Worm Compost teas - are nutrient rich
Just to clarify things, worm teas are not made from worms, it is a natural liquid fertilizer that is made by steeping finished vermicast or worm castings in clean water. Worm compost tea is high in beneficial organisms, bacteria and microbes and are extremely rich in calcium, nitrogen, magnesium, phosphates, and potash that is plant nutrient ready and by far the best fertilizer available for garden or nursery.
There are two methods of turning worm castings into a nutrient rich liquid fertilizer.
The process of producing worm casting tea by either method is easy and will not take more than a few simple steps. For use as a seedling fertilizer I favor this first method simply because I usually use a sterile soilless potting mix for seed raising and the nutrients in the tea are all that is required.
While this Simple worm casting tea can be kept for several days before using it is best to make smaller batches and use immediately.
The main uses for vermicompost tea are:
Photo left - Looking all calm and innocent, this finished simple worm tea is packed full of plant ready nutrients that will literally supercharge the growth rate of any plant it comes into contact. Use the solution weekly, full strength or dilute as you see fit. As a foliar spray or soil drench worm tea will not burn the leaves or roots of even the youngest seedlings.Mouse over image to enlarge.
Permeable bag - a muslin bag, old sock or old pair of nylon stockings also work well. This is optional, if the tea is going to be put into a sprayer for applying to the garden then it is a good idea to use a bag simply for the reason of preventing sediment from blocking the sprayer nozzle.
If the tea is to be applied as a soil drench this sediment can be applied along with the tea so using a bag to hold the worm casting in while brewing isn’t necessary.
It is important to use high quality worm castings. Whether they are from your own worms or a purchased commercial product, they should resemble coffee grounds and smell like organic rich soil. The quality of the final tea will only be as good as the quality of castings used.
It is important to use chlorine free water when making, mixing and diluting any nutrient tea. Chlorinated water kills bacteria, both good and bad.
Beneficial bacteria are much of the benefit gained from both passive and aerated nutrient teas. Either use rainwater or if using chlorinated water, let it stand for 24 hours so the chlorine can evaporate out.