Don't pass on the insect frass!
In the past few years a new and beneficial garden amendment has popped up on the radar.That amendment is insect frass. Insect frass is an excellent fertilizer and bio-stimulant for all stages of plant growth. It is a by product of insect production. Made from exoskeletons and excrement. Commonly from meal worms and black soldier larvae.
It contains a perfect balance of NPK ratios 2-2-2 that slowly release over a few weeks time period as well as beneficial bacteria to help improve plant uptake.
The nitrogen in insect frass is mainly organic nitrogen. There is no ammonium nitrate or nitrate nitrogen.
Insect frass is also a great source of chitin. It triggers a response in the plant that it is under pest pressure. It boosts the plants immune defense against pathogens that may be present in the root zone. However it is not an insecticide. As noted above it helps the plant produce insecticidal enzymes, alkaloids, and anti-fungal metabolites.
Insect frass can be used in your soil blends or steeped for a couple of hours in a compost tea. It can also be top dressed and scratched into the soil surface as well.
We have been using insect frass for the last four years now. We always include it in our soil blends and feeding schedules. We are very pleased with how our plants responded since adding it to our regimen. Definitely one of the most beneficial ingredients in our arsenal.
There are many companies that offer insect frass available on line. Before purchasing we recommend that folks try to find someone local in their area that raises meal worms for reptile food or livestock. Check the various forms of social media for groups in your area.
Planting season is right around the corner....and so are the pests that come with it. Consider adding insect frass to your garden to help win the battle.