Casting call

Red Wiggler Worm Castings / Vermicompost in My Hand

I’ve always been a lazy gardener, never bothering with regular fertilizer application. But even when growing organically, plants need nutrient snacks to thrive, so I’m trying to be better about finding non-synthetic alternatives that meet each variety’s different needs.

Fish emulsion is a good source of nitrogen — which is helpful for leaf growth — but lately I’ve needed something to boost the root veggies in my life. And that’s where worm castings come in.

Worm castings (a.k.a. worm poop) are the stuff of legend. They stimulate plant growth and provide all sorts of minerals, but there’s no danger of burning the plant. I’ve been side dressing the onions and carrots every couple of weeks, and the plants seem to perk up quite a bit afterwards. It’ll be interesting to see if crop size reflects all this supplemental feeding.

By the way, if you shop at a local nursery, be sure to ask if they have a local hookup for worm castings. Turns out our store had two choices: one from a faraway commercial operation, and another from nearby Waverly, Alabama. We picked the Waverly worms, making the carbon footprint even lower.

What fertilizing tips do you have, gentle readers?

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