While it's not likely to be a paying proposition in your no-till fields, gardeners are being encouraged to purchase earthworm castings to improve the productivity of their soils. Marketing materials for these casting products definitely show the correlation as to why increased earthworm numbers in your no-tilled fields help boost yields and protect the environment.
Following 20 years as a soil ecologist and doing research work in the Amazon rain forest in South America, Scott Subler formed the Pacific Garden Co. in Millheim, Pa. He markets a line of organic and odorless soil supplement products called Dr. Subler’s Living Soil Earthworm Castings that offer many of the same soil-building properties that you find in your no-tilled fields.
Instead of focusing on physical or chemical soil properties, Subler’s products zero in on natural and biological properties. Produced in beds located on a state of Washington farm, the castings come from worms that are fed clean, recycled paper fiber and hygienically prepared agricultural byproducts.
In research work that included 7 years as a soil ecologist at Ohio State University, Subler determined that earthworm castings offer many unique ways to boost both no-till soil health and plant growth.
“The biologically active droppings of earthworms are teeming with beneficial microorganisms, enzymes and bioactive substances that naturally improve plant health and appearance,” he says when promoting his line of gardening products. “They invigorate and rejuvenate potted plants and perennials, enhance germination and early growth of seedlings and cuttings, and also stimulate flowering and…