Fortunately worm castings (WC) will not burn your plants, so it doesn’t matter if it makes contact with your leaves or stem. What is really important is that you feed your soil in such a manner that your plants could access nutrients and other benefits in the shortest possible time.
When transplanting most vegetable seedlings, incorporate at least 2-3 tablespoons into the planting hole to establish your crop. If your crop is already established then consider these application techniques:
- Band application:
- Gently make a uniform furrow 1 inch deep, around the drip edge of your plant and apply WC in the furrow and lightly cover.
- In a similar manner, a circular band could be created around the drip edge of the plant using WC, then gently till into the soil using a hand fork.
- In small plant pots where soil and water movement are restricted, spread and till it into the soil using a hand fork.
- Drill application:
- Using a small stake at least 1 inch diameter, make an insertion at the drip edge of the plant and pour WC into the hole and cover: approximately 2 inches deep for most leafy vegetables and 4 inches for taller crops like tomato and eggplant
There are several fertilizer application techniques however most times they mirror a band or drill application technique. The old technique of broadcasting is not very sustainable as compost could be easily translocated with irrigation water away from the plant so it is important to till the compost into the soil to encourage adhesion to soil particles.