The many benefits of insect frass for your plants – Living Soils

The many benefits of insect frass for your plants

Mealworms

Insect frass is a brilliant fertiliser and biostimulant for use in rooting, vegetative and flowering stages. Made from insect exoskeletons and excrement, the frass is beneficial for your plants in three main ways:

Balanced nutrient ratio

It contains a great balance of primary nutrients (NPK 2,2,2), these release slowly over a period of 3-4 weeks, and are easy for plants to take up. Insect frass is also packed full of beneficial bacteria that help plants access more nutrients from the soil.

The nitrogen in insect frass is predominantly organic nitrogen (NH2). There is virtually no ammoniacal nitrogen (0.11%) or nitrate nitrogen (0.02%), which means insect frass can be used throughout the life of the plant- from seedling to flowering stage- without concern for creating hermaphrodites.

Chitin

Secondly, frass has another special and quite unique benefit for plants: it contains derivatives of chitin, which is found in large concentrations in the cell walls of insects.

Plants detect the presence of this and are ‘tricked’ into thinking an attack is imminent; consequently, their in-built resistance to pests and disease is triggered and growth rates, productivity and immune response are all boosted significantly.

Micronutrients

Last but by no means least, frass is chock full of micronutrients, with high levels of natural silicon, and very low levels of sodium and chloride.

Its worth noting that insect frass is not an insecticide – instead it causes the plant to produce its own defenses, which include insecticidal enzymes, alkaloids, and antifungal metabolites that aid in pathogen and disease resistance.

Our frass

Mealworm Frass

Our insect frass is from mealworms, the larval form of the mealworm beetle (Tenebrio molitor). The mealworms used to generate our frass are actually bred for food in the UK; unlike other 'organic' insect frass therefore, it does not come from mealworms that are fed growth enhancers or other hormones.

For more information and to buy some for your plants, click here.

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