Ask a Question forum: Benefits of Earthworm casting

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Long Island, NY (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
MargieNY
Sep 22, 2015 10:06 PM CST
I would like to know how earthworm casting benefits the soil and/or plants. Thanks in advance
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Sep 23, 2015 7:52 AM CST
Here's a good article on the subject: http://www.veggiegardeningtips.com/earthworm-castings/
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Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Sep 23, 2015 1:05 PM CST
Tee ...

That's a great article because it is the first one I have read over the years that states a benefit of adding just earthworm castings to the gardening soil.

If you had a limited budget, would you prefer to add live earthworms or earthworm castings to your gardening soil ? I am not thinking about using them to start new plants, but rather to enhance the viability of the soil throughout the garden.

I can see the value of having live earthworms working in the soil. I can see the value of live earthworms in the compost bin, but so many articles talk only about adding earthworm castings.

With the ongoing drought, I know I have a smaller population of earthworms near to the top inches of the soil. I have plenty working away at deeper levels were the soil moisture is more creates a more compatible environment for them to survive.

I've noticed that the soil near the surface is far more compacted after several years of drought, but when I dig my planting holes for fall planting, I am only finding lots of earthworms down at the deeper levels of the soil.

So, I am wondering in these dry years if adding earthworm castings is the best thing I can add.

Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Long Island, NY (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
MargieNY
Sep 23, 2015 5:55 PM CST
http://homeguides.sfgate.com/red-worms-well-garden-66200.htm...
http://www.gardensalive.com/product/the-worms-go-in-the-worm...
http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/sustainag/news/articles/V1-Radov...

this one is a pretty intense read - maybe someone here can explain the last few paragraphs findings in reference to the suppression of parasitic nematodes. Here's the article:
http://jdguez.webs.uvigo.es/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/The-i...

http://www.redwormcomposting.com/worm-bin-creatures/getting-...

Thank you Tee - great evaluation.
Long Island, NY (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
MargieNY
Sep 23, 2015 7:08 PM CST
Lyn have you considered making a earthworm casting tea that you spray on to the plants (underside of leaves and close to the root area)? Just a thought...
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Sep 23, 2015 9:54 PM CST
Margie ... It's a good question.

I live in a climate that is hot and arid during the summer months, which is the perfect environment for spider mites. I control the mites by washing the plants every other day and have never had a serious infestation.

I've never even thought about using a foliar spray on my plants.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.

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