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Earthworm Castings in Growing Marijuana

Earthworm Castings in Growing Marijuana

Earthworm Castings in Growing Marijuana:

One of the best ways to ensure a bountiful marijuana harvest is to use earthworm castings on the soil. This natural material is the by-product of the food digested by the worms. As such, it is purely organic and extremely rich in both the main nutrients and trace minerals that are essential to the plants.

Interestingly, the benefits of using worm castings are not only limited to nutrients. It has several other surprising advantages, making it deserve to earn the title of super plant food. For this reason, it is the most popular fertilizer that many big city millennials use to nourish their plants.

While many growers commonly associate composting with hard work, using this method is relatively easy. Basically, all we need is a good environment for the worms and plenty of food supply to work their magic. Once we apply it to our crop, expect to see it grow healthier and produce richer buds.

To get started in using worm castings, it is best to know the basics about it. Hence, this article will cover its benefits, production, and usage. Because of its tremendous positive effects on the plants, learning about it can be extremely valuable to the cannabis growers.

What We Need to Know About Worm Castings

Again, the best way to supercharge the soil is to use worm castings. But how do we get started with this method? For interested growers, this section will provide all the necessary information to start using it effectively in the garden. But first, let’s take a quick look at its composition and benefits.

1. What is it?
As mentioned, worm castings are the excrement s of worms from digesting various food scraps. Somehow, through their digestion process, they produce this material that is loaded with rich nutrients for the soil.

1.1 Worm Castings vs Vermicomposts

Worm Castings vs Vermicomposts

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Worm castings slightly differ with vermicomposts when it comes to composition. While the former is made purely of worm feces, the latter is a mix of the castings and other materials in the compost. Both have the same basic ingredient and are often combined with each other. Thus, many growers use these terms interchangeably.

1.2 What kind of worms can we use?

Red Worms

Red Worms - Image powered by
Saferbrand.com

There are specific earthworms that growers use for this purpose. The two main types are the Lubricus rubellis and the Eisenia foetida which are also the ones we use as fish baits. Casually, they are known as the red worms, red wrigglers, tiger worms, and the manure worms.

2. What are its benefits?
Aside from being totally chemical-free and inexpensive, using worm castings can make huge improvements to the garden. In addition, they are readily available and are easy to make. So, what more do we need? To truly appreciate their magic, let’s examine how they are beneficial to the crop.

2.1 Aerate the Soil

Aerate the Soil

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While most gardeners keep their worms in a container, some are more practical and just let them loose in the garden. This allows the worms to perform their most obvious functions which is to tunnel through the soil and introduce oxygen in the process. As a result, the roots get enough space to absorb more water and nutrients.

2.2 Environment-friendly

Environment-friendly

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Aside from being nature’s decomposers, worms also help households reduce their waste by recycling their kitchen scraps. This significantly reduces landfills while enriching the soil and produce bountiful harvests. Add to that, using castings eliminates the need to use harmful chemicals in the garden.

2.3 Get Rid of Harmful Microorganisms

Get Rid of Harmful Microorganisms

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Worm castings release substances in the humus that eliminates toxic fungi and bacteria. In effect, they fight off diseases that could possibly weaken the plants and affect our yield. Moreover, they also introduce good microorganisms that help make the soil richer and the plants healthier.

2.4 Make the Soil More Absorbent

Make the Soil More Absorbent

Make the Soil More Absorbent - Image powered by Leafly.com

The castings can make the soil absorb moisture more easily. As a result, the soil gets all the water that it needs, keeping the plants well-hydrated and at no risk from completely drying out.

2.5 Stabilize the pH of the Soil

Stabilize the pH of the Soil

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The soil needs to have a balanced pH to absorb the essential minerals. When we apply the worm castings, this immediately corrects any imbalances in the pH level. Hence, for many growers, this is the best remedy and preventive measure for nutrient problems.

2.6 Teeming with Nutrients

Teeming with Nutrients

Teeming with Nutrients - Image powered by Maxpull-tlu7l6lqiu.stackpathdns.com

Compared to the ordinary potting mix, castings have ten times more nutrients. In fact, they contain over 60 micronutrients and other essential elements including nitrogen, phosphates, and calcium. Even better is that unlike commercial fertilizers, they are released slowly in the soil, preventing any nutrient burn or mineral buildup.

