Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Worm Tea

I've been reading about worm castings and how they benefit the garden and have discovered some interesting things. It seems that worms just cannot get enough of worm castings. They are a rich, all-natural source of organic matter. They are full of the nutrients that makes plants grow lush and full. It seems that worms swallow more than their body weight in organic matter in one day. What's left over creates soil that is very rich in nitrogen, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, and potash. It's more valuable to the garden than the richest and finest topsoil. Castings are like a time-release fertilizer. Since they have an oily coating on them, they don't break down immediately, but slow-release over time. Unlike fertilizer, they can't and don't burn plants and can be used abundantly.

Worm castings can be used for:

1.) mixing with potting soil, creating a great environment for germinating seeds; use about 20 - 30% castings to sand.

2.) use as a soil conditioner (they release slowly over time) by placing equal layers of soil and castings in a container or flower bed; water and plant.

3.) use as fertilizer; sprinkle the castings over the base of plants, dig into the soil, and water.

4.) worm castings can be mixed with water to make WORM TEA and then sprayed on plant leaves or added to soil; to make worm tea, add a couple large handfuls of worm castings into the center of a piece of burlap or muslin.  Tie it closed and submerse into a bucket of water. Let it sit overnight, then pull it out, drain, and use the water as your WORM TEA.  The leftover castings are still beneficial to the garden, although some of the nutrients have been leached out into the water.  Use both the tea and remaining castings to enrich your garden.

So, out to the sidewalks during a warm rain, or set to work digging in the yard. Find all those worms and put them in your garden to make castings! Some people compost indoors using special containers that use worms to eat table scraps and compost -- that's a great way to make castings. If you can't find enough worms, watch for signs along the roadway.  Sometimes fishermen sell worms from home. Or check with your closest fishing supply shop.  They sell worms by the dozen.  Worm tea will do wonders for your garden!

*The iris in the photos are miniatures that I brought home from my mom's garden when we sold her home.  They were quickly planted in pots and have been there ever since.  They make such a beautiful bouquet for the back porch when they are in bloom!  I suppose it is time to divide them and plant some of them in an outside flower bed.


  1. When I was at Menards recently, I noticed they were selling worm poo in bottles. It made me laugh but it sounds like it would be good for the garden!

  2. You scared me there for a minute. I thought this was tea we're supposed to drink! So glad to hear it's for plants!

  3. I love that beautiful collage...

  4. I love the photos of the miniture iris's, I had not idea that there were minitures of them.
    Have a great day,
    Lisa :o)

  5. Hi Gal! Our homeschool co-op visited a worm farm here in Sorrento FL. Fascinating trip! Only certain worms are good for their castings...can't remember which ones. Did you know that they make "worm tea" from their urine for fertilizer and it is actually fit for human consumption? One brave little boy drank some while we were there!!

    I need to get some to use in my back yard. It is suppose to be wonderful as are the castings!

    You are just a welath of info gal! Keep up the good work!

  6. LOL!! I didn't see the part you included on worm tea!!! That's what I get for "skimming"!!

    And I had it all wrong, to boot!! HA!! (blushing) :o)


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