What to do with worm castings
It’s been a while since I harvested my worm castings, and when my 12-year-old grandson had a couple of days off school, I asked him for help carrying my tubs outside and separating the worms from their castings. He quickly agreed to help. Recently, I helped him set up his own tub and he using as a project for the science fair at his school. He already knows that the castings are valuable, and I have the screen to get them.
Some of the castings I added to bare spots in my yard, but I really wanted to improve the soil in all of my yard. I found out about aerobically activated compost tea, or AACT. The idea is to make the conditions right for the microbes in compost to multiply greatly. One does this by adding food and air to a water solution. In my case, I used vermipost, or worm castings. Regular compost is also good. I bought a fish aquarium air pump, the kind used for bubblers, or for water filters, and some plastic tubing ($10.xx for the pump, $2.xx for the tubing.)
I, then cut the tubing in two, hooked two ends up to the two air outlets in the pump, placed the other ends in the bottom of a five-gallon bucket, weighted down with a brick, and filled the bucket with water, leaving a couple of inches of room at the top, so that water doesn’t splash out. Run the pump for 20 minutes to get rid of chlorine. Then I took one of my wife’s old knee-high hose and put in around three cups of worm castings. I also added a couple of handfuls of spent coffee grounds, just because I had them, and then tied the top of the hose and put it in the bucket. Almost forgot, I also added some re-fermented kombucha tea with kefir. I poured in two ounces of molasses for food.
This is what it looked after 20 hours of aeration. This is diluted enough to be used as a foliar spray. Here is some of my equipment:
I used a hose-end sprayer that I bought to apply dormant spray. I also bought a funnel to filter out solids by using a coffee filter inside, but it collapsed, so I did without. Sprayed my old plum tree, my pawpaw, and my serviceberry bush, plus the front lawn. Drug the hose into the backyard, but the sillcock did not have enough pressure, so I poured out the rest of the bucket.
The worms have been fed bokashi, so I should have some good microorganisms in the soil. It has turned cooler, so I will have to make another brew.