Whether you’re a new gardener or you have a “green thumb,” you may be wondering – are worm castings beneficial? And if they are, do you have to pay top dollar for them, or can you use cheaper worm casting products? Let’s separate fact from fiction.
What Are Worm Castings, Anyway?
They’re poop. Well, that’s the simplest way to describe it. Worm castings are the waste of certain types of earthworms. It’s also known as “vermicast.”
Worm castings are made by mixing a bunch of earthworms into organic material (compost), and then letting them eat their way through the organic material and break it down. As they eat, the worms excrete waste that is full of nutrients that plants love.
Not only that, but worm castings have a “football” shape that can help with soil aeration, drainage, and water retention, making them a great additive to any soil.
Worm Casting Quality Can Vary On A Product-By-Product Basis
Mostly, the quality of worm castings has to do with the organic material the worms eat. Higher quality compost means the end result will be more nutritious and better for your plants.
But are worm castings beneficial, even if you get a cheaper product? Our answer is “yes.” You may get the best results with top quality, organic worm castings – but all worm castings provide nitrogen and other essential nutrients to plants, and are worth using.
Want Even Better Worm Castings? Make Your Own!
Even the best store-bought worm castings can’t hold a candle to freshly-made worm castings! It’s easy to make or buy a “worm box” and to get some earthworms to begin making your own castings.
Then, just add kitchen scraps, compost, manure, leaf litter, and other clippings that are appropriate for compost, and let the worms do their work. Harvest the worm castings regularly and add them to your garden for healthier plants. You can find a full guide to this process here if you’re interested in high-quality DIY worm castings!
Are Worm Castings Beneficial? Absolutely – They’re Great For Your Garden
There’s nothing magical about worm castings. You’ll still need to plant the right seeds for your garden, care for your plants as they grow, water your garden properly, and follow other gardening best practices. But thanks to their powerful nutrients and unique ability to help with drainage, water retention and soil aeration, worm castings are a great addition to any garden!