We produce and promote worm tea as opposed to compost tea because it is a superior product in every way. Worm tea is made from pure worm castings whereas compost tea is made from composted materials, which can vary greatly in quality and nutritional value. Furthermore, the worm casting production method we use is uniform, producing a consistently superior casting. Thus, our worm tea always meets our high quality standards.
The Benefits of Worm Tea
If worm castings are gold fertilizer, then worm tea is liquid gold. Worm tea is a fertilizer, insecticide, and fungicide all in one. According to research work done at Ohio State University, “vermicompost ‘teas’ increased the germination, growth, flowering, and yields of tomatoes, cucumbers, and other crops in similar ways to solid vermicomposts. The aerated, vermicompost ‘teas’ suppressed the plant diseases Fusarium, Verticillium, Plectosporium, and Rhizoctonia.” The same research revealed that worm tea “also suppressed populations of spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) and aphids (Myzus persicae) significantly” and that “they had dramatic effects on the suppression of attacks by plant parasitic nematodes such as Meloidogyne on tomatoes both in terms of reducing the numbers of root cysts significantly and increasing root and shoot growth” (Edwards, et al). This is just one of many studies promoting worm tea as the best all-around amendment for plants.
Making Worm Tea
- Put 4 gallons of chemical free water into a 5-gallon bucket. The water temperature should be maintained at a minimum of 70 degrees for optimal growth of the microbes you are cultivating.
- Next, connect a small aquarium air pump to an aerator stone with a sufficient length of plastic tubing. Place the stone into the water and oxygenate the water for 2 – 3 hours.
- Put 4 cups of worm castings into material that will allow the castings to steep in the water, such as a sock or cheesecloth. Add the bag of castings and ¼ cup of molasses or similar sugar source to the percolating water. Continue to brew for another 24 hours or until slimy foam forms on the top of the water. The slimy foam is a good sign of healthy microbial growth. This may happen in as few as 12 hours when the weather is worm but may take longer in cold weather.
- Finally, store the tea in a rustproof container away from sunlight, which will kill the growing microbes.
Using Worm Tea
Make only enough to use in 1 to 2 weeks and use it as quickly as possible. As time passes, the microbes consume the oxygen and food, and once they consume it all, the good microbes begin to die and the tea will begin to sour. Dilute worm tea in chemical-free water. The standard dilution ratio is 1:5 (1 part tea to 5 parts water). Apply to foliage and/or soil with a sprayer or watering can. If a sprayer is used, it is best to filter the tea to remove any particulate matter that might clog the nozzle.
You will be amazed at the results you will see in your plants. The growth will be better, insects will be discouraged, and diseases will be prevented. What could be more perfect in your garden!