What Is the Most Effective Way to Store Worm Castings?
There’s no better organic fertilizer than worm castings, but there are specific ways to store them.
In the gardening world, worm castings are called “black gold”.
It’s because when you use them in your garden, it’s like you’ve struck gold. You won’t find anything better and more natural.
Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
Worm castings: What are they?
Worm castings are worm feces. We all know cow manure is excellent for gardening. Worm castings are also called vermicast.
As earthworms eat compost, nutrients are secreted into their feces. Because worms eat so many nutrients from plants and soil, it makes sense that they would create the most beneficial fertilizer for plants.
Worm castings can either be made organically or bought from the store.
Worm Castings: Why should you use them?
You can enhance your garden with worm castings. Mix them in with the soil or layer them on top. Regardless of how you use them, worm castings work. Garden plants thrive in them. It can also “resurrect” plants that didn’t grow in barren beds. It fills the soil with nutrients that reach deep into the roots of plants and get them to flourish.
You need to let your worm castings breathe. You can’t lock them up airtight. Storing them this way gives them maximum productivity and ultimately better plants! To keep these castings “alive,” there is a particular way we need to store them.
Here’s a step-by-step on how to store worm castings.
You’ve come to the right place if you’re wondering how to store worm castings. Worm castings need air and moisture to breathe. It’s not a wise idea to leave a container of worm castings outside. Don’t introduce other bacteria, dust, or bugs into your worm castings. They still need to be covered.
So, how do we store worm castings? We’ve got a few options.
The Ever-Popular Bucket Method
The bucket method is the most popular way to go when deciding how to store worm castings. However, you may need a few things you don’t have on standby.
Materials You’ll Need
- 5-gallon bucket
- A drill
- Worm castings or worm castings mixed with soil
- Spray bottle with water
- A place to store it
Step 1: Poke holes in the lid of your bucket
You’ll need a 5-gallon bucket first. Even if you don’t have a bucket like that, a tote with a lid will do. Cat lovers may even have a litter bucket with a cover. All are excellent options for storing worm castings.
You’ve established that you’re willing to treat worm castings as if they’re alive, like one of your pets. What do you do if you don’t have a pet carrier or the money to buy one? That’s right, the old-fashioned box with holes.
Drill tiny holes in the lid so your worm castings can breathe. You might need some assistance when drilling the holes in the lid. The cover can stay on the bucket while you drill. Make a few holes like you would for a pet.
Note: Make sure the lid on your bucket fits properly and seals well. While we want air holes in the top, we still want to keep other things out, such as dust, bacteria, and bugs.
Step 2: Make sure your castings are wet
Your worm castings need to be wet. Controlling the moisture of your worm castings is easy with a spray bottle. You don’t want to drown them, but you should be able to grab a handful and squeeze them. It should keep the shape in your hand, but only so you can squeeze a few drops out.
Once they’re moist enough, start scooping or dumping your worm castings into the bucket. Fill the bucket up to about a few inches below the lid. Usually, 2-3 inches is enough.
Worm castings are tough to pack down due to their structure.
If you choose to pre-mix your soil with your worm castings, the castings allow extra air so the soil doesn’t pack down naturally.
Step 3: Line the top of your bucket with wet newspaper
Use the spray bottle of water to spray the newspaper. Make sure it’s thoroughly moist, but don’t make it soaking wet.
Put the newspaper on top of the worm castings in the bucket. Your worm castings will stay moist but not too wet.
Step 4: Seal your bucket
Place the lid over the bucket and ensure that it’s sealed tightly. Make sure that there is room between the newspaper and the lid. The air will travel through the moist newspaper and keep the worm castings below it wet and ready for future planting.
This method is the most popular way to teach someone how to store worm castings.
But here is an alternative method to store them if you don’t have a bucket or drill.
Ziploc Bag Method
Materials You’ll Need:
- Ziploc bags
- Pencil or pen to poke holes (other objects to poke holes in can work too)
- Moisture-resistant tape (found at department stores or hardware stores)
This method is straightforward. The star of this way of storing worm castings is the Ziploc bag. The size of the bag is entirely up to you. Choose whichever size fits your need and the amount of worm castings to suit.
Poke holes in your Ziploc bag
Poke air holes in one side of your bag.
Poke these holes carefully and make sure that they are not too big and that you don’t rip the bag.
You can use a pen, pencil, wooden skewer, or virtually anything that can make holes in the bag without ripping it open.
Scoop worm castings into the bag
With the air hole side of the Ziploc bag face up, scoop your worm castings into the Ziploc bag. You don’t want worm castings to fall through the holes, so you’re only leaving them on one side. Seal your bag.
Add tape to the Ziploc bag
After you’ve sealed your Ziploc bag, it is good to seal it further for extra measure. You don’t want to introduce too much air into the castings, or they will lose their moisture. That’s where the moisture-resistant tape comes from.
Take the tape and apply a strip to the seal.
Pinch the tape over both ends of the seal. You might want to add two strips to be safe.
While both ways to store worm castings will work, we recommend using the first method. The bucket method allows for more extended storage, and ultimately, it’s the most durable.
With the Ziploc bag method, you risk the chance of perforating the bag and losing some of that black gold. You also risk spills and other mishaps that can happen because of flimsy materials.
However, the Ziploc bag method is excellent if you’re selling your compost in individual sizes or just need a little at a time.
And there you have it! You now have an easy and inexpensive way to show you how to store worm castings.