I wanted to explain some more information on worm castings from our
field trip today to the worm farm.
worm castings is a soil amendment that can be called a
"bio-fertilizer". This means that the real benefit from the castings is
not the nutrients in the castings themselves, but the micro-organisms
that live in the castings. These organisms, such as nitrifying bacteria
and phosphobacteria will aid in the mineralization of nutrients in the
soil and will continue to benefit the soil long after the application of
the worm castings. Once the soil is inoculated with these
micro-organisms, they will continue to help mineralize nutrients as long
as they have the proper conditions and enough organic matter to thrive.
This paper talks about this in more depth.
Worm castings have high levels of micro-nutrients. Some studies have
shown that too much worm castings in a soil mixture can be deleterious
to plants. In ratios higher than 1:4 of castings:soil the salt content
of the castings stunted growth by pulling water out of the plants.
more on soil bacteria.
BESS summer intern
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