I’m often asked if the casting produced from an indoor worm bin would be enough to fertilize a family size garden.
I decided to post the “Organic Worm Farm” newsletter about a good worm tea recipe. Using compost tea is the best way to feed your plants (indoor as well as out side). This way, a little bit of casting can go a long way!
“Being I get asked frequently during the spring and summer months of a worm tea recipe, I decided to post one here. This includes not only food for beneficial bacteria but also a mostly overlooked feed for beneficial fungi.I decided to post it here along with some explanations. This recipe can also be used when brewing a compost tea since the same principles will apply.
Since most people use a five gallon bucket for brewing worm castings tea,I will base the recipe on this.
First you need a five gallon bucket filled with non-chlorinated water. If using tap water from a local municipality,simply place the bucket out in the sun for a day to rid the water of chlorine,fluoride…
Next it is best to use a two line aquarium pump however a single line will also work. Air stones of 4” to 6” in length work best.
While not necessary I do recommend an aquarium heater to heat your water prior and during the brewing process to approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The reason for this is that many of the beneficial microbes do very well at this temperature. If the water is too cool,it will kill off a variety of beneficial microbes,hence not giving your plants the full potential of a high quality worm tea.
1 Pound – Worm Castings (vermicast)
1 – Strainer Bag (either reusable or paint strainer…)
2 – Tablespoons of Un-sulfured Molasses (good food for exponential growth of beneficial bacteria)
1 –Tablespoon of Liquid Kelp or Seaweed (good for beneficial fungi growth)
Worm castings and hence what you want in your worm tea contain both beneficial fungi and bacteria. The Un-sulfured Molasses will support and feed the bacteria which will explode in numbers exponentially. However the Molasses is not a good food source for the fungi,hence why the liquid kelp or seaweed is added. The fungi will not reproduce while brewing,however will help to maintain a healthy population as well as grow them in size.
First step which will make the entire process much easier is to mix all your ingredients with the exception of the worm castings prior to even hooking up the air pump. The reason for this is that the air hoses,stones and bag of worm castings will get in the way as you thoroughly mix the rest of the ingredients.
Once thoroughly mixed,add your air stones to the bottom of the bucket and start the pump.
Next add your worm castings or vermicast to the strainer bag. We prefer a reusable bag which is available from Organic Worm Farm since it allows you to draw the strings up and tie off to the metal handle on the five gallon bucket to enable the bag to float while the air bubbles come up under the bag.
It is actually a good idea to loosely place a lid on the five gallon bucket just to help with splashing from the air bubbles rising to the surface.
Allow your worm tea to brew 48 hours at which time you should have a nice froth on top. Should you decide to brew it longer additional food will be required to feed the beneficial microbes after the initial two days.
Do not dilute the worm tea when watering your plants. Diluting will only cut back on the ratio of microbes in the water you just generated. You can apply the worm tea directly to the leaves of the plants since the plants can also absorb the nutrients directly through the leaves. Just be sure when applying to the leaves that you do it early in the morning or early evening when the plants are not exposed to direct sunlight.
For anyone looking for a complete worm tea brewer, they are available from Organic Worm farm complete with worm castings,food,air pump,heater…
Good luck in your vermicomposting adventures….