How to Use Worm Castings For Your Garden and House Plants

Worm castings (worm poop) are a potent organic fertilizer and pest-repellent. They are a rich source of nutrients and hold up to 90% of their weight in water. Castings can be added to your soil as a natural fertilizer or mixed with topsoil to enrich it with organic matter. Worm poop is a potent fertilizer that you should use in moderation, as too much can be detrimental to your plants.

raw worm castings held in two hands

How to use raw worm castings

Mix castings with the soil around your plants and shrubs. Spread the soil evenly around the base of the plants. Make sure not to apply the worm castings too deeply, as this will hinder rooting. High-end landscapers will use soil that is two parts soil and one part worm fertilizer. It is more common to see ratios of four parts soil to one-part castings.

How to use worm-casting tea

Worm castings can also be steeped and used as a liquid fertilizer. This hydrating substance is especially helpful for hanging baskets and containers, as it helps to hydrate plants. This liquid fertilizer can also be used as plant water or foliar fertilizer, but be aware that the tea does not keep well. You can only use it for a few days before it spoils, so plan ahead.

How to harvest worm castings

Once your worms have reached maturity, harvesting your worm castings is a simple process. You will need three plastic bins and two framed straining screens. Pour the mixture through a 1/4-inch to one-eighth-inch mesh screen to separate the worms and eggs from the rest of the soil. Once you have collected your castings, you can save the castings in a container with some airflow. Return the cocoons and worms to their bin.

Finding high-quality worm poop

Castings are often mixed with other composted materials to make them larger. Worm castings may be more bedding material than poop, so you should check carefully to ensure that you get the right product. Leachate isn’t worm tea, but it is liquid produced during the decomposition process. Leachate may contain pathogens and kill your plants. Be sure your worm tea was brewed from worm castings, not just a byproduct of the compost bin.

Summary: How to Use Worm Castings For Your Garden and House Plants

Worm castings are an effective way to combat pests. These natural products are made by earthworms, and their castings contain the enzyme Chitinase, which degrades chitin, a substance that is part of the exoskeleton of insects. It destroys the exoskeletons of pests, especially whiteflies and aphids. Using worm poop is safe for pets and children and is a safe alternative to expensive pesticides.