Homegrown | Vermicompost Makes Your Garden Grow

Hi, I’m Rhonda Sherman. I’m an Extension
specialist with the department of horticultural science, and this is
“Homegrown: In the Garden.” And today we’re going to talk about the benefits of
vermicompost. So what is vermicompost? It’s produced by a combination of
microorganisms and earthworms. What comes out the other end of a worm is called
castings, and then together with the uneaten bits it’s called vermicompost.
Vermicompost has a profound effect on plants.
It helps seeds to germinate more quickly. They’ll grow faster. They’ll develop
better developed root systems. They grow stronger and they have higher yields of
whatever it is, so you’ll have more flowers, more fruit or more vegetables. It
also decreases attacks by plant diseases, pests and parasitic nematodes. It adds
organic matter. It helps soil to absorb and to retain
water, increases the soil microbial populations, reduces soil compaction,
diminishes soil erosion, reduces the pH, and it provides micro and macro
nutrients and increases their availability. Vermicompost contains
higher nutrient concentrations than conventional compost, but the soluble
salt levels are lower. This is an advantage for plants because greater
cation exchange capacity in soil generally makes it easier for plant
roots to absorb nutrients. So vermicompost can be used on gardens,
lawns, house plants and around bushes and trees. All you need is about one tenth of
a pound per square foot, or three and a half pounds for a 4-by-8 raised bed. If you
want to get started with vermicomposting, then check out these websites. This is
Rhonda Sherman for “Homegrown: In the Garden.”

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