Updated: Nov 1, 2021
I have been very disappointed in my yield of capsicums over recent years, so this year I was adamant I would nail it.
I searched YouTube for ideas and a common theme emerged - worm castings.
Kinchem’s Mum Rosina was known in the Highlands as the queen of worms, and she was famous for the ‘magic potion’ extracted from her worm-cafe.
We have six worm farms at Springfield and I’m a believer in the power of worm castings and pee - it is without doubt nature’s finest and cheapest organic fertiliser. It’s got everything you need:
easily and immediately absorbed by plants
helps soil hold water
NPK rating 5.5.3
an active biological mixture of bacteria and enzymes
contains 60 micronutrients and trace elements
packed with minerals such as concentrated nitrates, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and calcium. It also contains manganese, copper, zinc, cobalt, borax, iron, carbon and nitrogen all immediately available to the plant.
How good is that all from free food scraps and garden waste, processed 24hrs a day, 7 days a week by a free workforce who have up to 1500 babies a year - and they live for years.
Compost worms are different from earthworms, they are surface feeders. They will eat anything that once lived but prefer less acid foods. They need a dark, shaded and moist (not wet) environment. They have no eyes and sense light through the pores in their skin, through which they also expel urine that you capture through the drain hole in a bucket.
These great workers eat half their body weight in food each day, breed every 7-10 days and are hermaphrodites.
Worm farms are a much better way to process your food scraps than smelly, plastic, wet compost bins. Worm farms do not attract rodents and they process waste faster than compost too. Just chop up the scraps so they have a lot of surface area to suck on, but don’t over-feed your worms. Add more once they’ve consumed the scraps. They will breed up to consume more over time.
Information on setting up a worm farm is easy to find and you can buy the gear to get started at most hardware and garden centres. Your local community garden can be a great source of worm-wisdom too. Locate your worm farm in a cool dark spot, keep them moist - not wet - and off you go! You’ll soon be producing nature’s finest organic fertiliser to nourish your beautiful nutritious food.
Research suggests that worm castings produce a yield improvement of 57-200% and measurable improvements in taste and appearance. It’s so much richer than even the very best Springfield compost, and the worms do most of the work for you!