Give your garden a boost with homemade worm tea fertilizer! Here’s what it is, how to make it, and how to use it…
Worm tea is a form of compost tea, and if you make worm compost, it can be a great way to fertilize your garden or potted plants. However, before we look at how to make and use worm tea, it is important to understand the difference between worm tea and leachate – the “juice” that drains out of a worm compost bin. While this is sometimes confusingly referred to as “worm tea,” it’s actually not the same thing, and as this article points out, it should be treated and used differently – and probably not on plants that produce food that you eat.
True worm tea, on the other hand, is made by steeping worm compost (worm castings) in water for a period of time. This liquid fertilizer contains high levels of nitrogen, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, as well as beneficial microbes, and may also help to reduce fungal diseases such as powdery mildew.
Here are some more benefits of using worm tea in your garden:
Worm tea lets you fertilize without adding bulk to your soil, and water your garden with something really healthy for your plants. Trust me here, your garden will practically jump up and shout “Hallelujah!” when fertilized with either worm tea or aerobic compost tea, and you will be amazed at the growth, flowering, and fruiting that results.
Here’s how to make your own worm tea fertilizer:
- Fill the bottom third of a bucket with worm castings/worm compost.
- Fill the rest of the bucket with rainwater or non-chlorinated water (or tap water left out in the sunlight for 24 hours if that’s all you have).
- Let the mixture steep for 24 hours.
- Strain out the solids, dilute with water at a 1:1 ratio, and apply directly to your plants or soil.
How to Use Worm Tea in Your Garden:
Spray your plants liberally on the leaves, stems, and surrounding soil. Use worm or compost teas on clay soil to begin its transformation to humus. Use them on your flowers indoors and out, and on your other house plants to feed and nourish both the plants and the soil.
Use teas on your compost pile to introduce the microbial activity and hasten the compost pile’s beneficial breaking-down process. Inoculate the ground surrounding your fruit trees. Use them on manure piles that stink and marvel at how fast the stink and flies go away! A properly brewed worm tea is child, pet, and wildlife friendly.