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When is the best time to use vermicompost?
12 July 2016
When is the best time to use vermicompost?

Vermicompost and vermicast are nature's own super-charged fertilisers, but like any living thing, they require careful handling.

Benefits of proper application

One aspect of vermicomposting that is sometimes debated is the optimal time to apply vermicast. This is because the perfect time of delivery depends on what kind of garden or farm is receiving the vermicompost, and what is growing there. Essentially, different types of plants respond in a variety of ways.

Some at-home vermicomposters swear by a once a month application, whereas others may space theirs out a little further over two months. There are further differences and considerations when running a commercial operation, where the variables are usually divergent from those of home and garden.

There are so many reasons to use vermicompost or vermicast, from the generation of more productive pastures and orchards, to the fertilisation of nurseries and cropping lands. The benefits of adding mature humus, plant nutrients, plant growth promoters, and microorganisms to soil include increased soil fertility, plant health and much more.

Because of these numerous benefits, it makes sense to follow through on a proper application, one that guarantees your soil all the fertility that vermicompost has to offer.

 

The introduction of earthworms to soils turns the land into a humus-rich ground of fertility.

Bulk application of vermicast to soils turns the land into a humus-rich ground of fertility.

 

When is the optimal time to use my vermicast or vermicompost?

Different users will find that different times for vermicast application work best for them. The following is an outline for application within the Southern Hemisphere for orchards, cropping and pasture, although conditions will always vary from case to case.

Pasture

On pasture, it is best to apply 20 t/ha before renewing and then on established pasture either 10 t/ha in spring or 5 t/ha twice a year after mowing or grazing (spring and autumn).

Orchards

The best time to use vermicast is at the beginning of a new orchard - when the soil fertility will be at its worst - at a volume of up to 20 t/ha. Then, in following years, vermicast can be implemented throughout the year. Ideally at the end of winter and early spring when the soil's microbiological activity is at it lowest and vermicast will therefore be boosting soil activity.

Cropping or maize

The goal with cropping or fodder maize is often to improve the root development as well as maintain the humus level. The application is, therefore, best after soil tillage (if tilling is needed), and before planting. It is best to keep vermicast near or at the soil surface as this is where the new plants are growing, and thus the benefits of the humic acids contained in the vermicast will be. It is important not to bury vermicast by applying it before deep tillage.

There are many economic reasons to use vermicast and vermicompost, and while commercial vermicomposting operations require a different set of rules to that of at-home operations, both can deliver outstanding results. Reach out to MyNOKE to learn more about how vermicast and vermicompost can make your soil the best it can be.