Getting Back to the Basics of Nature
Most would agree that to grow strong healthy plants we must start with strong healthy soil. Over the past few decades the trend of the agricultural industry and home gardeners has been to dump chemicals on the plants to make them grow bigger and faster. This process, over time, has upset the natural balance of the soil.
Every chemical fertilizer or pesticide that is produced will, in some way, affect the biology of the soil killing the beneficial microorganisms that are naturally present in healthy soil. Remember, every one of these microorganisms has it own specific job to do in the soil. If it is no longer present, the balance of the soil becomes unhealthy. As a result of this imbalance plants become less productive. Most gardeners react by adding chemicals to make the plants grow and produce fruit. The application of chemical components, while it mate get the immediate effect, ultimately kills more beneficial microorganisms and a spiraling downtrend in the quality of the soil has begun.
Worm Castings is the answer to this problem. What are Worm Castings? Many are unfamiliar with the term. They are a complete organic fertilizer that is produced naturally by earthworms. Worm Castings are organic materials consumed and passed through the digestive tract of a worm. In the most basic form, it is worm manure. Castings look, feel, and smell like black topsoil. The end product is “super humus” which is extremely fertile soil amendment, properly conditioned for best root growth, containing in rich proportion and water soluble form, all the elements required of the earth for optimum plant nutrition.
Organic gardeners discovered the problem with chemical additives decades ago. The number of gardeners wanting to get back to nature’s way of replenishing the soil are growing. The increasing emphasis on organic gardening and use of Worm Castings is rapidly found to be the ideal solution to the problem. Even if one were not necessarily enamored with the concept of organic gardening, Worm Castings are Mother Nature’s purest form of a sustained release plant food. This product can be used on all plant life without fear of burning even the most delicate plants. With the hectic pace most live there may be little time or patience devoted to the garden. While organic gardening may take more time and patience than the fast passed chemical alternative, Worm Castings can be used to jump-start this process and it is 100% natural.
Worms are nature’s way of returning organic material back to the soil so; the plants can use it again. The process of passing materials through the digestive track of the worm is what makes it the best soil amendment money could buy. Worms will break materials down to its most simple form. This process allows nutrients to be introduced to plants in a way that nutrients will not leach out of soil and away from plant’s root system.
Chemical fertilizers usually provide only available synthetic nutrients, much of what are quickly lost into the soil with watering, as a plants’ root system can only absorb so much. Though they may have many nutrients and/or higher analysis, the ability of plants of optimally use them is limited because they are not broken down to the degree in which the earthworm is able to provide them. Chemical fertilizers are most often detrimental to soil microbiology, bypassing and often destroying much of its beneficial microbial and bacterial activity. Worm Castings allow plants to quickly and easily absorb all essential nutrients and trace elements in simple forms, so plants need only minimal effort to obtain them.
Along with essential nutrients, Worm Castings also contain an extremely high population of beneficial microorganisms. By reintroducing the microbes back into the soil again, it can more efficiently do its job of feeding the plants. The size, shape, and overall texture of the Worm Castings naturally improve the aeration of the soil increasing airflow to the roots of the plants. the Soil Ecology Laboratory at the university of Ohio has preformed many studies on the effects of Worm Castings on plant growth. During this research they discovered that by incorporating as little as 20% of Worm Castings by volume into the commercials potting mixtures, Worm Castings:
- Increased the over all size of the plant ranging from 20% to 50%
- Increased the size and amount of fruit produce by tomato plants by more than 50%
- Significantly suppressed common diseases in fruit and vegetable plants such as Pythium (damping-off), Rhizoctonia (Root Rot), and Verticillium (Wilt) in some come fruit and vegetables under controlled conditions thereby eliminating the need for chemicals to prevent the destruction of your plants by these common diseases
- Retained up to 4 times its weight in water. Typical compost retains onle 1 times its weight in moisture. Thus reducing the need for watering and helping protect plants in times of drought
Worm Castings is not a new miracle cure nor will castings fix all of the problems we as gardeners are going to encounter. It has done incredible things in my garden vegetables, flowering beds, my lawn, shrubberies, and houseplants while significantly improving the soil. Worm Castings have been around as long as the earth existed. This is not a new concept, it is just one that needs to be considered before more chemicals are applied to the soil. The simple fact is that Earthworm Castings were created by nature for the purpose of promoting optimum plant growth and everything is required to provide it, is found in them. When you concentrate this odorless, non-burning miracle of nature in greater concentrations than usually found in nature, the results are truly spectacular. Now that it is readily available in the Kansas City market of 15 lb Nature’s Own Worm Castings, everyone can enjoy its amazing benefits.
The earthworm’s unique digestive system coats the castings with polysaccharides, providing optimum soil structure for a maximum aeration and water retention. (Both necessary in a healthy root system.)