The root of my question is " Do you do anything to stop volunteer seeds from germinating in your worm castings?" A lot of pumpkin, squash, pepper and sometimes tomato seeds end up going into my worm bins. And in due course they germinate, either in the bin or after I taking them out of the bin. And unless I want to grow plants from those particular seeds, how would I use my castings for say sprouting other seeds. And if I put castings down around garden plants, all the squash and pepper seeds start volunteering around my garden plants. Do I embrace it??? Avoid putting seeds in? For the most part I use it around fruiting trees and shrubs, and use the excess liquid from the bins as a liquid fertilizer/tea for my potted plants. No crisis here. It is nice in a way, being able to pluck some volunteer peppers out of the worm bin and plant them around the yard. However, I am wondering what others do. What is the main thing you do with your worm castings?
We had a rockmelon (cantaloupe) grow out of the worm farm container a few years ago - a VERY healthy plant too! I left it in place to see what would happen over summer, unfortunately we got a heatwave of +40C temperatures and it died whilst the fruit were immature - it just didn't have sufficient root protection or moisture to keep it going.
Normally, any unwanted seedlings that sprout in it would simply be pulled out, laid down and covered with some lawn clippings, veggie scraps or newspaper to add to the worm farm.
Alternatively, if the seedlings are juicy, they become a nutritious micro-green snack for the chooks.
As for using the castings: a side dressing for seedlings and maturing leafy greens, and a liquid fertiliser for everything else.
'Every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain.'
Volunteer seedlings turn up all the time in my vermicompost. Known hazard of a cold composting process (that results in a great seedling-enhancing medium). Generally these are easy seedlings to spot and pull or chop down.
Ideally, when top dressing the soil with vermicompost, you'd want to put some kind of mulch layer over the top of the castings, which helps inhibit the volunteering - this is also a good practice because vermicompost that dries out in the air can get hard and crusty, and subsequently be very slow to finish breaking down into the soil - even rain, on crusty vermicompost, doesn't dissolve it that readily.
Hot composting the feedstocks before giving them to the worms is one option. Commercial vermicompost operations do this. Worth doing with yard waste if you've got lots of seed-containing weeds/undesired plants to compost.
If composting kitchen scraps on a small scale, you can bake, boil or microwave any seed-containing waste to kill the seeds. You might not care to use the energy to do this routinely, but it could be worthwhile if you have a large quantity of seed-containing stuff to compost, such as that generated by cooking or canning in large batches. You can get a light baking, sufficient to kill seeds, by putting the waste into the oven while it's preheating to cook something else. (This is also how I dry my eggshells before grinding them for the worm bin.)
"How many licks ..." - I think all of this dog's research starts with these words. Tasty tiny ad: