Using Worm Castings Tea for Healthy Soil in Containers and Gardens

Worm castings tea can be a great addition to your garden or indoor plants. But like any new thing that you’re adding into your life, there are some potential problems with using worm castings for tea. So it is important that you know what these risks might be before jumping right in.

What Are Worm Castings?

Sometimes called vermicompost or worm poop, worm castings are a rich soil amendment with high concentrations of nutrients that are beneficial for plants. They’re perfect for mixing into potting soil when starting new plants in order to provide a well-rounded diet for them. They also work great as a natural plant fertilizer or soil cover on top of barren ground that needs some life breathed into it.

Worm castings are also pretty good at breaking down organic waste from the kitchen or garbage, making them a highly useful part of any compost pile. There’s not too much in the way of downside to worm castings, and you can always add more if necessary.

Worm Castings Tea for Healthy Soil
Photo: Worm Castings Tea for Healthy Soil, Credit: Instagram @ vegasworms

So What’s the Real Downside to Using Worm Castings for Tea?

  • Essentially, it’s just a matter of time. When making tea with worm castings, you know there will be some additional time involved because you have to let them sit around in there for a bit before brewing up the final product. Worm tea is made from worms, which can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to fully process.
  • And it takes a bit more time for the tea to brew up, because you’re adding living creatures into it. And that means your tea will have a different taste, smell and texture than any tea you’ve ever used before.
  • In fact, some people claim that worm castings make great herbal infusions or teas that are ideal for drinking on a regular basis if they include fruits or vegetables in them. So there’s nothing wrong with using worm castings as an ingredient in your daily cup of chamomile tea (or whatever else you prefer).

How Do You Use Worm Castings for Tea?

How Do You Use Worm Castings for Tea
Photo: How Do You Use Worm Castings for Tea, Credit: Instagram @ vegasworms

The most basic way to make worm tea is to add about a half cup of castings into a gallon of water. Then you let the whole thing sit for about 24 hours, stirring briefly a few times in the process. That’s all it takes to brew up some worm tea.

  • If you want to get more elaborate with it, then you can use one of the several compost aerators on the market these days. These work like regular aerators on kettles and pots, but instead of clogging up and getting dirty like regular ones do, compost aerators are reusable and dishwasher safe.

If you’d rather use your own special formula for worm castings tea blending, then go for it. There are some pretty good recipes out there for making worm tea or aerated compost tea using just about any kind of fruit or vegetable peels that you can think of.

If you’re trying to be really thrifty, then composting might be a better option. You can make your own castings at home by mixing together old and new compost in a ratio that works best for your own set up, then letting it all sit around and break down before using it in the garden or making a batch of worm castings tea from it.

Alternatively, you can buy a bag of premade compost tea that is already pretty well broken down and ready to go. It might not be as thorough as if you made your own, but it’s usually pretty cheap and gives you the added benefit of already being mixed up and ready to go.

Worm Castings Tea Safety Concerns

One thing you need to keep in mind is that worm castings are quite dirty. After all, they’re made from human feces, so there’s a little bit of nature’s waste mixed into every serving. It’s a good idea to be careful with your hands, and especially so when handling castings. Wear rubber gloves in particular when working with this material.

Worm castings tea can also have some pretty strong smells to it, so you’re going to want to avoid breathing too deep in the vicinity of your wormy tea brewing. If you do get a whiff of possible infection in there, then you should wash off any excess worm castings and contact a medical professional if necessary as soon as possible.

Any other health concerns? Worm castings might be loaded with certain microbes that can help keep some pathogens at bay (though they are considered safe). There’s also the possibility of insect eggs or larvae in your tea, though this is pretty rare in most cases and only happens when you’re not careful about what you’re putting into your brew. Worm castings can also be a bit slimy, so make sure that it doesn’t get on any sensitive surfaces like the countertops and sink.

What Do Worm Castings Tea Taste Like?

