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Links to Learning

Publications by the USDA, NIH, and Universities research listing their findings on the benefits of vermicompost. Vermicompost is a mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and earthworm castings. VermisTerra earthworm castings is pure earthworm castings without the composting waste, bedding materials and contains no filler. Our earthworm castings are aged 7-10 years so that the undigested material breaks down.

Cornell's Research

Research finds vermicompost suppresses plant disease and regulates nutrients. Beneficial microbes in vermicompost can colonize a seed’s surface and protect it from infection by releasing a substance that interferes with the chemical signaling between the host and the pathogen.

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USDA Earthworms and Living Soil
Earthworms stimulate microbial activity, mix and aggregate soil, increase infiltration and water holding capacity, and provide channels for root growth.
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Ohio State Univ. - Managing Nematodes with Vermicompost

Research at Ohio State University found vermicomposts suppressed plant parasitic nematode populations with tomatoes, peppers, strawberry and grapes. The mechanisms by which vermicomposts suppress plant diseases and plant parasitic nematodes are still speculative but it may be due to increased competition from fungivorous and bacterivorous nematodes.

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NIH: Vermicompost Increases Growth and Yield on Strawberries
Vermicompost applications increased strawberry growth and yields significantly; including increases of up to 37% in leaf areas, 37% in plant shoot biomass, 40% in numbers of flowers, 36% in numbers of plant runners and 35% in marketable fruit weights.
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Ohio State Univ. - Earthworms in Organic Waste Management

Vermicomposts are fully stabilized organic soil amendments with low C:N ratios. They also have a high and diverse microbial and enzymatic activity, fine particulate structure, good moisture- holding capacity, and contain nutrients such as N, K, P, Ca and Mg in forms readily taken up by plants. They contain both plant growth hormones and humic acids which can act as plant growth regulators.

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Ohio State Univ. - Effects of Humic Acid on Greenhouse Plants

Vermicomposts have consistently improved seed germination, enhanced seedling growth and development, and increased plant flowering, fruiting and productivity much more than could be possible from the mere conversion of mineral nutrients into more plant-available forms. The greatest plant growth responses and yields have occurred usually when vermicomposts constituted a relatively small proportion (10–40 %). The dramatic increases in microbial activity in organic matter by earthworms could result in production of significant quantities of plant growth regulators such as IAA, gibberellins and cytokinins by microorganisms. Large amounts of humic substances are produced during vermicomposting and these have been reported to have positive effects on plant growth independent of nutrition.

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Nitrogen: The Double-Edged Sword

Dr. Christie Jones discusses the impacts of inorganic nitrogen versus biological nitrogen fixation performed by microbes. Jones explains the liquid carbon pathway, soil aggregates, and the four basic principles for regenerative agriculture which can restore natural topsoil fertility. Lastly she writes about how to slowly wean off of nitrogen fertilizer. Improving soil function delivers benefits both on-farm and to the wider environment.

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NCSU How Vermicompost Wards Off Crop Pests

NCSU Research into why insects do not prefer plants grown with vermicompost– insects succumb to toxic effects that lead to slower development or even death. With the aphids, the researchers found that the vermicompost mixed with soil resulted in plant host defenses that were both antibiosis and antixenosis, which were effective against different insect forms, wingless and winged, respectively.

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Modulator of Plant Growth and Disease Suppression

Banaras Hindu University, India – Details the role of vermicompost and its ability to promote growth and suppress disease. Largely believed to be due to its nutrient rich composition as well as its ability to modify soil physical and chemical properties suitably in a way to favor plant growth and development. Among its role in suppression of plant pathogens and nematodes, it is believed that it modulates a plant’s innate resistance response to resist microbial attack.

NPR

Using the power of worms for the good of humanity. A growing number of advocates believe this technique can improve soil quality, produce more food to feed hungry mouths and even increase income for some farmers.

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Why Pests Eat Metabolically Imbalanced Plants

Book by French agronomist Francis Chaboussou explains why insects like to eat plants with excess amount of soluble nutrients, or when it becomes metabolically unbalanced.  The best way to upset plant metabolism and invite insect infestation is to put pesticides and artificial fertilizers on the plant and soil.  Excess nutrients are produced in a plant when it is forced to produce more than it needs as with the use of high ammonia fertilizers.  The double edged sword of pesticides and fertilizers merely invites insects to the buffet. In practice, optimum nutrition can be seen from two angles, the major elements, like N, P, and K, Ca Mg and others and the micronutrients, Cu, Fe, Zn, Mo, Mn, Li B, and so forth.  The first thing we must do is avoid deficiencies, and then learn how to correct them. Earthworm castings are a great way for plants to get all the nutrients they need.

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Featuring VermisTerra

VermisTerra Worm Castings and Teas for Soil Enrichment
Kenny from top gardening blog Veggie Gardening Tips tries out VermisTerra earthworm castings and tea, writes his honest impressions.
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How to Use Vermisterra Earthworm Castings and Tea
Youtube blogger CaliKim29 writes about how to use earthworm castings and tea, and shares her experiences and testimony after using VermisTerra products.
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Earthworm Castings Different Than Other Fertilizers
Youtube instructor The Rusted Garden tests VermisTerra earthworm castings and tea in his garden. He explains how earthworm castings are different from chemical and even other organic soil amendments. He does a comparison of a tomato grown in chemical nutrients vs VermisTerra. His results are impressive.
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