Hello, veteran growers! I have questions regarding the use of worm castings and worm casting tea in an amateur fruit grower’s gardening strategy. If you go onto YouTube, you’ll find plenty of videos extolling the virtues of worm castings and worm casting tea. Few, if any, however, really explain how you should incorporate tea applications in with fertilizing, treating for insects and fungus, etc.
First off, is it fair to say that worm castings are not fertilizer? They don’t seem to have the ratio of nutrients in them that is usually associated with fertilizer. If it isn’t fertilizer, what is it doing to the soil and the plant that fertilizer doesn’t?
Secondly, what is the cadence for applying it along with fertilizer, insecticide, fungicide, and even just basic watering? If you’re fertilizing, is applying worm tea in addition to the fertilizer too much for the plant to handle? And isn’t the tea watering the plant at the same time?
Any help on How you all incorporate worm casting tea into your fruit. Grind strategy would be greatly appreciate it. Many thanks!
I’ve been vermicomposting for a couple of years now. I’ve read that the vermicompost can be considered closer to a “soil amendment” rather than fertilizer. I apply on a schedule that depends on how much I generate every season. Last year I generated ~5 gallons of vermicompost after I sieved it all out from my worms. I applied vermicompost when I planted my new veggie seedlings, a couple of times throughout the season before a big rain, and then I used the rest at the end of the growing season as part of cleanup.
You’ll read some things that say the “tea” is specifically water brewed with castings for some amount of days, and other resources that call the water run-off from the colony “tea”. I water my worms once per week throughout the hot season and I was using the run-off on a rotating subset of plants. One week my tomatoes got it, the next week my peppers got it, etc.
I used my vermicompost + vermicompost run-off on the weekends I did not apply fish fertilizer. My recollection is that the plants seemed to really enjoy the run-off, I saw massive gains in the growth of my tomatoes and potatoes in particular. I think it’s unlikely you will burn your plans with either of the vermicompost or the vermicompost run-off, so I suspect you can be liberal with its application.
I agree with above comment.
This article can give you further insight into how to improve the fertility and the texture of your soil. Worm castings contain many minerals as well as microorganisms essential resulting from the breakdown of organic matter. In a way the Tea is an inniculant