Worm castings are chock full of minerals and good microbes, so they might have a bit of an earthy taste to them when used as fertilizer on its own. When you take the time to make worm castings tea, this earthy taste is going to permeate the final product and make it a bit more strong. Used in small enough doses though, this can actually be beneficial for your plants by giving them an extra boost of nutrients that might otherwise be missing.

Worm tea can also have a slightly earthy smell to it. This is nothing too bad, but you might notice it more than other teas if you try to do a blind taste test. It’s just the smell of the castings and whatever else you put into your brew. Some people like this though, so if you can handle it, then go for it!

So Is Worm Tea Safe?

Yes! As long as you follow the directions that come with any worm tea or worm casting supplement that you purchase and make at home, there’s really no reason to worry about safety with worm castings tea. Just be careful with any incidental safety concerns that might come up along the way, and you’ll be just fine.

Worm tea makes a fun activity to do with your kids as well, and you can enjoy some delicious tea made from worm castings while getting some hands-on time with your children while they learn something new and exciting in the process. It’s a pretty simple recipe to follow too, so no worries there. Just don’t let any of it get on or near anything else.

How to Make Worm Castings Tea

Worm Bin
Photo: Worm Bin, Credit: Instagram @ easycreekvermiculture

It’s no secret that worm castings tea is a beneficial natural drink. It’s filled with plant chlorophyll and other nutrients that can help you stay healthy. Plus, it is said to have many amazing health benefits!

But where do you get the castings from? That answer might not be so obvious, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. Most gardeners know about worm casting tea because of this article! It advises how to make this yummy beverage in your own backyard! All you need to do is involve the worms in your yard by supplying them with coffee grounds or other organic waste material.

There is a bit of a catch to all of this, though. The worms aren’t the only things that need the organic waste. Others who need organic waste are the larvae of mosquitoes, their food source! This can be good news or bad news depending on your perspective. Good news means no mosquito larvae in your worm castings tea! Bad news means that you have some pests to deal with, but at least you’ll have an easy way to eliminate them for good!

Unfortunately, if you rid yourself of mosquitoes, you’ll need other ways to fight off these pests. That’s why we’ve also included information on how to get rid of mosquitoes inside and outside your household. This article will teach you how to protect your home from these pests and how to keep them out of the yard!

composting worms
Photo: Composting Worms, Credit: Instagram @ naturesalwaysright
  • The first step to making worm castings tea is digging a hole. Now, if you’re just getting started with your worm castings tea, it might be hard to dig the hole in your backyard. This is why we recommend that if you’re just getting started with worm castings tea that you start with a small bed garden and a few worms in there.
  • After you have dug your hole, take some time and make sure it is big enough for the worms. The worms should be able to easily move around in their new home and not feel or look like they are cramped. Also, when you are finished, the worms and their bedding should be approximately 1- 2 inches below ground level
  • Once the hole is big enough for the worms, add dirt to make it around 4 inches deep. Then add a couple of handfuls of organic materials such as coffee grounds or garbage. These organic materials will sustain the worm population and reduce odor.
  • After you add a few handfuls of organic material, take your shovel and dig out a big enough space for your worms to live in. Make sure that space is about 2 feet deep.
  • After you have dug out a 2 feet wide, 2 feet deep space, fill it with organic materials. Then, add some dirt if necessary to make it over 4 inches deep. Next, add your worms. You can purchase worms from a local garden shop or you can give them away to neighbors and friends to get them started.
  • Now that your worms are in their new home, cover the hole with more dirt making the total soil level 4 inches below ground level.

It is said that the production of these worms is best done with temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal area for worm castings tea gardeners to set up their worm castings production site is on a patio or back porch. This will provide an optimal environment for the worms while also giving you easy access to the worm castings tea production site.

Worm castings tea can be made year-round as long as enough worms are present to procure the amount of nutrients needed for the tea production process. When there are not enough worms in one specific area, worm castings tea can still be made by digging up some dirt from another area in your yard and adding it to the worms’ area. This is sold as a good idea to ensure that tea production doesn’t stop.

How Do Worm Castings Compose?

