Wondering how Mealworms FIt?

Mealworms were not even a consideration for us until late in 2022 after we got a pet bearded dragon. We quickly discovered that buying feeders from the local pet stores was going to get expensive and they don't live long so it would have to be frequent trips. 

I had the idea to raise feeders myself. I mean, I already raise worms, how hard can it be to raise other bugs? I started with crickets, but let me tell you they stink and require a fair amount of maintenance. 

Next idea, Roaches! Well lets just say that it is incredible that my wife lets me keep any bugs at all at our house, and roaches.... well that is a hard line that did not budge. 

Finally, I found a lot of information on raising mealworms and it stuck. Besides, as I researched, I discovered that they can be good for more than just feeders. 


Benefits of Frass 
(AKA Bug Poop)

A completely un-intended benefit arose as I began raising mealworms, and that is their frass or poop. Here are some reasons that frass is a great benefit to plants:

1. Nutrient-Rich: Mealworm frass is a nutrient-rich organic fertilizer, packed with essential elements such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and trace minerals. These nutrients are vital for plant growth, flowering, and fruiting, making mealworm frass an excellent all-in-one fertilizer.

2. Slow Release of Nutrients: One of the key benefits of mealworm frass is its slow-release nature. Unlike synthetic fertilizers that can lead to nutrient leaching, mealworm frass provides a steady and sustained release of nutrients over time. This gradual nutrient release promotes healthier plant development and reduces the risk of nutrient runoff.

3. Improved Soil Structure: Mealworm frass acts as a soil conditioner, enhancing soil structure and water retention. Its organic matter content improves the soil's ability to hold moisture, creating a more hospitable environment for plant roots. This results in better water utilization and increased drought resistance.

4. Boosts Microbial Activity: The microbial community in the soil plays a crucial role in nutrient cycling and plant health. Mealworm frass promotes the growth of beneficial microbes, fostering a balanced and thriving soil ecosystem. This, in turn, enhances nutrient availability for plants and contributes to overall soil fertility.

5. Pest Repellent Properties: Studies suggest that mealworm frass may have natural pest repellent properties. The frass contains chitin, a compound known to deter certain pests and pathogens, helping to create a protective barrier around plants. This can contribute to a more resilient and pest-resistant garden.

6. Environmentally Friendly: As a byproduct of mealworm farming, mealworm frass is a sustainable and eco-friendly option for fertilizing crops. Utilizing this waste material as a valuable resource reduces the environmental impact associated with traditional fertilizers, contributing to a more circular and sustainable agricultural model.

7. Versatile Applications: Mealworm frass is versatile and can be used in various gardening applications. It can be applied as a top dressing, mixed into potting soil, or brewed into a nutrient-rich tea for foliar feeding. Its flexibility makes it easy for gardeners to incorporate into their existing practices.

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