Benefits of Earthworm Casts

Expert and novice farmers alike are beginning to realize the incredible usefulness of earthworms and their fecal matter, also called casts. Earthworm casts are produced naturally, and they provide plants with the perfect mix of organic nutrients required for optimal plant growth. The usefulness of earthworm casts is recognized even by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for their benefits to commercial and residential farming.

Production

The fabulous thing about earthworm casts is that the earthworms produce them naturally as part of their life cycle. Earthworms create casts as they burrow through the earth, consuming dirt, debris and other organic material. The earthworm is an ecological decomposer that breaks down decaying matter, consuming the bacteria and fungi that live in it. After the earthworm has derived all of the nutrients it requires from the earth, the earthworm excretes its nutrient-dense fecal matter, or casts, back into the earth.

Benefits

Earthworms and their castings are extremely beneficial not only to the environment, but also to farmers and gardeners. Earthworm casts are rich in vital nutrients, such as nitrogen and carbon. Casts help to protect plants from heavy metals and plant-killing fungi that might be present in the soil. Moisture content is improved when you use worm casts, therefore allowing more time between waterings. Castings also help protect plants from pH changes in the soil that may result in plant or crop destruction.

Use

Use worm casts as a fertilizer in your flower and vegetable gardens for lush, gorgeous plants and crops. You cannot overuse worm castings, so feel free to be as generous as you want.

Keywords: earthworm casts, gardening with worm casts, worm castings

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Amanda Mann began writing professionally at 20. After her B.A. and master's work, Mann taught writing at the secondary level. She's provided exact prose for more than 10 years. A Florida-certified teacher, Mann's credentials also include certifications as a doula and a childbirth educator. She currently writes for a number of clients including eHow, Trails Travel and Answerbag.

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