Did you know that living soil is literally bursting with billions of microbes - just in one handful! It's what feeds the roots and makes your leafy greens so nutrient dense.
But did you know that sooner or later the microbes run out of readily available food.
Listen in to our workshop with Mindy Lee of @VermisTerra and Kaylee Vaughn of @RootedRevival as we discuss the importance of worm castings and feeding soil health.
Regenerating Healthy Soil With Microbial Activity
In the spring, the weather is warming up and so does the soil! And since the sun is stronger, the microbes are more active and their activity increases, especially between ideal temperatures of 60 to 85 degrees. Temperatures above that, they will struggle. This is where you will see a lot more growth rate. They are actively digesting anything in the soil for the plants to eat.
Microbes feed the sugars to the plant roots. So when you're refreshing the soil, it's a good idea to add a lot of micro-rich products like worm castings. Planted Places also has worm tea you can purchase, which is like plant probiotics. You can add these to your soil to give the plants a strong, healthy start and boost the root growth.
Are we feeding the microbial activity when you add worm castings or tea, what's going on?
Yes! But a lot of the time we think we're feeding the plant. When you add fertilizer, soil amendments, or compost, you can think about it as if you're giving the plant some eggs, bananas, and coffee. But, they can't eat that! That's for us to eat. And even then, we don't digest that ourselves. In our gut, there are microbes that break it down and then turn it into an enzyme that your body can absorb. With plants, it's the same thing. You can think of the roots as their digestive system!
The roots will absorb, break down everything, and feed it to the plants. That's why when you have healthy soil then everything is a lot easier. When you say microbes, there are about four or five different kinds. The first one we'll mention is bacteria and it breaks down everything around in the soil that's decomposing. If there weren't any bacteria, things would just continue rotting. The second is on the surface, fungi! It actually has a symbiotic relationship with the plant's roots. The roots in your young seedling plants only go about 4 inches deep, but the fungi are an extended network that will reach for more water and nutrients in the soil for your plants.
When that happens, it also increases insect resistance and disease resistance. The healthier the plant is, the happier you will be since it's going to be less troubleshooting and work. So you can purchase worm castings or worm tea right here on our website! You can also add it new and established plants.
Worm Castings: The Natural & Organic Solution for Promoting Healthy Growth of Your Plants
During peak growing seasons (Spring through Fall), we provide our customers with fish emulsion, worm castings, worm casting tea, and a liquid form of castings (think of it like probiotics for the roots), to feed the soil continuously and easily. These products are organic but everything works together. When you have a lot of microbes in your soil and the soil is healthy and functioning well, you don't have to use a lot of organic fertilizers or soil amendments.
More is not always better when it comes to fertilizing - even using organic products. A lot of us when we first started gardening will over love our plants and if you give them too much water. This can drown the roots.
The roots need to dry out and if you over-fertilize them, you can stress them out too. For example, what we eat every day is nothing like having Thanksgiving every day since that will make us sick. Plants are similar!
What you get the organic certified seedlings packages from Planted Places, they're ready to pop into your container. All you need to do is add two tablespoons of worm castings into the planting hole and mix it in with the soil. This will promote healthy growth and protect the roots from any disease or stress.
Have You Tried Worm Casting Tea Yet?
At Planted Places, we know that not everyone wants to get their hands dirty and dig in the dirt - so we make it easy. Because truly growing in living soil and regenerating the soil is the sustainable way to grow food and to live. It does wonders for our health and the planet. So we provide a liquid form that's more concentrated than worm castings. What you do is only add two tablespoons per gallon of water and then simply water your plants with it, or you can add five drops per plant. It's a lot easier, cleaner, and really saves you time!
The worm tea is made from about 10 different ingredients that are brewed for months in multiple stages so that it has a stable shelf life of about 2-3 years.
Try some of our soil and soil amendments to start growing regeneratively! You'll be amazed at how much easier it is to grow healthy leafy greens, herbs, and veggies. Everything is easier because your plant health is in tip top shape.