Earthworm Castings as Growth Medium for Chinese Cabbage (Brassica Rapa Pekinensis)

Topics: Soil, Kilogram, Brassica Pages: 6 (1813 words) Published: January 7, 2011
The main purpose of this experimental study is to find out what proportion of earthworm casting will yield the best. It also aims to determine whether earthworm casting is a better planting medium than garden soil. Five set-ups were prepared including one control, with the same amount of water given and exposure to sunlight and temperature. However, they differ in the proportion of earthworm casting in every pot. The earthworm casting and garden soil were weighed and then thoroughly mixed (according to the proportion of earthworm castings, 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% & 100%). Each mixture of soil had a total of two kilograms. The mixtures were placed in different plastic pots. The plants were then transplanted to the soil mixtures after 15 days of germination. The heights of the plants were obtained every week. After the span 45 days (since the day of germination), the plants were harvested and the heights and weight were taken. Results show that there is a significant difference between the mixtures made. In addition, Chinese cabbages that were planted in the mixtures with earthworm casting were better than those which were planted in pure garden soil. The outcome of study also shows that the best yield were those which were planted on 100% earthworm casting.

Background of the study
Earthworm Castings are the excretions left behind by worms after they finish digesting the organic matter that makes up their diet. It contains rich proportions of water-soluble nutrients. Earthworm Castings allow plants to quickly and easily absorb all essential nutrients and trace elements in simple forms, so plants need only minimal effort to obtain them. They are concentrated and rich in nitrogen, they are gentle enough to be applied in direct contact to sensitive plant roots without fear of burning. More than just a great plant fertilizer, castings are also a terrific soil amendment, plant growth enhancer, and the gardener’s ultimate compost. Earthworm castings are clean, odourless, and can be used indoors and outdoors to provide a boost to all of your plants. Objectives of the Study

The study conducted to investigate the proportion of earthworm castings to soil as for growth medium for Chinese cabbage. Specifically, the study aims to:
1.Determine the proportion of earthworm casting to soil as growth medium for Chinese cabbage. 2.Evaluate the effects of earthworm casting in each proportion after testing it to Chinese cabbage.

Significance of the Study
The study will serve as a guide in utilizing earthworm castings in planting. This research intends to find out what is the ideal proportion of earthworm casting is to be mixed with soil in order to make a plant grow healthy. Furthermore, the study aims to help people especially those who are fond of planting/gardening to enhance their plant’s growth rate. Scope and Limitations of the Study

This study focuses in the identification of the most ideal percentage of earthworm castings to be combined with soil as a growth medium for Chinese cabbage. The study does not cover the usage of commercial and fertilizers that may affect the growth of the plant. The study will be conducted within the span of 45 days.

Earthworm castings
Earthworms feed by ingesting quantities of soil containing living and decaying organic matter. They digest and absorb some of this material, but much of what they eat passes on through their bodies. They carry a good deal of this dirt up out of the soil where they leave small piles of dirt (“worm casts”) on the soil surface.

This carrying activity of earthworms is important for soil turnover, and their burrowing activity is a factor in soil aeration. Farmers and gardeners are well aware of the beneficial effects of earthworm activity on the soil, and biologists have long been studying earthworms’ impressive ability to alter soil features. For example, Charles Darwin’s Last book published in 1881 was a study...

Cited: Burns, J.D, 2007, The Miracle Of The Earthworm, Countryside Publications Ltd., Sarasota, Florida
Grolier Encyclopedia of Knowledge, 1995, 4: 356, Grolier Inc., United States of America
Johnson, L.G 1983. Biology, Company Publishers, WM. C. Brown
New Standard Encyclopedia, Vol 6: E22, Ferguason Publishing Company, Chicago
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