Thursday, March 21, 2019

Organic Solutions

A YouTube organic garden legend, John Kohler, ran an experiment on his home garden peppers using two different types of worm castings. The Organic Solutions brand won the contest by doubling John's yield of peppers.

Brian Spangle, owner of Organic Solutions saw the video and invited John Kohler to his operation for John to produce another video explaining how worm castings are harvested.

John is all over the place like a kid in a candy store. He explains every aspect of the operation as if to show you how to get into the business. At an hour and a half the video is too long for anyone not specifically interested in organic gardening. It has specific information valuable to all gardeners. It involves explaining composting because that's what the worms live on and in, and it explains what goes into the compost to create the best environment for worms, and it explains how the castings are separated from the worms.

The key is six elements added to regular compost to improve it to maximum potential as food for worms. To get their castings. That are in the improved compost.

That is what makes the product premium.

Subsequently, the best additives for the best compost and subsequent to that, the best additives for the most fertile soil.

They seek to improve 1) fungal activity 2) general microbial activity 3) range of trace minerals.

In small amounts, Brian Spangle adds to fine grain basic compost:

1) Biochar (charcoal, carbon)

2) Coffee grounds

3) Kelp

4) Rock dust (feeds microbes, makes them more efficient, 70 trace minerals)

5) humates, humic acid (organic compounds important components of humus, the major organic fraction of soil peat and coal)

6) Chitin. (exoskeletons of insects, hair, fingernails, crab shells)

His percentages are proprietary but you can use common sense based on your particular situation. For example, you know that compost is 50% nitrate such as food scraps and 50% carbon such as tree branches and cardboard. Knowing the composition of your compost, and knowing the composition of these additives helps you decide what is best to balance out your compost if it out of balance. Otherwise all of them can improve it.

All of these soil additives are available at garden centers and online. To get an idea what each additive does the reviews on Amazon are helpful.

People buy these things separately and add them directly to their soil. Or they dissolve them in water and spray it directly onto their plant's foliage (much better intake than through the plant's roots). Or they water their plants with it.

Used as fertilizers, the humates and the chitlins get the strongest responses.

Amazon reviews:




Rock dust (this one is near black like in the video, all others are light tan)

53:30 John introduces Brian, the owner, who speaks about worms with palpable fondness.

Duckduckgo [red wiggler worms

Perhaps local is better, [Denver red wriggle worms]


chickelit said...

No way am I going to throw chitin in my compost. It's not for human waste. I do wonder if eggshells will add calcium. I would worry about the residual animal matter attracting carnivorous scavengers. My garden is not protected from wild animals.

chickelit said...

I'm still learning what to plant and what not to plant. I don't want to support warrens of bunnies. I'd go all Mr. McGregor on them.