Using Worm Compost in the Garden
Plenty has been said about the benefits of vermicomposting at home and using the nutrient-rich compost in your pots or garden. Most people are aware about how it enables us to get rid of the garbage in an eco-friendly manner and aids the growth of healthy and bountiful flora on the other.
The public is also familiar with the ins and outs of composting their food scraps and other organic materials with the help of appropriate worms in a compost bin. And once the rich ‘black gold’ is ready, they harvest the worm castings with different methods too.
Now we come to actually using the finished product in such a way that the vegetation will thrive! There are various ways in which the nutrient-rich compost can be used for plants and trees. Such as:
- The simplest way to use compost is as a top dressing for indoor and outdoor plants, trees or even on the lawn. Spread out a 3”- 4” layer at the base of the plant over the soil. Do ensure that the compost does not pile up against the plant stems. The rich nutrients will seep into the soil when it is watered, thus transferring the nutrients to the plant. Repeat every 2 to 3 months for continued results.
- Directly mix the compost with the soil in the pots or garden (20% compost in the soil is sufficient). It will work as a healthy soil amendment.
- Some people add a layer of compost when turning the soil or just work the compost into the soil above the roots of existing plants and trees.
- Add a handful of compost in the hole when planting seeds or transplants. Replenish regularly as the plant grows out.
- You can also make compost tea for watering the plants. While there are varying methods of preparing compost tea, the simplest is to just mix a few tablespoons of compost with water. Leave the mix for a day so that the compost properly diffuses into the water. Stir it a few times for better results. Strain the tea before using it to water the plants or just spray on the leaves. Some people even dilute the tea before use.
You can use the compost immediately after harvesting it from a compost bin or even store it for later use. In fact, avid gardeners prefer to let the compost sit in a bag or bin for a few months. It is kept away from water and sunlight in this interim. The lumpy and clay-like worm castings derived from the bin soon transform into fine grains that can be used easily.
Irrespective of the method of use, the worm compost will enrich the soil by adding beneficial microorganisms, humus, nutrients and even growth hormones to the soil. The final result is a flourishing garden with brightly blooming flowers and healthy fruits and vegetables.