How to Use Worm Castings for Your Tomato & Vegetable Seed Starts: Starting Tomatoes NO Grow-Lights!

Posted by Gary Pilarchik on

You can save a lot of money by starting your vegetable seeds indoors. It is a lot of fun and you can grow plant varieties that you just won't find, as transplants, at your local stores. There are two major issues that impact seed starting and they are lighting and fertilizing. I address both of them in the video.

A lot of gardeners, that are seed starting for the first time, get thin tall flimsy seedlings. This is called 'legginess." When a germinated plant breaks the surface and it is NOT met by intense light, it keeps growing and stretching toward the light. This causes weak flimsy or 'leggy' plants.  You can address this by using grow lights that have intense light or you can use the method outlined in this video.

That method is simply seed starting in trays and moving the flat in and out of the house during the day when temperatures are over 40 degrees. While it can seem like a bit of work, it is very effective. 

You can seed start using the outdoors during cool weather because you are bringing the plants in at night. The seed starting cells don't hold a lot of starting mix and quickly warm in the house. The plants get at least 12 hours of 70 degree warmth indoors. This keep the plant's roots warm and happy. The outdoor sun takes care of the lighting needs of the seed starts. It is important to bring them in at night, even when the night's stay above 32 degrees. The seed starts need the warmth of the house to grow quickly.

You can easily damage your seed starts by over fertilizing them. They are not in earth beds or large containers. Fertilizers can quickly build up in the starting mix and damage the plants. You want to feed them a low steady amount of the major nutrients N-P-K or nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. I recommend using worm castings and worm casting tea which I like to call Nature's end product.

The video shows you the amazing growth I had using the product and how to set up your starting mix with worm castings.  Worm casting tea can be use every 7-10 days once the plants get their 2nd sets of leaves. It contains essential nutrients, humic acid and good fungi. It has what Nature intended your plants to have for optimal growth.

You can find VermisTerra worm castings and tea here on their site: Use my code THERUSTEDGARDEN to save money on all your purchases.

The 10lb bag of premium worm castings will make over 120 quarts of seed starting mix, using the 1/2 cup (3.7 ounces) of castings to 3 quarts of starting mix. That is about 30 gallons of mix.

The worm casting teas are concentrates that can be stored in the home, once open. 32 ounces of concentrate will make 10-16 gallons of worm casting tea based on using 2-3 ounces per gallon. A gallon container (128 ounces) of concentrate will make 40-64 gallons.

You can find VermisTerra worm castings and tea here on their site: Use my code THERUSTEDGARDEN to save money on all your purchases.

You can also find VermisTerra products on Amazon. Look for discounts and free shipping. Here is my link to their worm casting products:

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