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Worm Casts vs Good Finished Compost

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Barefoot James, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Barefoot James

    Barefoot James LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Good Worm Casts vs Good Compost.
    Worm Casts cost $400 a ton vs $30 a ton for Compost
    1000 sf will use $4 of worm casts @ 20 lbs per 1000
    or $4 of compost @ 266 lbs per 1000 (which is about 1/4 yard or 6.75 cu ft or about 1 heaping wheel barrow)
    The question is which method is going to give the soil the most benefit?
    Let's use turf grass as an example.
    Kiril, Tim, Tree, Groh, ICT, Barry, dirt, Mudd, dusty, Natty, Small, compostwerks, folks who have done this - what say you?
    Questions to ponder.
    Same cost for each but lots more compost 266 lbs per vs 20 lbs of casts. Is this enough casts? Is it too much compost?

    I currently put down these rates of each and find more benefits with the compost - why is that? Especially when seeding and top dressing with the compost I get fuller thicker results faster and even long term. going to do some test plots this spring to see from bare dirt and from existing turf to see what happens - lets get some discussions moving on this topic!
  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    compost + worms = vermicompost (i.e. you get the vermicompost on site with an application of compost and the other benefits that go along with the earthworm activity)

    With respect to amounts, that depends on your soil and goals. If you are low in SOM, then bulk is the only way to go. If you live in an environment that supports high decomposition rates, then bulk is the way to go. If you are over seeding, compost is the way to go, the amount required to adequately cover your seeds would make the vermicompost cost prohibitive. What is the comparison between the two with respect to nutrients?
  4. David W

    David W LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    Come on people what say you? I'm very interested in this comparison as well.
  5. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,341

    Here is what I say. Put down good screened compost the worms will find it, eat it, poop it. There you go. If you don't have any worms go buy some earthworms, prepare the soil for them and put them down at night.
  6. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

  7. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    earthworms are invasive..............

    .02 use both..........

    james give me a shout, phill bathed his phone and your # washed out
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Just how far does worm castings have to go b4 they are plant food? It seems that a lot of the N development in the casting would be lost due to volitization... I think of castings a ready/nearly ready fertilizer vs. compost as and ammendment and a pre-fertilier, with additional exchange sites...

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