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Want to throw out a couple of questions here for those of you who use worm casings for you plants. I have a small lab oven which I can use to sterilize my worm casings for germination mixes at (200 degrees F for 20 minutes).
Q1. I have read in a DG composting thread that heat in excess of 200 degrees F can release toxins to plants. Can anyone elaborate on this?
Q2. I use spent media from my worm bins for potting soil mixes without heating because I feel the nutrient value can be lost during the sterilization process. Some of my worm food comes from peelings like bannanas, oranges, and store bought tomatoes in the winter. I'm concerned about introducing pathogens or fungi which might be dormant in the vermiculture media. In goinging through some DG threads I read about using Hydrogen Peroxide as an inexpensive sterilizer. Thought about grating some spent media and placing it in a 1-gallon plastic coffee container, adding some H2O2, and shaking it up. Leave the lid on for a day or two and used it. Logic tells me this would be an acceptable means of sterilizing without diminishing nutriet value. Any thoughts?
Mraider3, I don't know if peroxide is any better. It kills a lot of the good stuff along with the bad stuff you want to get rid of.
My sister was really into worms and did a lot of research. She has told me that in India that they use worm composting toilets and use the castings as fertilizer. The worms convert the bad stuff in the poo to good stuff in their castings. I don't think you would have too much to worry about if you used only the castings.
I left a hyperlink to a pass-through worm bin on another thread here it is again.