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As you may or may not know, I have a worm bin full of thousands of redworms that I keep in our dining room. The whole family enjoys feeding the worms our vegetable scraps and watching the babies hatch.
Worm castings, or vermi-compost is the super compost - the best organic natural fertilizer possible for your plants. I have always read this and believed it, but this year I decided to put it to the test.
Last year, in one of my raised beds I put two rows of chicken wire fence with two rows of peas on either side of each fence. After the peas got growing, they looked like this:
For my experiment I put freshly harvested worm compost as a top dressing on the two rows of peas on one fence and not on the other.
After a few weeks, the pea vines on the composted side grew so much bigger than the other side that they reached above the fence and fell over! They also yielded many more peas! The easiest way to show you the difference is by this split screen picture:
The left side had the vermicompost added. Look how much thicker the vine is than the one on the right. The right side did well too. I never would have known the power of the worms if I hadn't done this side-by-side test. The peas were fabulous, by the way.
On the same day I added the worm castings to the peas, I transplanted my last early tomato plant. I added a generous amount of the worm compost to it's hole as well.
It may be just a coincidence, but that is the plant that has been giving us our early ripe tomatoes so far! The other early tomato plants haven't ripened yet. Sounds fishy doesn't it? Or should I say wormy! I'm convinced that the vermi-compost made the difference. It makes me want to get another tray started on my Worm factory right away. Each finished tray makes quite a bit of compost.
I have a friend that has been asking me about worm composting and how to do it. That has made me realize that I never really written a comprehensive how-to compost with worms post. I am now in the process of doing that, but for now all I can do for my friend is recommend some books like Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System and The Worm Book . Also, my Worm Factory® Composting System came with a great little informational booklet that I am loaning to her. She has said that she plans to buy the same bin that I have, so I know she'll be happy with it.One thing is sure, Vermicompost IS nature's super-compost!