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Difference between Worm Tea and Worm Leachate

Updated on January 2, 2011
Worm Tea photocredits: stuartmcmillen.net
Worm Tea photocredits: stuartmcmillen.net

Before you can even understand and compare the difference between Worm Tea and Worm Leachate, you must first learn how these two are obtained. Take note that these two are made possible through vermicomposting (either the use of red wiggler worms or european nightcrawlers). 

What is vermicomposting?

The process of vermicomposting typically works with the use of organic scraps and composting worms. The worms in this procedure are then used to help break down all the organic wastes included in the system. When they’ve finally consumed and digested all of these materials, will they only be able to produce a nutrient-rich worm castings fertilizer product afterwards (castings from red worms is one of the most naturally-made fertilizers to date).

What is Worm Tea?

Worm tea is something that you brew using dechlorinated water and castings from worms (the process of aerating compost from worms in the presence of chlorine-free water). It is the kind of worm compost tea that is filled with aerobic microbes. You can create this mixture by simply aerating the water and castings with a bubbler (helps populate the number of microbes), and by also adding in some molasses (food for the microorganisms present in the system). The next step is to leave the mixture to ferment for about 2 days before using it on your soil and plants.

What is Worm Leachate?

If your organic compost tea that’s been made from your worms castings is full of aerobic matter, then expect your worm leachate to contain the opposite. Leachate is actually filled with nothing but anaerobic matter. When the moisture content inside the worm composter mounts up to an excessive level, then expect the decomposing organic scraps to leak out a liquid substance (that’s why it’s useful to have a container under the worm bin to help contain the leachate or a spigot for easier draining).

The Difference between Worm Tea and Worm Leachate

As aerated compost tea from worms castings (you can buy worms for this project at any local worm farm shop or online) can be made very beneficial to your soil and plants, the leachate isn’t something worth using afterwards. By using the tea, you are given several options of usage, as it can be used as a natural fertilizer, and as a pest control product. It’s more useful and valuable compared to using the leachate that might contain uncomposted organic wastes. So the next time that you come across this comparison, always remember the difference between Worm Tea and Worm Leachate before concluding anything.


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