Use Worm Castings to Side-Dress Your Vegetable Garden

Maintaining a vermicomposting bin means you have a supply of worm castings at your fingertips. This dark, nutrient-rich organic fertilizer is perfect for side-dressing your vegetable garden. Certain types of vegetable plants, and certain soil types, can benefit from consistent side-dressing. Let’s find out when to use side-dressing, and how to do it. Side-dressing means placing fertilizer on the ground near the plants, or in a little furrow right by the plants. The best type of fertilizer is 100% organic and natural. If you purchase Red Wiggler composting worms from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, set up a simple vermicomposting system nd feed your fruit and veggie scraps to the worms, you will soon have access to plenty of organic fertilizer. You can apply worm castings directly or make your own compost tea. When to Use Side-Dressing Side-dressing is helpful when: You have sandy soil, which doesn’t hold the nutrients very well, or The plants have a growth spurt, at flowering or fruiting time and in the second half of the growing season, or When recommended (look up your particular vegetable) Not all plants benefit from side-dressing. The types of common North American vegetable garden plants that can benefit from side-dressing are: beets and beet greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, lettuce, melons, onions, peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, summer squash, sweet corn, Swiss chard, tomatoes and winter squash. How to Apply Side-Dressing With worm castings, you have two choices about how to apply it: as worm tea, or as a …

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Keep Worms Cool in the Hot Summer Months

When the weather is hot, your vermicomposting system will heat up, too. Composting worms are living creatures who operate best in a specific temperature range. Let’s find out how you can keep them cool in the warm months of the year. Our hearty composting worms are designed to handle a range of temperatures. Below 57 degrees Fahrenheit is too cold — worms slow down and run the risk of dying. We don’t know exactly the hottest temperatures they can endure, but we do know this: Too hot is not good. “Not good” could mean they start to dry up and die. If a few expire, it’s not too big a deal. But you don’t want a bin full of unhappy and, eventually, dead worms. The best things you can do are to try to keep the temperature down and keep the moisture level up. Also, control the worm population and minimize the vermin. Keep the Temps Down What happens if you stand in the sun all day? You will eventually over-heat. Staying out of the sun can significantly reduce the temperatures inside your worm bin. So, put your worm bin in the shade. You might need to keep your vermicomposting bin under cover anyway due to rain. Depending on the design, certain composters such as our best-selling Worm Factory 360 let in too much water when it rains. Excess water makes the bedding too moist, drowns the worms, and promotes mold and mildew growth. Additionally, you should allow the bedding …

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