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Worm Castings and  Garlic.


Worm Castings and Worm-Casting Extract are powerful soil conditioners that deliver nutrients and beneficial soil microbes and mycelium to improve soil health.  In our experience, it helps garlic plants thrive and meet their potential.  Why?  Worm Castings and Worm Casting Extracts derive nutrients and beneficial microbes from vermicompost. Worm castings are easy to apply. 


At our farm, we typically use a liquid-worm-casting-soil conditioner which provides a fast-acting nutrient and a microbial boost to our garlic plants.  Worm castings improve growing outcomes and may also improve soil structure and microbial health, greater transplant success, more resilient plants, more vigorous stems and leaves, larger root mass, and higher yields, and better quality garlic bulbs.


(the wine glass contains an ample level of liquid worm-casting juice, and the garlic loved this liquid on a hot day).

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Overview of Worm Castings

What Are (Earth) Worm Castings?  Worm castings are worm poop.  Worms are hard workers and do not even ask for pay or overtime.  Worm castings is also called or vermicompost.  Worm castings make up the “poop” fraction of vermicompost, a compotation of microbes, undigested organic matter, and yes, worm castings.  Worm castings have magical benefits to both GARLIC plants and soil.   Differences in feedstock, maintenance of worm conditions, and storage can all greatly affect the benefits worm castings can provide.

Earthworm castings are chock full of organic matter and desirable micro-organisms that have the potential to increase garlic yield, way better than fertilizer ratios show. Earthworm castings contain micro levels of very important essential plant nutrients that garlic needs to thrive. The dark brown color looks like human poop or maybe rich soil.  Castings have a rich, earthy texture reminiscent of exceptional garden compost or dirty coffee grounds.

Not only do work castings improve soil structure, but castings also increase water retention in soil, improve soil aeration and help garlic plants feed and consume organic matter. Castings help soil microorganisms produce and store the nutrition needed by the garlic plant. Earthworm castings suit virtually all of us that are growing garlic.

How Castings Benefit Garlic Plants

Researchers at The Ohio State University Soil Ecology Laboratory found that worm castings not only enhanced plant growth and production, castings also curbed certain plant diseases, including root and crown rots and wilt disease, and inhibited some insect pests, including mites, aphids and mealybugs. How about that! Earthworm castings provide substances that directly influence healthy plant growth.  The researchers at Cornell University Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology have shown that worm castings suppressed damping-off disease in seedlings.   In addition, castings naturally degraded the protective covering of some insect pests, regulated plant nutrient release and stimulated the nutrient cycle from soil to plants.

Our GROeat farm, where we grow hardneck garlic, we’ve learned that what makes worm castings so great It’s the worm. As it digests the organic materials it consumes, it refines them. Nutrients, including minerals and trace elements, are reduced to their most usable form. The castings have a neutral pH of 7.0.  The process of making worm castings is commonly known as vermicomposting.

Adding worm castings to the soil aerates and improves its overall structure while providing beneficial nutrients to plants.  Worm castings are an organic form of fertilizer produced by the amazing earthworms that live in the soil.  What kind of life would that be?  Also known as vermicast, worm castings manure is essentially earthworm poop.  As these snake-looking creatures eat through compost, their waste creates a special soil enrichment. Worm castings resemble football-shaped particles.  Tell that to the Green Bay Packers.   Castings improve soil aeration and drainage, as well as increase water retention in the soil. 


How to Build Great Soil - A Soil Science Masterclass with Dr. Elaine Ingham (Part 1 of 4).
Dr. Elaine Ingham presents her soil science for beginners masterclass. She covers what the soil food web is, how plants benefit from a healthy soil food web, and how you can change the food web in the soil for your benefit.


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