More than 100 years ago, Charles Darwin was one of the first scientists to study earthworms and their ability to improve soil quality and help plant growth.  These days, it’s quite clear that worm castings belong in healthy gardens everywhere.

As the nation’s largest premium worm casting supplier, our parent company (California Soil) knows a lot about worms, and we’re certainly big fans of worm castings here at Sanctuary Soil. Here are five reasons why…

But First, What are Worm Castings?

Basically worm castings are a polite way of saying (ahem) worm excrement.  Often called “vermiculture,” worm castings are created when composting worms – typically red wiggler worms (Eisenia fetida) – eat green waste, household scraps and other minerals in the soil.

In a single day, these worms’ digestive systems can transform their entire weight into castings that provide a nutrient-rich soil amendment, which is easily absorbed by your plants.

1)  Worm Castings Have Many Benefits 

Worm castings are Mother Nature’s original fertilizer. Studies have shown that worm castings:

–          Improve plant growth

–          Stimulate flowering and fruiting

–          Reduce pests and diseases

–          Improve soil texture, aeration and water retention

–          Increase harvests

2)  Worm Castings Release Nutrients Slowly

wheelbarrow with soil and worm castingsWorm castings typically have 1-1-1 (N-P-K) nutrients. This sounds rather low, but these water-soluble nutrients are formulated to be easily absorbed by plants over time.

When earthworms secrete castings, the wastes contain nutrients encased in mucus membranes that dissolve slowly.  These castings provide a time-release benefit, because their nutrients are released over time as plants need them. Many fertilizers quickly leach into the soil. But worm castings won’t burn even the most delicate plants.

3)  Worm Castings Add Beneficial Organisms to Soil

Worm castings don’t need heat to be produced.

The earthworm’s bellies use a cool temperature digestion to create the castings. This cold process allows thousands of beneficial bacteria, fungi, growth regulators and other biological organisms to survive in the finished castings.  These beneficial organisms contribute greatly to a healthy soil food web in your garden.

Recent studies are finding that worm castings are even packed with beneficial fungus-eating nematodes that can help control fusarium and other fungal diseases.

Bag of Buckaroo worm castingsTo enhance this natural process, Buckaroo Worm Castings are fed a special mineral balanced diet with composted forest humus, corn meal, greensand, azomite, gypsum, oyster shell flour, walnut meal, alfalfa meal and a proprietary preparation of beneficial microorganisms. 

4)  Worm Castings Are Non-Toxic and Odor-Free

Another big reason why worm castings belong in healthy gardens is that they provide a non-toxic soil amendment that is safe around pets and children.  Buckaroo Worm Castings are certified organic (OMI) and Clean Green Certified.

Worm castings are ideal for houseplants and around the garden, because they are completely odor-free and easy to apply.

5)  Worm Castings Help Different Plants

Best of all, you can use worm castings throughout the garden. Apply these worm castings to everything from your organic vegetable gardens to roses, fruit orchards and lawns.

Mix the castings into the soil, or use an inch or two for a garden mulch. You’ll be glad you did.

Here are usage tips for worm castings in different settings.

Once you start using worm castings, you’ll understand why Charles Darwin wrote this about earthworms “It may be doubted whether there are any other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly creatures.”

Learn More

Charles Darwin’s Research

Buckaroo Worm Castings