In order for plants to grow under conditions, they must be able to have regular water, sunlight, and a substrate or soil that provides them all the necessary nutrients For their develpment. If we plant them in the garden in the right location, we already have much of the work done; But if we have them in pots ... things get a bit complicated, since that land that we put in little by little will become impoverished.
However, we can do one thing so we don't have to worry about anything: pay. With what? With one of the richest organic fertilizers there is: the humus.
Table of Contents
What is humus?
It is a compost that emerges naturally in any soil in the world, which is nothing more than organic matter that has been attacked by bacteria and fungi that have decomposed it almost completely. The amount will depend a lot on the place; for example, on beach sand it barely reaches 1%, while in forests it can easily reach 5%.
It is dark brown almost black in color, mainly due to its high carbon content. As it breaks down, it provides nutrients as important to plants as nitrogen, match, potassium and magnesium.
What benefits does it have?
Its benefits are many and varied, and are:
- Provides nutrients to plants, which is of utmost importance for them, since in this way they can grow and develop in the best possible way.
- Improve the soil, so that if it is very compact it becomes a bit gritty, and vice versa.
- Plant roots they can assimilate it well and quickly.
- It does not smell bad or rot.
How to make hummus?
Things you will need
The fastest way to get a natural compost and as interesting as this one is by making worm castings. For it, you will need to:
- Worms: it is recommended that they be the Californian red ones, although those that you can find in the garden in dark corners, growing near pruning remains or in shady areas are also useful.
- Container: that is not made of metal, and that has a lid and holes in the base so that they can breathe. It is important that it is wider than it is high so that the worms can be as comfortable as possible.
- Food: for worms, such as paper, cardboard, leaves (green or dried), fruit and vegetable peels, bread.
- Diary paper.
- Some garden soil.
- And of course water.
Step by step
Once you have everything, it will be time to prepare what will be the "house" for worms, at least for a season. Follow this step by step:
- Cut thin strips of newspaper, and place them in the container. Go putting strips until they form a layer of about 2,5cm.
- Now, add a little water but without soaking them. You can help yourself with a sprayer to better control the amount of water you add.
- Then, add a layer of about 2cm of soil, and introduce the worms.
- Next, cover the container with its lid, and place it in a cool, shady area.
- After two days, since they have probably eaten all the paper, you should start feeding them the food mentioned above.
You will know that your humus is ready when you only see the compost itself, which will look like dirt.
Liquid worm castings are the product resulting from digestive transformation in the form of excreta. To do this, you have to use a container you must use a vermicomposter at the base of which (on the outside) you have to place a cap that is where the liquid will come out.
Alternatively Make a Homemade Vermicomposter, for which you will need:
- 3 plastic boxes with lids (or more if you want it to be taller)
- A tap
- Piece of weed mesh
Step by step
Now that you have it all, it's time to get let's do it:
- Place a box without a lid on top of another with a lid.
- Make 4 holes with the drill so that it pierces the top box and the bottom box cover and put 4 screws to join them.
- Repeat these steps to join the top box to the bottom one.
- In the last box, the one that will serve as the base, you have to make a hole in it, and insert the tap with a rubber, and place the thread. Put the anti-weed mesh on them to prevent them from drowning.
- Poke some holes in the boxes so the worms can go from one to the other.
When can it be done?
You can't make this hummus at any time of the year. Earthworms are sensitive to cold, so trying to do it outside in autumn or winter is not advisable. The ideal is to wait for spring or summer, which is when the temperatures are much more pleasant.
Even so, if you don't want to wait, you can always place the container inside the home, in a room where there is little light.
If this is the first time you are going to do it, most likely you have many doubts about how many worms to put in or how large the container should be, right? It is completely normal. But don't worry, here are the answers:
The number of insects you should put in will largely depend on the size of the container. For example, if you have one that measures about 50cm long by 10cm high, and taking into account that adult worms can measure up to 10cm, you can put about 10-15 and they will be able to live well, that is, they will not be forced to »Compete» for food.
When will the hummus be ready? The more worms you have, the less time it will take for you to compost your plants, but it is generally recommended to wait 6 to 9 months.
Buying worm castings: what is the price?
If you don't want to wait that long, you can choose to buy worm castings. Its price is really very cheap, and can cost a few 15 euros the 20kg bag, or 5 euros for the 500ml bottle.
So now you know, if you are looking for a natural and nutrient-rich compost, this is for you.