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What exactly is vermi~compost?

Vermi~Compost is the material that the worms have consumed and then has passed through the worms unique digestive system converting vast quantities of nutritional organic matter into a 100% natural Organic compound

When the worms expel their manure it dries into a granule. Worm cast helps retain moisture in the root zone and assists in drainage and aeration of the soil. It promotes longer, stronger and healthier root systems. It contains rich proportions of water soluble nutrients that act with the slow release properties of the worm cast to stop nutrients from leaching out of the root zone. Worm cast (Vermi~Compost) is safe to use anywhere is odourless and is a natural soil improver.

O.R.M. Vermi~Compost is the ideal product for putting the biology back into your soil and growing media it will rebuild your soil health, as this is an organic product. It has no negative impact on the environment, It is also safe to use around children, pets and can be used around ponds. You can vermicompost as an organic soil amendment to improve soil structure or as part of a potting mix.

O.R.M. Vermi~Compost supports soil health by increasing the activity of natural occurring micro-organisms and beneficial enzymes in the soil. Worm castings will help control soil pathogens and nematodes by increasing soil health, repelling disease and insect attacks. Vermi~Compost is full of the minerals, nutrients and organisms that plants require for growth.

Independent Research

Understanding the value of castings and compost

Worm castings or vermi~compost added to the soil carry to the root zone a rich compliment of soluble plant nutrients and growth enhancing compounds, a diverse and populous consortium of microbial life and a substrate of organic matter harbouring a storehouse of nutrients that are not lost to rain and irrigation.

The plant is delivered an ongoing, reliable food source when bacteria and microscopic fungi feed on the organic matter, releasing some of the nutrients to the soil and storing others for their own energy and reproduction. When nematodes and protozoa in turn feed upon them the nutrients stored in the bacterial and fungal bodies are released to the soil in a plant available form. According to Dr. Elaine Ingham, when soil, compost or castings support protozoa numbers on the order of 20,000 per gram of solid matter, 400 pounds of nitrogen per acre are released through their predation of bacteria. When we feed organic matter to the soil, the soil life feeds nutrients to the plant.

Further, unlike soluble plant fertilizers, the nutrients stored in organic matter and the bodies of the microbial life are not lost through irrigation to contaminate ground water. Hair-thin fungal tentacles, called hyphae, wrap about soil and organic matter particles in their search for food, forming aggregates that are the basis for good soil structure. Thus, both the fungi and the organic matter are held in the soil. Bacteria exude sticky glues that enable them to cling to solid particles of mineral and organic matter, ensuring they too remain in the soil and, like the fungi, aid in the formation of aggregates.

Nutrient retention and cycling are not the only benefit to castings and compost use, however. By inoculating the soil with the rich, diverse, microbial life present in good these materials the plant root is protected from disease and attack by root feeding organisms. Because the diversity of organisms aids in ensuring everyone present has a predator no one organism in the root zone is easily able to reach populations sufficient to cause significant damage. Plant roots exude foods that encourage colonization by microbial life beneficial to the plant, reducing the number of possible infection points. Many microorganisms exude compounds inhibitory to pathogenic organisms, further reducing the chance for pathogen blooms sufficient to cause plant damage

When we add castings, vermi~compost or compost and the rich consortium of microbial life they support to the soil, we aid in increasing the complexity and diversity of organisms in the root zone, thus aiding in disease and pest suppression.

It may not be in the root zone alone where worm castings demonstrate the ability to suppress pest attack, however. There is a growing body of research suggesting that castings derived from a feedstock of plant materials are rich in a compound called chitinase. Chitin, a component of the exoskeleton of many insects, is damaged by chitinase, leading some researchers to believe its presence in the castings may be inhibitory to some insects. Research being conducted in California is demonstrating suppression of white fly and ambrosia beetle in some tree species when castings containing chitinase are applied at the root zone.

From castings to tea

So, "why tea?" one may wonder. With compost and worm products demonstrating such tremendous benefit to soil and plant life why take the extra steps to generate a liquid from this already understood and easily applied solid material?

Leaf surfaces, like plant roots, harbour a rich microbial population that protects the leaf, and thus the plant, from infection and attack by pathogenic organisms. When the microbial consortium present on the leaf surface is reduced by pesticide use or environmental damage it exposes leaf surface, opening infection points. We can reinoculate the leaf with the diverse communities of microbial life found in compost and worm castings by applying a tea made from these materials.

Further, teas can be applied as soil drenches and root washes after pesticide use, to reintroduce to the soil microbial communities that may have been damaged by the pesticide. The microbes can then continue to provide protection from pathogens to the plant as well as aiding in breakdown of any pesticide residues in the soil, thereby preventing ground water contamination.

*Teas also carry the soluble nutrients and beneficial growth regulators contained in the solid matter used to make the tea. Many of these compounds can be absorbed through the leaf surface, feeding and enriching the plant. *

Increase in plant yields: Research data shows that vermi~compost/Teas has increased yields of lettuces, brassica, tomatoes, carrots, grapes, strawberries and other fruits and veg.

Contains natural plant stimulants: Vermi~compost/Teas contains natural plant stimulants/hormones, eg auxins, which promote root formation and bud growth.

Helps to fight plant diseases: The high concentrations of humus in vermi~compost/Teas helps to prevent harmful plant pathogens, fungi, nematodes and bacteria. Vermi~compost/Teas also suppresses diseases such as club root and white rot.

Encourages rapid seed germination: Research has shown that seed emergence was uniformly earlier, with hardier and bigger seedlings ready to plant out up to two weeks earlier and that were more resistant to downy mildew.

Vermi~compost has proven to significantly promote the rate of germination and growth of many turf & grass strains.

It has also proven to facilitate and hasten the development of the root system, resulting in a stronger sword, and to increase the colour depth of the blades.

Best imaginable potting soil for greenhouses: Being a natural product, it does not burn plants or their roots, or even the most delicate of flowers. And having water-soluble nutrients, the benefits are immediately released to plants after watering as they slowly leach down to the roots.

Increases mycorrhizal fungi activity: In several crops vermi~compost/Teas was shown to increase the uptake of Vesticular Arbuscular Mycorrhizal fungi (VAM), fungi that live in the soil and form mutually beneficial relationships with plants.

Produces and promotes a healthy root mass: Trials clearly showed a four-fold increase in root mass, length, girth and secondary development when grown in vermi~compos/T. The plants also established much quicker with such a strong healthy root structure.

Improves soil structure:Vermicompost contains a high percentage of humus, which helps soil particles bind together into clusters, creating channels for the passage of water and air. Worms also produce mucus and this is deposited in the vermi~compost, again giving it a friable and crumbly structure. Means less watering as it remains moist for longer, and is capable of holding two to three times its own weight in water.

Produces a liquid 'Golden Soil' Vermi~tea: A brew of vermi-tea, made from fresh vermi~compost is full of nutrients, beneficial microbes and, has been found to bring natural fungal disease-suppressant qualities when sprayed onto the leaves of plants.

O.R.M. Vermi~compost~Tea is brewed by ourselves from our own high quality Vermi~compost production to produce a consistent ready to use liquid. Simply dilute and your ready to go.