What is Mealworm Frass?
Mealworm frass is nothing more than mealworm castings. Because mealworms eat grains (such as wheat bran) and other organic material (such as carrots), when you add mealworm frass to your soil, you are essentially feeding digested plant material to your plants. Consequently, mealworm frass is a safe, all-natural, soil additive.
What is Chitin?
Closely related to cellulose, chitin (pronounced “kite-in”) is a naturally occurring substance found in the exoskeletons of insects as well as the sheds of insect larvae as they molt (in the case of mealworms). When added to soil, chitin triggers plants to think that insects are attacking, causing them to strengthen their cell walls and release natural insect toxins as a defense. Though chitin doesn’t act as a pesticide, its presence helps plants grow stronger and also helps them withstand actual attack by pests later.
How Do You Apply Chitin-Fortified Mealworm Frass?
Before applying Mealworm Farming Solutions™ chitin-fortified mealworm frass to your plants or garden, it’s best to pre-mix it with your soil. However, if your beds are already planted, you can mix our chitin-fortified frass in water and let it steep for several hours. Then, you can use the “tea” mixture to drench the roots of your plants. Below are mixing instructions:
- For fertilizing raised beds: Use a pound of Mealworm Farming Solutions™ chitin-fortified mealworm frass per 20 SF of planting area. Mix the chitin-fortified frass with the top 6-inch layer of soil using a garden trowel. Water the bed thoroughly. You can top dress the bed with additional frass every few weeks throughout the growing season for added benefits.
- For making a mix for potted plants: Use one cup of Mealworm Farming Solutions™ chitin-fortified mealworm frass per ft3 of potting soil. Thoroughly mix the chitin-fortified frass with the potting soil. You can add a sprinkling of frass on top of the soil every few weeks for added benefits.
- For a chitin-fortified mealworm frass “tea”: Use a ½ cup of Mealworm Farming Solutions™ chitin-fortified mealworm frass per gallon of water (non-chlorinated). Drench the roots of your plants within two hours of mixing the solution. If you have extra liquid, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Do not store the liquid at room temperature, as it will go bad quickly.
Additional Info on Using Our Chitin-Fortified Mealworm Frass
Here is some additional info for getting the maximum benefit out of our organic chitin-fortified frass:
- Mealworm Farming Solutions™ chitin-fortified mealworm frass is not a pesticide or a fungicide even though it works to prevent both predator insects and pests from harming your plants. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about our chitin-fortified frass killing beneficial insects or nematodes.
- Mealworm Farming Solutions™ chitin-fortified mealworm frass can be used in hydroponics systems provided you apply the chitin-fortified frass as a “tea” AND you drain out the frass pieces before running the “tea” through your hydroponics system. Otherwise, the insoluble pieces of frass might plug the lines, causing equipment damage.
- If you simply want the benefits of chitin for your plants and are less interested in the fertilizing aspect of the frass, you can use a lower ratio of Mealworm Farming Solutions™ chitin-fortified mealworm frass in your mixtures. A ¼ pound of Mealworm Farming Solutions™ chitin-fortified mealworm frass per 20 SF of planting area, a ¼ cup of Mealworm Farming Solutions™ chitin-fortified mealworm frass per ft3 of potting soil, or two tablespoons of Mealworm Farming Solutions™ chitin-fortified mealworm frass per gallon of water should suffice.
The chitin-fortified frass from Mealworm Farming Solutions seems to be working! Haven't had nearly as many pests as last year when I just used earthworm castings. I really think the insect chitin makes a HUGE difference!