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Making Hydroponics Organic Compost and Compost Tea with Earthworms and Vermiculture

Earthworms are your hydroponics friends Earthworms are your hydroponics friends

I remember when I was younger and the world was a sweeter place, every spring the robins would flock onto our lawn and eat mega-poundage of earthworms. The climate here has changed; drought and polluted water killed all the earthworms. But gardeners who want healthy, living soil are getting into making compost with earthworms and vermiculture.

It’s a lot more fun, and a lot easier, than you might think. But first, what are the benefits of making compost with earthworms and vermiculture? When you look at the rich, easy to handle, well-aerated compost soil that earthworms make, you see the benefits of vermiculture.

Using a worm composting set-up, you throw kitchen scraps and other organics in, the earthworms work on it, and later on you get material that’s rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, along with other stuff that’s all guaranteed to boost your hydroponics yields.

It’s important to remember that these elements are present in a form immediately available to your hydroponics plants because they’re predigested.

Yes, earthworms are efficient living machines that consume materials and turn them into plant nutrients. They also aerate soil so it holds and releases water and oxygen better.

Earthworm poop is called earthworm castings; when earthworms eat your household organic scraps, their poop is called vermicompost. These earthworm-produced materials aren’t just rich in nutritional elements that make your plants grow faster and produce larger yields…they also contain beneficial microbes that enliven your soil, increase root size and function, and protect your roots and plants from dangerous root zone pathogens.

If you’re growing in sterile root zone media such as Grodan Rockwool and can’t use vermicompost in your root zone, you can make powerful “worm tea” from the vermicompost. The way you do this is similar to how you make any compost tea.

The benefits of compost tea are derived from the nutritional elements and beneficial microbes that infuse into it from your vermicompost. These materials can transfer into your plants via roots and foliar spray, providing stimulation of growth and yield, along with healthier roots and plants that are better able to resist diseases, molds, mildews and other attackers.

Making worm compost can involve having a structure that allows the worms to eat organic scraps, digest them, leave their poop, and then move to another level of the structure to start the process over again. You remove the tray at the level they were just on, and use the vermicompost.

Or you can use a pre-made “worm farm” from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. Uncle Jim’s is my favorite source for worms, worm composters, and vermicomposting information. Before I found Uncle Jim’s, I bought worms and compost from other sources, and I was disappointed. The worms were dead, or they were the wrong kind, or the vermicompost wasn’t fresh. Uncle Jim’s isn’t like that. They’re honest country folk who have a lot of pride in their worms and worm gear.

Uncle Jim’s has always shipped me premium Pennsylvania red wiggler worms bred for composting. These babies are hungry- they can eat their own weight in food in less than a day. Not only that, they breed like rabbits so you always have a good supply. If you have too many worms for your vermicompost enclosure, you can put them into your yard or use them for fishing. Or you can sauté them in soy sauce for an exotic, protein-rich treat : )

Worm farming is fun, it gives your hydroponics plants a nice boost from beneficial microbes and nutrition, and it’s easy to do. Unlike regular compost piles, there’s no smell and no worries. Take a look at Uncle Jim’s and worm farming information today. You can get started for about $100, and you’re sure to find that making organic compost and compost tea from earthworms using vermiculture is a good way to increase growth rates and yields in your hydroponics garden.

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This lady loves worms
Last modified on Monday, 17 September 2012 16:58

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