Composting your organic waste brings a variety of benefits to your garden, providing a nutrient-rich material to feed plants, helping them to thrive. Vermicomposting works in a similar way to a conventional compost heap, but uses worms, in addition to microbes and bacteria, to turn organic waste into fertilizer. Here are a few benefits of vermicomposting in order to produce a high quality fertilizer for your garden.
What is vermicomposting?
Like conventional composting, vermicomposting is a process of breaking down organic waste, including food peelings, garden cuttings, tea bags, coffee grounds and eggshells. The resulting compost can be used to provide essential nutrients to plants in your garden, allowing them to thrive. Vermicomposting takes place in a worm bin, containing worms which consume and digest organic matter. The resulting product of this digestion process is commonly known as “worm castings” or “worm manure”- a dark brown/black material with a grainy texture. Redworms and red wigglers are the most commonly used worms in this process, and a healthy worm bin can continue to provide you with a free and natural fertilizer for many years.
Benefits of vermicomposting
Using vermicompost brings a variety of benefits to your garden. The process is generally much quicker than conventional composting techniques, with redworms being some of the quickest worms to digest organic matter, meaning your compost supplies are more regularly replenished. Vermicompost is also far richer in essential nutrients than regular compost. The intestinal tract of the redworm adds concentrated nutrients to the resulting compost, and vermicompost generally contains 5 to 11 times more nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium than normal soil, allowing plants to thrive.
Worm castings are also rich in humic acid, a substance that maintains the overall quality of your vermicompost. Humic acid acts to bind together minerals and nutrients in the compost, protecting them from UV damage and from being washed away through watering or rainfall. This allows plants to enjoy the benefits of added nutrients for longer, helping them to thrive.
Vermicompost is also rich in plant growth hormones. This generally allows a higher crop yield, with sturdy, deep rooted plants. Introducing growth hormones to your plants often leads to earlier germination and produces bigger fruit and vegetables without the need for chemical fertilizers.
By introducing a diverse range of microbes into your plant’s environment through the use of vermicompost, you can steadily build up your plant’s resistance to disease. Diversity is the biggest enemy of plant diseases and mites and makes soil conditions more difficult for them to grow and spread, protecting your crops from the dangers that diseases can bring.
Click here to find out how you can start vermicomposting with your own worm bin.tagsbenefits of vermicompostingcompostmulchorganic gardeningvermicomposting