The Salinas Chinatown Community Garden’s Composting Enterprise
Worm castings are a natural soil amendment to enhance the growing conditions of your garden. These Worm Castings were produced on-site at the Salinas Chinatown Community Garden. 100% of the profits from the Worm Castings goes to support the Salinas Chinatown Community Garden. Make your plants happy, and help us to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Salinas Chinatown Community Garden.
How do you use Worm Castings?
Worm castings are a natural soil amendment. They are a very easy to use and safe fertilizer. Simply apply the amendment to your existing soil mix, in your potted plants (indoors or outdoors), or directly in your garden.
How much do I add? Here are some general guidelines. But keep in mind, you can’t use too much.
- For seedlings: Add 20% to 30% of worm castings to the germination mixture.
- In your potted plants: Add one inch of worm castings around the base of each plant and then dig lightly to mix the worm castings in with the existing soil.
- Directly in your garden: Add a one-inch layer of worm castings to the ground and then rotate the soil.
How are the Chinatown Community Garden Worm Castings Produced?
- Green vegetable material is collected from Dorothy’s Place, local produce distributors, and from landscapers. This decreases the amount of waste going into the landfill.
- Garden volunteers mix this green vegetable material with manure and straw and build compost piles. Compost work is mainly conducted by local CalWorks recipients, “at-risk” youth, and CSUMB students giving them an opportunity to learn and give back to their community.
- The compost piles will sit and breakdown for at least 70 days.
- The broken down compost is placed in the Garden’s commercial vermicomposting system where millions of red wiggler worms eat and enjoy the compost.
- This is where nature’s magic takes place! The bacteria in the alimentary canal of the red wiggler worms transform the compost to a natural high quality fertilizer. This process transforms the compost to a 7 pH factor, making it odorless. The biggest benefit is that the worm castings also contain the good bacteria from the worms. So, where the worm castings are placed the microbiological activity continues to increase the long term health of the plants.
- After 90 days the end result is worm castings - a beautiful, rich, natural soil amendment perfect to enhance growing conditions for a variety of plants.
- Worm castings promote minerals in the soil to be directly absorbed by the plants.