Earth Worm Castings (EWC) are nitrogen-rich fertilizer produced by the excrement of Eisenia fetida, also known as red wiggler worms or trout worms. They are among some of the most abundant organisms in the world; one square foot of good soil can hold anywhere from 30-50 worms. When gardening, worms are your friends in maintaining the soil as well as enriching it.
Earth worm castings, also known as vermicastings, are 50% higher in organic matter when compared to other soils that have not moved through worms. EWC also has an increased effect on the soil’s cation-exchange capacity—essentially the ability of the soil to hold and supply nutrients. Their digestive enzymes help breakdown nutrients in the soil, essentially making those ‘locked up’ nutrients become bioavailable. Worms that are in soil will fortify it to be almost seven times richer in phosphate, ten times the potash, five times the nitrogen and three times the magnesium when compared to soils with no worms. An added bonus? Calcium will be increased one and a half times because of the calcium carbonate released during digestion.
Earth worm castings are coated with a polysaccharide as well as carbohydrates and simple proteins which help maintain and at times elevate the bacterial population in the soil. This means that worms are not only a great soil conditioner but aid in the production of beneficial bacteria. Beneficial bacteria helps annual plants live a healthy life.
This post was written by sperling