Advantages Of Using Worm Castings
Healthy soil is vital for sustainable gardening and farming. The regular use of tilling equipment often disturbs the health of the soil because such equipment breaks the mycelium and fungal hyphae, which are the key components that help plants better absorb water and nutrients. So, it’s important to practice permaculture, which is an approach that discourages the use of tilling and other rigorous methods.
An alternative yet harmless way to do this is by using earthworm castings, which help the soil maintain its delicate fungal strands that increase water infiltration and retention. This article will focus on the benefits of worm castings, and why more and more people should start using them.
Increase Organic Matter
Worm castings are efficient at adding organic matter to the soils. Moreover, they also promote living organic matter, increasing the living microorganisms in the soil. Living and non-living organic matter have to be present in the soil as it acts as a storage for water and nutrients, which helps in decreasing surface crusting and compaction.
Furthermore, organic matter enhances the infiltration of water into the topsoil. For permaculture, organic matter is one of the key components that can be achieved by using worm castings.
Balances Soil pH
The soil must maintain neutral pH levels. Worm castings can help with maintaining pH levels as they can help acidic soils become neutral and alkaline soils change to acidic.
Some nutrients tend to exist more in acidic soil conditions, while other nutrient types are comfortable in alkaline conditions. However, a majority of these soils stay active in neutral soil conditions. So, it’s best to maintain neutral pH levels for retaining the maximum nutrients.
Improves Aeration of the Soil
Many of us have been learning this fact since our childhood that worms help create air pockets in the soil. Proper aeration of the soil is important to create a healthy substrate that can help the plant roots breathe more freely and enable more growth.
This plant nourishment method is possible with the help of worm castings. When it comes to the management of nutrients, soil aeration affects the presence of several nutrients. Several microorganisms need the air in the soil to release nutrients for the plants in the soil. Since worms are perfect at aerating the soil naturally, they make a better purpose on the farm and that’s why farmers should use them for ensuring healthy soil and plants.
Helps with Water Absorption in the Soil
With worm castings, you can hold water in the soil. Just like a sponge, these castings absorb moisture and keep the soil and plants sustained during droughts. Without enough water in the soil, plants tend to droop, making them unable to stand properly. Furthermore, the water in the soil helps with the transportation of nutrients through the soil, which becomes more efficient when you add worm castings.
Enhances The Structure of the Soil
Worm castings are great at aggregating the soil. So, by combining worm castings with the perfect soil supplement, you can improve the structure of various soil types like clay or sandy soils. The ideal soil structure is the one that allows ample water and air in it. Casting promotes structure, reducing the chances of soil erosion, waterlogging, and clogged nutrients.
Decreases Soil Compaction
As worm castings help promote soil aggregation, this tends to reduce soil compaction issues in the soil. Soil compaction can cause the plant roots to stop growing properly. Furthermore, compaction leads to poor nutrient and water uptake.
Overall, it affects the structural stability in the soil. Adding extra fertilizers to improve combat soil compaction won’t help because it will create large chunks of compacted soil, reducing nutrients, water, and air retention. That’s why it’s essential to use worm castings, as they can help decrease soil compaction problems with ease.
Reduces Soil Erosion
Adding worm-rich compost to the soil will help increase soil aggregation, which promotes water absorption in the soil. As the soil no longer stays compact, it improves water retention, resulting in soil erosion reduction. When the soil becomes less vulnerable to erosion, it stays in place and helps keep the soil’s presence balanced.
These make the plants more capable to absorb the necessary nutrients in abundance when there is zero chance of soil erosion. Furthermore, this decreases soil crusting and helps keep the soil friable and loose to retain moisture.
Instead of using too much artificial fertilizer, it’s better to choose an organic fertilizer to keep your soil and plants healthy. Worm castings help the soil retain moisture, air, and nutrients. They’re great for gardening and farming as they ensure that the plants or crops grow to their fullest without having to worry about crusting, erosion, or compacting.