If you’re going to be a great gardener, you need to know the best ways to fertilize your garden. And what’s the best way to fertilize? Worm castings are the best organic form of fertilizer you can come across. And if you’re looking at ways to fertilize, then you’ll need to know how to store worm castings.
Worm castings are known as “black gold” in the gardening world. This is because when you use them in your gardens, you’ve struck gold. There is nothing better for your garden. Storing worm castings is so important to the future success of your garden, due to its revitalizing qualities. Worm castings can ensure the longevity of your plants and give them the best nutrients.
What are Worm Castings?
Do you know what worm castings actually are? I didn’t. So, I did a little research. Basically, worm castings are worm feces. I had heard of cow manure being good for gardening, but worm? I had to look into it further.
Worm castings are also known as vermicast. When an earthworm devours compost, the nutrients from that compost secrete into their feces. It makes sense that worms eat so many nutrients out of plants and soil, that they would create the most beneficial fertilizer known to plants. Worm castings can either be constructed organically or purchased store-bought.
Why should you use Worm Castings?
Worm castings are optimal for enhancing your garden. It can be mixed into soil or layered on top. Either way you choose, the worm castings will do their job. They offer garden plants an excellent environment to thrive as they grow. It also can “resurrect” plants that did not grow in beds that are barren. It fills the soil with enriching nutrients that reach deep into the roots of plants and pulls out their best self.
What I found interesting is that worm castings need to breathe. They require air and moisture, rather than being locked airtight. Storing them this way brings optimal productivity to the worm castings, and ultimately better plants for you and for me! To keep these castings “alive”, there is a special way we need to store them.
Step by Step on How to store worm castings?
If you’re now wondering how to store worm castings, you’ve come to the right place. You already know that to breathe, worm castings need air and moisture to survive. However, you can’t just leave a container of worm castings sitting out. You don’t want to introduce other bacteria, dust, or bugs into your worm castings. They still need to be covered. So, how do we store worm castings? There are a few ways.
1. The Ever-Popular Bucket Method
The bucket method is the most popular way to go when deciding how to store worm castings. However, you may need a few things you don’t have on standby.
Materials You’ll Need
Step 1: Poke holes in the lid of your bucket
First, you’ll need your 5-gallon bucket. If you don’t have a bucket like that, a tote with a lid could work just fine. If you’re a cat lover, you may even have the litter bucket that comes with a lid. These are all great options when choosing how to store worm castings.
You’ve established that you want to treat worm castings as if they’re alive, or in this case, one of your pets. What do you do if you don’t have a pet carrier or the money to get one? That’s right, the old-fashioned box with holes.
But in this case, a bucket with holes. You’ll need to use the drill to put little air holes in the lid for your worm castings to breathe. You might need some assistance when drilling the holes in the lid. You can keep the lid on the bucket and just drill from there. Drill a fair amount of holes as if you would for a pet.
Note: Make sure the lid on your bucket fits properly and seals well. While we want air holes in the top, we still want to keep other things out such as dust, bacteria, and bugs.
Step 2: Make Sure Your Castings are Wet
You’ll need to make sure your worm castings are wet. Your spray bottle will be the best option to control the moisture of your worm castings. You don’t want to drown them, but they should be wet enough for you to grab a handful and squeeze. They should keep shape in your hand, but only so a few drops of water come out.
Once you’ve got them moist enough, you’ll start scooping or dumping your worm castings into the bucket. Fill your bucket up to a few inches below where the lid would sit. Generally, 2-3 inches is enough.
Worm castings are hard to pack down, due to their structure. If you’re choosing to pre-mix your soil with your worm castings, the castings allow that extra air so the soil doesn’t pack down naturally.
Step 3: Line the top of your bucket with wet newspaper
You’ll need to take the newspaper and spray it with the spray bottle of water. Make sure it is completely wet, but there’s no need for it to be soaking wet or soggy. Take the newspaper and lay it over the top of the worm castings in the bucket. This is going to help your worm castings keep moist, but not too moist.
Step 4: Seal your bucket
Place the lid over the bucket and ensure that it’s sealed tightly. Make sure that there is room between the newspaper and the lid. The air will travel through the moist newspaper and keep the worm castings below it moist and ready for future planting
This method is the most popular way to teach someone how to store worm castings. But, here is an alternative method to store them if you don’t have a bucket or drill.
2. Ziploc Bag Method
Materials You’ll Need
This method is very simple. The star of this way of storing worm castings is the Ziploc bag. The size of the bag is completely up to you. Choose whichever size fits your need and amount of worm castings.
Step 1: Poke holes in your Ziploc bag
Poke air holes in one side of your bag. Poke these holes carefully and make sure that they are not too big and you don’t rip the bag. You can use a pen, pencil, wooden skewer, or virtually anything that can make holes in the bag without ripping it open.
Step 2: Scoop worm castings into bag
With the air hole side of the Ziploc bag face up, scoop your worm castings into the Ziploc bag. You don’t want worm castings to fall through the holes, so you’re only leaving them on one side. Seal your bag.
Step 3: Add tape to the Ziploc bag
After you’ve sealed your Ziploc bag, it is good to seal it further, for extra measure. You don’t want to introduce too much air into the castings, or they will lose their moisture. That’s where the moisture-resistant tape comes from. Take the tape and apply a strip to the seal. Pinch the tape over both ends of the seal. You might want to add two strips to be safe.
While both of these ways to store worm castings will work, I definitely recommend using the first method. The bucket method allows for longer keep, and ultimately, it’s the most durable.
With the Ziploc bag method, you risk the chance of perforating the bag and losing some of that black gold. You also risk spills and other mishaps that can happen because of flimsy materials. However, the Ziploc bag method is great if you’re selling your compost in individual sizes or just need a little at a time.
And there you have it! You now have an easy and inexpensive way to show you how to store worm castings.
Now You’re the Expert
Thank you for checking out step-by-step guide on how to store worm castings. I hope you enjoyed it and found it helpful in storing your own worm castings. By now, you’ve learned that using worm castings is the best option when it comes to fertilizing your garden. Storing worm castings using either of these methods will guarantee a bountiful harvest out of your garden this next season.
I hope you learned as much about how to store worm castings as I did. I also hope this helps you find the best way to store your own castings. If you tried either of these methods, feel free to leave a comment to let us know how it worked for you. If you liked this article, we welcome you to share it!