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Worm Tea From Red Wiggler Worm Composting

Updated on June 17, 2011

Wonderous Worm Tea

Worm tea is one of those subjects that is rarely talked about but should be a major focal point for anyone interested in helping the planet. Worm tea does so many things for us, and the best part is that you can make your own for FREE! This lens will explain how Red Wiggler Worms make worm tea. You'll also learn how to use it; plus all the benefits that come from worm tea, not just for you, but for the planet too!

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Red Wiggler Worms

What Is Red Wiggler Worm Tea?

When Red Wiggler Worms are busy at work eating decaying food & plants they produce a by-product known as worm castings. Castings are also known as worm compost (vermicompost), which is an excellent amendment for soil. In a Worm Factory water will filter through the trays soaking up nutrients from the castings. The Worm Tea ends up at the base of the Worm Factory, and can be extracted from a handy spigot. Worm Tea contains more nitrogen, phosphate, calcium, magnesium and potash then the upper 6 inches of topsoil.

Another way to get Worm Tea, is to take worm castings (vermicompost) from the Worm Factory and soak them in water overnight. Use the following ratio to brew up your own Worm Tea: 2 Tablespoons of castings per 1 Quart of water. The worm tea is ready to use when it is a light amber color.

Why Use Red Wiggler Worm Tea?

Using organic products like Red Wiggler Worm Tea actually reduces the cost of gardening in the long run since the long-depleted soil is gradually restored naturally. Plants grown in this fertile soil begin to develop their own defenses against pests and diseases. Worm Tea is:

~ FREE - it's a by-product from composting with Red Wigglers in your Worm Factory

~ non-toxic - does no harm to the planet & is safe to use around children & pets

~ superfood for plants - better than chemical fertilizers

~ easy to use - won't burn plants fully concentrated

~ a natural pest repellent - see below

Benefits of Red Wiggler Worm Tea

Worm Tea and worm castings help replenish depleted nutrients in the soil, thus enabling your plants to thrive. Worm Tea will enchance a plant's appearance and can even help struggling plants will perk up overnight. Worm Tea has been known to increase a plant's productivity up to 10-fold! Worm Tea increases plant size and yield, and out-performs any chemical fertilizer. The micro-organisms found in Worm Tea are vital for nutrient uptake in plant roots and also protect the plant from disease. Plants grown with Worm Tea are healthier due to the symbiotic relationship between the plant and the microbes in the root area. Plants feed the microbes and the microbes produce or make available all of the food and medicine the plant needs to thrive. Worm Tea produces plants that are more nutritious than plants grown with chemical fertilizers. The nutritional value of these plants is increased since there is an abundance of minerals, vitamins, enzymes and amino acids.

Worm Tea can bring soil back to life that has been damaged by toxic agricultural chemicals. With repeated application the microbes from the Worm Tea will adapt to the soil as well as convert and metabolize organic and inorganic chemicals. They will also retain heavy metals not required by plants. Worm Tea applied to the soil also improves water retention. The water retentiveness of healthy soil can be 3-4 times greater than unhealthy soil. The microbes in Worm Tea will turn organic matter into humus, which stores energy for later use. The microbes in Worm Tea feed other organisms in the soil food chain, creating the optimal environment for healthy plants. All life in the soil depends on microbes, directly or indirectly. Protozoa and nematodes feed on bacteria and fungi directly while worms ingest bacteria laden soil particles.

How To Use Red Wiggler Worm Tea

1. Soil Amendement

When Worm Tea is added to a compost pile it accelerates the breakdown of plant material, which reduces the amount of time to make compost. It can also be used to re-inoculate the pile after it has gone through its hot phase, which inactivates or kills many of the beneficial microbes. Re-inoculation increases the population of beneficial microbes, which continue to breakdown organic matter and form humus. Worm Tea used as an inoculant for potting soil will suppress airborne pathogenic fungi that can readily infect sterile potting soill. The organisms in Worm Tea also produce hormones, vitamins, nutrients, enzymes, amino acids and minerals needed by seedling cuttings and young plants. Inoculation should be done two weeks prior to planting.

2. Seed Germination

You can use Worm Tea to germinate seeds by using the wet paper towel spout method or to water newly planted seeds.

3. Plant Food

When Worm Tea is used as plant food it can be diluted 50/50 with water and applied with each watering or it can be applied full strength once a week with water application between each use. Worm Tea does not heat up and will not burn your plants. Your plants will take up the nutrients in the Worm Tea and Castings when it's ready to use them. Worm Tea can treat lawns affected with thatch, which is a condition caused by sterility in the underlying soil. Chemicals usually cause sterility in soil. Worm Tea will repopulate the soil with microbes, enrich the roots and break down the thatch turning it into food for the grass. Worm Tea applied as a foliar spray will act as a fertilizer. Plants will produce more foliage and larger stems. This is a good treatment for plants that are stressed or lacking enough sun.

4. Insect Repellent

To use as a repellant spray plant liberally with full strength Worm Tea, and apply again after it rains. Watering plants with Worm Tea naturally repels aphids, spider mites, scale and white flies.

5. Cut Flowers

Cut flowers love a teaspoon added to the water, it increases length of live and promotes more blooms.

Need More Info on Red Wigglers and The Worm Factory?

Check out this site for more helpful information about Red Wiggler worm farming: WormComposting.us

I would love to hear about your Red Wiggler worm composting experiences. Please feel free to ask me any questions you have.

Thanks for stopping by...

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @SallyCin: Thanks very much SallyCin! I'll chuck it on the garden pronto if it still smells ok.

    • SallyCin profile image
      Author

      SallyCin 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi, Your worm tea won't have the same potency as when you collected or brewed it since it has been outside sitting for so long. If it doesn't smell bad you can still water your garden with it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Can you please advise: I have a bucket of worm tea that has been sitting outside unprotected for almost 8 months (yes, I have been very neglectful of my worm farm!). As such it has leaves etc mixed in it. Is the worm tea still ok to be used on the garden? If not, how do I dispose of it? Thanks.

    • turtleface profile image

      turtleface 6 years ago

      I've been composting for a few years and didn't know some of the uses of the tea that you've pointed out. Thank you

    • SallyCin profile image
      Author

      SallyCin 7 years ago

      @anonymous: No, it is best to use it immediately after collecting it. Otherwise it will become anaerobic and the beneficial mircroorganisms will die. You can use it full strength on plants one week, then water with only water the next week, or you can use a 50/50 concentration with water. It won't burn your plants, and will be used by them as needed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      can i store worm tea and use it later?

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This is very cool! My husband will be so happy that we won't have to buy miracle grow anymor for our garden.