Advantages of Vermicompost

Vermicompost is the dark, crumbly result of worm composting, or vermicomposting. Vermicompost is made up of decomposed organic material, such as fruits, vegetables and paper, as well as vermicast---the droppings from worms. Vermicompost is typically used as a soil amendment and fertilizer, and offers gardeners several advantages and benefits when growing fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants.

Usage Flexibility

Unlike some synthetic commercial fertilizers, vermicompost has both fertilizing and soil improving characteristics. Used strictly as a fertilizer, the material may help with plant growth, fruit and vegetable yield and underground root development. Used as a soil amendment, the organic nature of the vermicompost can improve the condition of the soil itself. For example, it may increase the water-holding capabilities of sandy soil and break up or loosen clay-based soils.

Micro-organism Activity

Vermicompost is alive and full of microscopic organisms, in contrast to packaged sterilized fertilizers such as purified manure. This microbial activity is due in part to the process in which a worm consumes, digests and excretes the plant-based waste in the compost material. These micro-organisms may enrich and boost the quality of the soil with beneficial plant hormones, solubilizers and plant-based enzymes.

Ecologically Beneficial

Vermicompost can be made with discarded plant waste, such as yard trimmings and pruned vegetables, as well as household paper waste. The use of this soil-amending product decreases the waste load on landfills and municipal trash-collection services and allows gardeners to recycle waste directly back into the earth in a beneficial manner.

Worm Growth

Vermicompost often contains worm eggs and tiny baby worms. When added to your soil, the material directly improves the wild worm population. This increases the long-term health of your soil thanks to the worms' aerating and fertilizing effects.

Ingredient Control

Gardeners have no control over the ingredients of most commercial fertilizing products. When made at home, vermicompost lets gardeners control what goes into the material. You can ensure that it is free from chemicals, toxins, diseases and pests such as insects and weed seeds. This may help lower the average incidence of plant diseases and pests in your garden.

Keywords: vermicompost, advantages of vermicompost, worm compost

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.