Using worm casting tea on plants

By Teresa J. Frith

houseplants

Scientific studies have shown that having plants in your home, as well as growing a garden, are great things for both our physical and mental health. So, if you have either of those you’ll want to keep them healthy as well. One way to do that is by using worm casting tea on plants.

So, what is worm tea you may ask? Well, it is not a tea you drink, it’s a natural type of liquid fertilizer made by taking worm castings (otherwise known as worm poop) and soaking them in water (recipe to follow). These casings are generated by the worms as they devour kitchen and food scraps and poop out the casings, which are loaded with lots of helpful microbes and nutrients plants thrive on.

Worm tea is also not the same as worm leachate, as that substance is the liquid that drains from decomposing scraps in a worm bin (worm container/home for raising worms). It can contain dangerous toxins, so shouldn’t be used on plants.

 

Making worm tea is easy

worm tea

It isn’t hard to make your own worm tea, but if you don’t wish to do so it is also possible to buy it from a garden center, feed store, or online. But if you want to try making your own worm casting tea, here’s a few simple steps:

Materials needed: 5 gallon bucket, any sort of bag made of a natural and porous material, distilled or rain water, and of course the worm casings. You can get the worm casings via raising you own worms or buy them. 

Next, add several handfuls of worm casings to the bag, then tie it shut. Fill up your bucket with the distilled or rainwater. Then put the bag of casings into the water and submerge it. The bag should be left there overnight. You can also put an aquarium bubbler in with it to produce aeration, as this helps boost your microbe activity and adds oxygen.  When the water has turned a light brownish shade, the worm casting tea is ready to use. 

 

Using Worm Casting Tea

watering can

You can use worm casting tea on any sort of plant. Plus you can soak seeds in it prior to planting them to give them a head start to growing up strong and healthy. It should be used up as soon as possible, as the microbes in it don’t live for long. To use it, just put some into a watering can, spray bottle, or merely pour it out over the plants you want to fertilize. It’s best to use it on the plants about once weekly for vegetables and fruits and about once each two weeks for houseplants. Be certain you put it on not only the plant’s leaves, but soak some into the soil as well.

Worm casting has been shown by the US Department of Agriculture to cause a 50 percent hike in growth. Plus, it additionally helps to keep away unwanted pests, and helps the plants to develop stronger roots, as well as the soil retains more water your plants can use as needed. Another benefit is it boosts plants’ immune system. In a way, it is similar to humans taking a daily vitamin and mineral supplement!

So, if you want to grow a garden or keep some house plants around so you can enjoy their beauty as well as their bounty, then buy or make some worm casting tea and start using it on them for healthier, bigger and happier plants.