy way to harvest worm castings but it can cost more money than the other methods. The reason for the increase in cost is because you need to get the flow through worm bin. You can either decide to buy it or build it yourself. However, you should buy it to eliminate the stress or the risk of not building the right thing.
These bins tend to have a grate holding the bedding, castings and the worms together. The way this works is that the worm casting drop through the grate or hole on their own due to the worms moving around. But you can also make the castings fall by shaking the bin yourself. This bin has a collector underneath for collecting all the castings when they fall off.
Benefits Of Worm Castings
Now you might be wondering what you stand to gain by going through the stress of harvesting worm castings. We will be highlighting some of the benefits below.
Worm castings are an organic type of plant and soil food. With this, you do not have to worry about some harmful chemical or substance destroying your plant or soil. Besides, with organic materials like worm castings, you have a 100% assurance that harmful chemicals won't get into your food. The reason is that the only ingredients in worm castings are worms and their excreta.
They Don’t Burn
One disadvantage of using fertilizers is that they can burn through the skin which is why people handle fertilizers with gloves. However, that is not the case with worm castings as they do not burn the skin ever. So, if you want a plant and soil feed without any risk of skin hazard, then you should consider worm castings.
Regular fertilizers are known to have a repugnant smell but this is not the case with worm castings. This is because worm excreta are completely odourless. This makes worm castings easier and more comfortable to use than other fertilizers.
Retains Moisture In The Soil
Another advantage of the worm casting is that it is capable of retaining moisture. With the use of worm castings, the soil retains more moisture than the soil ordinarily would. This means that with this, you have a relative assurance that the plants will do well in case of a drought.
Worm castings usually last longer than most fertilizers out there. Besides, worm castings can last over 5 times longer than regular fertilizers.
Creates Plant Growth Hormones
Worm castings help in creating hormones that help to stimulate root growth. Not only that it also helps in creating hormones that improve plant growth. When you use worm castings, you will notice your plants will grow bigger and the leaves will become lusher and fuller.
It has The Right Microbes For Plants
Some bacteria are ideal for the growth of plants. Worm casting has the right proportion of these bacteria that help improve the overall health of the plant. Not only that, the microbes and bacteria in worm casting also help to fight diseases and bacteria that might affect the plant’s growth. Besides, worm castings are known to produce a great amount of nitrogen which helps in speeding up photosynthesis.
Improves Soil Structure And Aeration
Worm castings generally help in improving the soil structure and one way they do it is by improving the soil aeration. With the way worm castings are shaped, they tend to leave space between themselves. This means that when you apply them to the soil, there will be more space for the plants to get oxygen. This, in turn, will lead to stronger roots and better plants.
After completing this article on how to harvest worm castings, you can agree that it is a simple task. We also included some benefits of using worm castings in the article. Finally, we hope you enjoyed this article as much as we enjoyed writing it. Now, go on and harvest as much worm castings as you can.