How to Make Worm Compost Tea

Overview

Worm compost tea is high in nitrogen and phosphates, making it an excellent plant fertilizer. Worm teas are superior to simple compost teas because they create a greater diversity of beneficial micro-organisms and less harmful ones. There are two methods of creating this nutrient rich liquid fertilizer. Worm tea can be made from the liquid that accumulates during decomposition in worm composters, or with a little more effort, a compost tea can be made by steeping the finished worm compost in water.

Simple Compost Tea

Step 1

Place a shallow container upside down on the floor beneath your vermicompost bin to catch any liquid that drains out. This liquid is called "worm tea" and it is an excellent fertilizer.

Step 2

Dilute your "worm tea" with an equal amount of water and store in glass or plastic containers with lids.

Step 3

Water both indoor and outdoor plants with this solution to encourage growth.

Worm Compost Tea

Step 1

Fill a 5-gallon bucket with water. Let it sit overnight to be sure that the chlorine will disperse, as chlorine will kill beneficial micro-organisms. If you use rain water, you do not need to let it sit.

Step 2

Take two handfuls of worm castings and place them in an old sock or nylon stocking. Make sure there are no holes in your sock. Tie the open end so that the castings will not fall out.

Step 3

Add 2 tablespoons molasses or corn syrup to the water. This food will encourage the growth of beneficial micro-organisms.

Step 4

Let the stocking soak in the water for 24 hours. Stir the water with a stick occasionally to stir up the micro-organisms and aerate the water, being careful not to break the stocking. (You can also use an aquarium bubbler pump to make stirring unnecessary.)

Step 5

Remove stocking and squeeze all the liquid from it. Place the leached castings into your compost pile and use the liquid compost tea to water the plants in your home and garden.

Step 6

Dilute with ¼ cup of tea to 1 gallon of water (non-chlorinated water). It is best to use tea within 48 hours of making, so the micro-organisms will still be active.

Things You'll Need

  • Worm castings
  • Sock or nylon stocking
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Water or rain water
  • Molasses or corn syrup

References

  • Wsu.edu: Cheap and Easy Worm Composting Bin
  • Pollardworms.com: Worm Tea Everything!
  • Pollardworms.com: Organic Worm Tea

Who Can Help

  • Finegardening.com: Brewing Compost Tea
Keywords: Vermicompost tea, worm compost tea, organic gardening, organic fertilizer

About this Author

Kaye Lynne Booth has been writing for 13 years. She is currently working on a children's, series and has short stories and poetry published on authspot.com; Quazen.com; Stastic Motion Online. She is a contributing writer for eHow.com, Gardener Guidlines, Today.com and Examiner.com. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a minor in Computer Science from Adam’s State College