We’ve been exploring NPK in organic and chemical fertilizers; a quick look at today’s diagram shows a simple view of the Nitrogen cycle that makes the whole deal work. The question for you is whether or not to support chemical companies and the destruction of our soil web or go organic and build that web of life. For us it’s a no brainer. Many organic fertilizers are out there in many different forms. It’s quite understandable that you might want firm control of the NPK your plants receive and some people like the surety of processed fertilizer, they can measure each dose. When you look at plant growth in a holistic manner you can’t escape its place in the Nitrogen cycle or soil web, it’s crucial.
The NPK in vermicast runs at a minimum of 0.50/0.70/0.40, when compared to chemical fertilizer it seems quite low. Part of this reading is due to regulations on labeling; only the immediately available nutrients are listed leaving out the slow release aspect of vermicast. There are several methods you can use to manipulate the percentages in your vermicast generated fertilizer that are also not taken into account in the NPK measurements. Brewing worm tea for example can greatly increase the amount of usable Nitrogen for your plants.
Keep in mind that the Nitrogen in in castings is going to keep on working, as will all the NPK components but they don’t do it alone. As with all of us they are a strand in the web of life. It’s the microbial action that dictates the efficiency of the continued slow release of nutrients. So if your soil microbes have been killed off by chemicals all that great action will be washed down the river. Not all bad news of course, with time and continued use the microbes will comeback. Your soil and fertilizer will work in harmony forever.
Worm tea is an ideal delivery method for vermicast; because the bacteria associated with vermicomposting are aerobic any tea should be freshly brewed. You want to keep these air dependent microorganisms alive, aerating tanks and containers of tea along with a food source will brew up a powerful organic fertilizer.
On a side note, our web page is now fixed, just like the Nitrogen, thanks for your support.