What is Worm Tea?

by Teresa Frith

What is worm tea?

If you are a gardener, you want the best for your plants so they are healthy and vigorous. And that means using some sort of fertilizer to help the plants to grow big and strong.

A great way to do that is by using worm tea!

Don’t worry, it’s not as strange as it sounds!

So what is worm tea?

Well it isn’t actually tea like someone would drink, instead it’s a liquid made from worm castings, which is another name for worm excrement.

This worm tea can be made own you own if you have a worm farm, or you can get it at some gardening supply stores.

making worm tea

When asking what is worm tea, the answer is it’s made by soaking worm castings in non-chlorinated water in which you’ve also placed some molasses or brown sugar for the beneficial microbes to feed on.

You also need to aerate the mixture via an aquarium pump and some air stones to help oxygenate the worm tea.

This mixture needs to aerate for between eight hours and overnight to produce the worm tea. The result will be a brownish colored liquid.

Let it set for another day or two, then use it on your plants within four hours, or it won’t be good anymore.

This worm tea is used to fertilize all kinds of plants to include food plants or flowers as well as indoor or outdoor plants.

The worm tea is sprayed or poured onto the plants.

It is best to dilute the worm tea with water by putting it into a sprayer hooked to a garden hose, then watering your plants with the hose.

There are many benefits to using worm tea.

One of these it is actually will help keep some kinds of insects and pests from destroying the plants.

It is also non-toxic, so you can use it around pets or children. Worm tea is also eco-friendly as it doesn’t place dangerous chemicals into the soil.

Therefore, you can feel good about using it to fertilize your garden. It is merely a mix of beneficial bacteria, fungi, and other organisms which help to make the soil richer and better for plants of all kinds.

Don't Confuse Leachate with Worm Tea

using worm tea

One thing to note is when asking what is worm tea, is that some think it is the liquid that drains from a vermicomposting bin, but that is actually called leachate.

This liquid isn’t good for the plants as it tends to contain bad microbes instead of beneficial organisms. Some people say you can dilute the leachate at 10:1 strength (10 parts water, 1 part leachate) and use it on plants that you're not going to eat such as flowers or shrubbery.

Worm tea works because it provides these beneficial organisms which help put nitrogen back into your dirt, and the plants then absorb this vital nutrient. Since it’s in liquid form, the plants can absorb it much faster than powdered or solid fertilizers, so they receive an instantaneous energy boost.

So, if someone asks you “what is worm tea” now you can smile and explain it’s one of the best things a gardener can have to make their plants thrive via putting nutrients back into the soil they require to grow healthy and strong.