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Also known as “Garden Gold”, vermicompost is the best organic fertilizer out there that you can use to feed your plants. Made through the process of worm farming, vermicompost consists of many nutrients that stimulate and encourage plant growth and yield.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the various properties, benefits, and uses of vermicompost. Let’s go ahead and get started!
What’s In Vermicompost?
Vermicompost contains plant-friendly ingredients and components, which make it high-quality fertilizer. It’s quite moist and dark in color with a nice, earthy smell to it. Good quality vermicompost contains many water-soluble plant supplements and micronutrients that help plant growth and promote flowering.
Here’s a quick look at the various nutrients vermicompost contains and how they can help your plants.
- Magnesium – The core of chlorophyll molecules found in plant tissue, magnesium helps plants to grow and prevents stunted growth. It helps the plant in the process of photosynthesis.
- NPK – NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen helps your plants to make the necessary proteins for producing new leafy tissues while phosphorus stimulates the growth of roots and seed production. Potassium is also extremely important since it helps in regulating the metabolic activities of the plants, while also helping them to make carbohydrates and promoting immunity against diseases.
- Iron – Iron is a micronutrient that helps in plant growth. Plants need only very small amounts of it.
- Sulphur – Helps with formation of chlorophyll and protein production.
- Calcium – Provides structural support to the plant cell walls.
- Molybdenum – Helps plants to use nitrogen for certain compounds such as proteins, amino acids, and chlorophyll.
- Zinc – Also helps with chlorophyll production.
- Manganese – Helps with growth and development of plants.
- Boron – Helps in cell wall formation of plants.
- Copper – Necessary for enzymatic activities as well as chlorophyll and production of seeds.
Apart from these, vermicompost is full of microbial entities which have the ability to convert all the existing minerals and vitamins in soil into plant-accessible forms.
Uses of Vermicompost
There are two ways to use vermicompost: as a spreading or mixing fertilizer or as ‘worm tea’. If you’re using it as a spreading fertilizer, you can add it directly to the soil by itself. If you’re using it as worm tea, you can make it by dissolving worm compost in water and then apply it to your plants.
Worm tea is often mistaken for the liquid that drains directly out of worm farms. Using worm tea directly on your plants is completely safe. However, the same can’t be said about the liquid that comes out of the worm bins which may contain harmful pathogens and substances which can be poisonous to plants.
Benefits of Vermicompost
Here’s a quick look at the various benefits of vermicompost and why you should use it in your garden:
Vermicompost is an excellent soil conditioner that can be used to improve and amend the quality of degraded soil types. It has a finer structure than normal compost and its porosity is much higher in comparison to regular compost. By mixing vermicompost you can increase the aeration of any soil type.
Vermicompost is mostly a mixture of paper beddings, decomposed organic matter, casting, cocoons, and other decayed parts of earthworms. It has worm mucus in it, which is something that’s not found in any other natural fertilizer.
Worm farms are rich in worm mucus, a slippery and sticky substance that’s naturally produced by worms. It helps the soil retain moisture better and prevents the nutrients and minerals from getting washed off.
The organic matter in vermicompost enhances the activities of microorganisms in the soil by adding various enzymes. Adding worm compost to the ground can also lure the earthworms in the deep in the ground to the surface which is an excellent way to upgrade your garden soil.
When added to seeds and to the roots of young plants, vermicompost encourages germination and growth with its many nurturing components. It has various plant growth regulators such as gibberellins, auxins, and cytokinins in its structure which work as chemical communicators between plant cells in elevating and stimulating the growth and the yield.
Using worm tea on plant foliage is a good solution for many harmful diseases and pathogens that pose a risk to your plants. Worm tea contains a single-celled organism called “protozoa” which can destroy bacteria and fungus that are detrimental to plant health. Coating your plants with a bit of worm tea will help prevent many plant infections and diseases.
Worm farms are extremely useful not just in producing chemical-free, nature-friendly fertilizer, but also in recycling your solid, organic waste productively. By using vermicompost, you can decrease environmental pollution due to chemical fertilizers down to a considerable level. In addition, it also serves as a quick fix in amplifying waste landfills which are currently becoming a huge environmental concern in the world.
Another nature-friendly effect of vermicomposting is that it doesn’t release any greenhouse gases into the environment. When waste piles collect in one place as landfills or for the purpose of composting, they generate numerous harmful greenhouse gases such as methane and nitric oxide over time. These gas emissions negatively affect the ozone layer and the surrounding atmosphere, so vermicomposting is a wonderful alternative to all the other organic waste disposal and recycling methods.
With its numerous uses and advantages, vermicompost is gaining worldwide recognition as an excellent natural fertilizer that’s valuable both environmentally and financially.
Currently, many countries around the world are using worm farms to produce more worm compost as a solution to agricultural and waste management problems.
If you’re interested in producing your own vermicompost at home, check out our article on how to build a worm farm. Start making vermicompost at home right away and experience all the benefits that come with it while doing your bit for the planet at the same time!