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.
Journal from Griffith University, Australia
Goes in detail about the miraculous benefits of worm castings, and how superior it is to conventional compost. Worm castings promote growth, protect plants from pests and disease, retain nutrients for long periods, has nutrients in forms readily available for plant uptake. Worm castings contain plant growth regulators and have larger diverse microbial populations than compost. Worm castings have higher N availability, and other plant nutrients: phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, and magnesium. Worm castings reduce demand for irrigation by nearly 30-40%. Tests indicate better availability of essential micronutrients and microbes. Most remarkable was significantly less incidence of pests and disease attacks in worm casting applied crops.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2010 Russian Journal of Plant Physiology
Results showed that vermicompost or B. subtilis, significantly increased the growth of psyllium seedlings and both were effective biocontrol agents against F. oxysporum. Among treatments at least damping-off incidence was recorded in combination of 50% vermicompost and B. subtilis. Results for the first time exhibited that vermicompost as well as B. subtilis induced systemic resistance through nitric oxide (NO) signaling and their combined application further than their individual treatments induced development of plant defense related enzymes including β-1,3-glucanase (GLU), phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and the activities of antioxidant enzymes (ascorbate peroxidase, catalase, superoxide dismutase and peroxidase) and also more effectively reduced lipid peroxidation in psyllium leaves. These findings suggested potential of B. subtilis in promoting plant growth as well as inducing systemic resistance in the host plants, was enhanced by vermicompost application.
Effect of Worm Castings on Growth, Essential Oil, and Health of Thyme
Results showed that 25% vermicompost substitution promoted the best seedling emergence. Maximum length, fresh and dry weight of aerial parts and root, chlorophyll and carotenoid contents, photosynthetic efficiency, and the highest essential oil content were observed in 50% vermicompost substitution. Vermicompost was an effective biocontrol agent against Fusarium oxysporum and Phytophthora infestans. The disease protection correlated to development of activities of defense-related enzymes total phenolics content. These results suggest the potential of vermicompost in promoting of plant yield as well as inducing systemic resistance in Thyme.