2.7 Remove Toxins in the Soil

Remove Toxins in the Soil

Remove Toxins in the Soil - Image powered by Economist.com

Sometimes, there are heavy metals and other toxic matter in the soil. Impressively, worm castings remove these dangerous wastes, leaving the soil safe and suitable for the plants to grow in. This is especially useful when growing marijuana in reclaimed landfills or other contaminated areas.

2.8 Repel Pests

Repel Pests

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Aside from enriching the quality of the soil, worm castings also protect the plants from pest damage. Studies found that applying them around the plant promotes the release of chemicals that are offensive to insects. In effect, we control pest problems without resorting to chemicals.

3. How do we make it?
While some growers prefer to buy the castings from a local garden supply center, others like to make their own. The great thing about this method is that we can practice it anywhere. Whether at home or in the office, anyone can start making worm castings in three easy steps with the help of a few simple things.

Step 1: Select a Container

Select a Container

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Before getting the worms, prepare a suitably-sized bin for the desired amount of castings. Nowadays, there are so many types of commercial worm containers that are available online. They are designed for home use, so they are very easy to manage.

Step 2: Obtain Earthworms

Obtain Earthworms

Obtain Earthworms - Image powered by Wormfarmfacts.com

Now that we have a container, it’s time to get the worms. Most growers prefer to acquire them the easy way and purchase them at the local garden store or online. Others like to comb the soil for red wrigglers themselves. But remember that we need at least a thousand of worms if we want to produce a decent amount of castings.

Step 3: Provide the Basic Needs

Provide the Basic Needs

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Worms need a bedding which we can easily provide by placing shredded newspapers or cardboard for them to tunnel in. Since worms need a bit of moisture, make sure to have extra beddings to absorb it.
Provide the Basic Needs

To create an environment for them to thrive, we also need to add sawdust, cornmeal, straw, or coco coir. Now for their food, give them kitchen scraps such as fruit and vegetable peelings, coffee grounds, tea bags, grains, and bread.
Provide the Basic Needs

Basically, they tend to produce more nutritious castings if they get a well-balanced diet. But avoid giving them meat or dairy which often attracts bad bacteria. Also, make sure they don’t run out of fresh food to consume. A good rule of thumb is to provide a pound of scraps to a pound of worms.

Step 4: Harvest the Castings

Harvest the Castings

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Depending on the size of the container and the number of worms, we can harvest the castings every two months.

4. How do we use it?

How do we use it

How do we use it - Image powered by 420magazine.com

We can use the castings right away or store it for the next growing season. But don’t be disappointed if we extract only a handful from the bin. In favorable conditions, the worms multiply rapidly and will make more castings if we provide them enough food.

To use, simply mix the castings with the compost or use it as a side dressing for an indoor plant. We can also use the “worm tea” by watering it to plants that need a boost. Whichever way we use them, we can expect to see satisfying results.

Using Worm Castings Creates High-Quality Soil

There is nothing more natural than using worms to enhance the quality of the soil. Since they are nature’s fertilizers, they offer the most abundant nutrients with the least harm to the environment. Hence, growers who practice this method get the most nourishing soil and the healthiest plants.

To get started with worm castings, learn everything about it first. While the process comes naturally, we need the knowledge and skills to sustain it. By doing so, we get decent amounts of the castings that will boost our chances of getting a successful harvest every time.

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Comment Section

6 thoughts on “Earthworm Castings in Growing Marijuana


By Scott Losito on 3 January 2015

dn't seeds.thks marijuana plant care.great company.thks for support


By garce on 16 March 2015

how about castings from dermestid beetles ? a friend of mine
is using them to prep skulls and i can the castings , just wondering
if they would be good or bad to amend my grow soil with ..
thanks ..garce


By Extremis on 31 January 2017

Hi,

I actually used ONLY worm casting for the germination/seedling phase. is it a mistake? What can I do to correct it if it's one.


By Grass Chief on 26 October 2017

Casting of earthworms in the plantation of marijuana, is purely organic and extremely rich in both the main nutrients and trace minerals that are essential to the plants.

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