Using worm castings is the ideal way to get the best out of your garden or plants. Regardless of how you prefer to apply them, they are extremely versatile and can be used in many different ways.
When it comes to using them, you may be concerned about how to best use them in different weather conditions. If that is a concern for you, here are a few things to think about in regards to utilizing worm castings in various weather conditions.
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Direct Sun vs. Shade
If you’re using worm castings in spring or summer, the time of day that you apply them can have an impact on how they perform. While they will probably survive and do well no matter when you apply them, they will work best if you don’t apply them during the middle of the day.
Around lunch time, the sun is directly overhead, and it provides direct sunlight on the ground. Ideally, you should apply the worm castings to your garden first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon. That way, when they are getting acclimated to the surrounding area, they won’t have to deal with direct sunlight beating down on them.
Sunlight can kill the microbes if they are not given a chance to get on the plants or into the soil first. By giving the microbes some time without a great deal of sunlight right on them, you’re giving them a chance to “get the lay of the land” before they get started.
If you have no other option but to apply them in direct sunlight, go ahead. Be sure to water the area right after you apply them, so that the microbes will fully activate and get to work.
Rain is Coming
Another thing that people often worry about is whether to apply worm castings before rain. In a general sense, this is typically not the best idea. The primary reason that this doesn’t work well is because of runoff.
If a downpour of rain comes along, a large amount of water can rush across the ground. When this happens, it can cause the worm castings that you just applied to the ground to get washed away. In this scenario, the premium soil supplement that you just bought might get wasted without providing the benefits to the plants. It’s generally a better idea to wait until you know it’s not going to rain before you apply.
If the forecast calls for a light rain, it probably isn’t going to have a negative impact on the worm castings. However, if there is a chance that you could get substantial amounts of rain, it’s better to wait until after it passes to apply the worm castings.
Before a Freeze
Early in the spring, there’s always a chance that the weather could turn and you have to deal with freezing temperatures. A late frost can wreak havoc on your plants and put a kink in your gardening plans. When it comes to worm castings, it’s not an ideal scenario, but it will usually be fine.
Worm castings can actually freeze and thaw and not be negatively impacted. Some of the microbial life might be killed by the freeze, but in most cases, the microbes will simply go dormant. Then when the thaw occurs, they will reactivate again. If you know that there is a freezing risk on the horizon, you might as well wait until after it passes. That way you minimize any risk associated with the cold temperatures.
This is true not just for your worm castings, but also for the plants that you’re planting. Most garden plants do not do well with frost on them. However, if you have to plant early and a freeze does happen to occur, you don’t have to worry about the worm castings being completely decimated. They should bounce back and keep providing nutrients and beneficial microbes to your plants.
Wind can be a challenge for some areas, especially in the spring. If you are thinking about applying your worm castings and it’s extremely windy outside, it’s best to wait until after the wind passes. Worm castings are very small and lightweight.
If you drop a handful of castings in windy conditions, there’s a great chance that the wind will blow them far away from where you’re trying to apply them. In some cases, you may be able to mix the castings with something else heavier before you apply them. However, this doesn’t always work for some situations. Generally it’s best to wait until after the wind has subsided before you apply the castings.
Overall worm castings are extremely durable and versatile. Just use a little bit of common sense before you apply, and you should be able to reap the massive benefits that come from them.