With growing environmental concerns over the effects of chemical fertilizer, Ocala resident Sandra Beltran sought an ecologically friendly alternative to satisfy commercial farmers’ and home gardeners’ agricultural needs. In December 2010, Beltran introduced FertiWorm, an organic fertilizer and soil conditioner made from the digestive tracts of earthworms.
Certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), FertiWorm has been recognized as a product for use in the organic production of fruits and flowers, on farms and in nurseries, at home or commercially. The vermicompost fertilizer made with 100 percent earthworms is unlike traditional chemical fertilizers that have been known to kill microorganisms contained in soil and release nitrogen particles causing groundwater contamination.
Enriched with more than two billion microorganisms per gram, FertiWorm incorporates earthworms to break down organic waste and release bio-stimulant compounds, including plant hormones such as auxins, which enhance plant growth, and gibberellic acids, which support the overall growth of the flower, the germination of seeds, and the increase in size of some fruits.
In a comparison study, plots of land treated with vermicompost fertilizer in place of chemical fertilizer generated a 250 percent increase in crop production the first year, 100 percent the second year, and 70 percent the third year. Recorded growth examples included eggplants cultivated in 65 days, tomatoes grown in 55 days, and chicory reaching 13.88 to 17.86 inches tall.
K.K. Tan, a home gardener in San Diego, Calif. decided to try vermicompost fertilizer FertiWorm, given its sustainable quality in improving root growth and boosting crop yield.
“The organic fertilizer worked great for me,” said Tan. With regard to the fall 2010 season, he added, “It helped me produce noticeably greater and larger hot peppers.”
When spread evenly over crops’ surface and watered heavily, FertiWorm integrates with the soil. Although the vermicompost’s nutritive elements produce five to six times the fertility of common manure, it may be easily combined with this element.
FertiWorm is a vermicompost fertilizer made of 100 percent earthworms. Certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) for organic production, FertiWorm offers a sustainable alternative to chemical fertilizers and may be used in nurseries, on farms, or with plants, fruits, vegetables and flowers.
Marisha Kelly, Media Relations
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