Spreadable Worm Castings?

Reply

  #1  
Old 04-05-18, 05:56 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 92
Spreadable Worm Castings?

Hi All,

I hired a landscaping company last year to put down a layer of worm castings, but they were expensive. This year, I'm hoping to do it myself, but I need it in a pelletized/granular form that I can spread with my Scotts broadcast spreader. Anyone know of any brand of worm castings that I could use (or vermicompost or vermicast - although I'm not sure that's any different?), and hopefully also where to purchase it? Also, any assistance with what setting (#) on a Scotts broadcast spreader would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 04-06-18, 05:24 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 17,586
Pelletizing is an industrial process so you generally see it with chemical fertilizers and products made on industrial scales. Worm poop is a small cottage industry so there aren't many options. But, if you do a search online you will find suppliers of pelletized worm castings. Many also feel that organic products like worm castings are best when used in their natural state and that the heat of pelletizing kills many of the beneficial bacteria in the castings.

You have not said your goal or intention for putting down worm castings. Whatever your goal worm castings will probably be one of the more expensive ways to do it. Since the castings are low in nutrients it is an extremely expensive way to try to fertilize a lawn. When gardening it's common to use castings in very high concentrations sometimes making up a soil containing up to 1/3 castings so any broadcast application on a lawn is going to be extremely light.
 
  #3  
Old 04-06-18, 08:23 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 92
Hi Dane,

Thanks for the quick response.

I really want to do it just to start building up good organic matter/micro life in my lawn over time, so I don't need to put any specific thickness layer down. I'm also not doing it for fertilizer (my understanding is that its actually a pretty poor fertilizer). In fact, I'm also putting down regular Scotts fertilizer/pre-emergent in a few days when it warms up a bit herein northern NJ (and no more threat of snow).

I do understand about the heat maybe killing some/most of the beneficial microbes, but there should still be some present (in fact, it should be the more resistant microbes that make it, almost like bacteria that develop antibiotic resistance!). However, I just don't have any good way to spread worm castings unless they are pelletized/granular so that they will go in my spreader. (At least, I can't think of any good way to do it.) The bag of regular worm castings I had just gummed up the spreader so I had to resort to just flinging it around with a shovel - not the best way to do it.

Maybe a peat moss spreader? Any idea if that might work?

Thanks again.
 
  #4  
Old 04-07-18, 03:29 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North East Kingdom of Vermont
Posts: 2,348
Your objectives are good; it's just a question of how you get there.

If you are supplying your lawn with a good amount of organic matter, maybe you should just get a supply of worms and let them produce and distribute their own castings ?

I have about 3-4 acres that I consider "lawn" and mow. I never remove my clippings (unless I've neglected mowing too long and the resulting cut grass threatens to smother the growing grass.

30 years ago, I bought a couple boxes (maybe 3 pounds) of Red Worms and distributed them in little shaded piles . . . . and they disappeared; but I see their castings when they clean out their burrows. Those same tunnels provide a form of aeration and drainage that I could not do mechanically.

At this time of year, the Robins arrive and try to feed on my worms, and deposit their own guano on my lawn while they try to feed on my worms; but the smarter faster worms thrive anyway. Bird doo and worm castings are my only fertilizer.

All I do is mow. And I have the best lawn(s) anywhere for miles around; here's one of them:

Name:  IMG_5658_zpsx2ivninl.jpg
Views: 52
Size:  70.4 KB

Those brown areas in the foreground were due to some chinch bug activity I had to deal with a couple years ago . . . . worms can't solve every problem !
 
  #5  
Old 04-26-18, 08:34 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 92
Hi Vermont,

Thanks for the information.

I only have about a third of an acre, so how many worms would I get? (I'm not even sure how they're measured - by the inch? by the worm? by the cubic inch? by the oz/pound?)

How did you distribute them? Just sort of fling them everywhere? After that, how long would I need to not mow? Just a few hours until they worked their way into the lawn? A few days until they set up shop?

Thanks again!
 
  #6  
Old 04-26-18, 08:50 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 17,586
Red wigglers can be bought in small quantities (dozen) from some bait shops or you can order larger quantities (1'000) online. If you have an established lawn I would pick a warm evening and wait until it's almost dark so most birds are gone and after a rain or when the ground is soft. Then part the grass and drop a blob of them onto the soil. If you really want to help them out you can dig a hole about a foot square and 6-8" deep. Place them in the hole then lightly sprinkle the dirt back on top. Then water moderately to wet the ground but not enough to soak and drown the worms.
 
  #7  
Old 04-26-18, 09:29 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North East Kingdom of Vermont
Posts: 2,348
Pilot Dane's suggestion is good . . . . there probably is no standardized technique for inoculating a lawn with worms that works in every lawn's setting.

On a small lawn, I'd distribute them in small quantities at dusk as was suggested, and maybe put some wet newspaper (I don't think it's toxic) above each grouping so that I could visit each site to see how they're doing the next morning, and hope that they had simply vanished into the ground.

And don't collect your grass clippings (starting now) . . . . just pulverize them as you mow and let the worms feast on them thereafter.

At this time of year, our Robins are already busy feasting on the worms, so the worms have to work hard at keeping their population intact; but I can't worry about that . . . . they seem to be keeping up.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'