Vermicompost vs. Castings

So really, whats the difference between vermicompost and castings? Many hobbyist’s tend to use these terms interchangeably but they are indeed quite different.

Compost: To break down organic waste into a humus that can be reused as a beneficial nutrient rich resource of organic soil amendments.

Vermiculture: is the scientific terminology of composting organic matter with the assistance of red-worms. Red-worms eat the bacteria, fungi, and the food waste voraciously. All of these materials under go a magical conversion during the worms digestion process which is then excreted as tiny pellet shaped piece of poo known as a casting. This process continues for a certain period of time and the end result is a dark rich humus that has both worm castings and other organic material that may not have been completely processed by the worms. This is what is known as vermicompost.

To obtain castings, the same vermiculture method is used however, the unprocessed organic matter is separated from the worm manure through a sifting procedure and it after that step when one gets “castings”. Castings have an appearance sort of like used coffee grounds.

One customer (who loves my worms byproduct) shared with me that “common sense” tells them that vermicompost is ultimately better because it holds a more diverse population of beneficial microbes than castings. I bounced back with a reply that perhaps the same results could be achieved by feeding the microbe population and aging the castings like a fine wine!

So which is superior? Vermicompost? Castings? Its considered the great debate or convoluted conundrum. I say it simply depends! There are sooo many variables that go into getting a quality product. One persons idea of trash is another gold! Either way you choose to go your plants will love the positive results of either :)

What are your thoughts?

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