Worm Castings Compose
Photo: Worm Castings Compose, Credit: Instagram @ a_sage_life_in_style
  • It takes anywhere from a few weeks to several months for composting material to break down completely into perfect castings. The castings formed by worms are the result of this process.
  • What kind of castings will you get from your worm tea? The castings that you get from worm tea are made of all the organic matter in your tea with the eggs, larvae and other insects that might be in your composting material. You’ll also get some additional organic matter from steeping or other additions that your recipe might call for.

The best thing about worm castings is that they’re ready to use right out of the bag! No need to let them sit around for months, producing an unknown amount of bacteria, helping things rot at an even quicker rate and leaving a lot of unwanted nastiness behind. Worms are pretty environmentally friendly when it comes down to it.

Worm casting tea is a pretty simple process, but it can take some time to get your bags of worms started. You’re going to want to start collecting your own worm castings once you’ve gathered up a few dozen or so worms, then choose some easy-to-start composting material and start mixing it all together in an old coffee can. It’s very important that you bury this material loosely so that the worms can dig down into the composting materials easily, plus they’ll find places to hide when they need to rest between feeding (they’ll most likely burrow down through the bottom of the coffee can).

You’ll want to keep these worms in the dark until they become comfortable with their new environment. If you don’t, they’ll burrow quickly back into your castings and leave you with a lot of work to do. When you see your worms starting to make homes for themselves in your compost, then it’s time to start feeding them!

This is where your worm tea will come from. Once you’ve got your tea brewing, just be sure to give the worms some time to get used to their new diet and habitat before you start harvesting any castings for use as a tea additive or fertilizer. Then all you need to do is reap the benefits of your hard work!

If you want to make worm castings tea, all you need to do is follow the directions on the bag and compost them up as normal. Worm tea is a pretty simple process and not too much more complicated than composting basics by any means. You just need a few worms and some black or green tea. This worm casting kit isn’t going to make your life any easier though because it doesn’t have a collection bin or worm bin included. They don’t even come with a bag of caecotrophs (the worm making material) either.

If you want a quick and easy way to make worm tea at home, then this is something to consider. However, if you want to gather your worms and compost up tea at the same time, then you might need to do some research on worm bins or other ways of making your own castings from home. Just remember what kind of material you’ll be putting them into and be careful as always!

How To Mix Worm Tea Into Your Soil

Worm Tea Into Your Soil
Photo: Worm Tea Into Your Soil, Credit: Instagram @ organicallygrowing

Gardeners have been using worm castings for ages as a natural fertilizer for their plants. These days, it’s becoming more popular than ever with foodies and people who are looking for an alternative fertilizer. It takes a bit of time to get to know each strain of worm, however, the process becomes much easier with time.

There are two major methods that you can use to mix your worm tea into your garden soil. The first is to add it directly, while the second involves using plastic bags and storing your tea in there as you go along. Follow these instructions carefully then see how things work out for yourself with either method.

  • Mixing your worm tea directly into your soil is the easiest way to do things (though not necessarily what you want). Simply mix up small amounts of tea at a time. Remember that worm tea starts out as a nitrogen source, so don’t add too much to the area where you want your plants to grow! Stir your tea carefully and well with a shovel or garden fork. Leave it sitting in the areas where you’re planning on planting for around two weeks. You can leave it in longer if you like, as this will be enough time for the worms to eat all of the food sources that you gave them (they won’t really feed on much else after about two weeks).

Once your tea is totally “eaten” up, you can let the worms crawl away and continue their lives. They’ll leave behind their castings for you to replace in the garden however you see fit. You can use it on your plants in the future, or simply add more composting material and try again!

  • If you don’t want to add worm castings directly into your soil, then you can use a plastic bag to store them. To do this, simply use one of your castings balls as a template and cut out the shape with a pair of scissors. Take your bag and lay it out flat on the ground then put some soil in it and press it down firmly with your hands. Add the worm tea to the center of this makeshift bin then bury it up to its sides in soil. The top needs to be left open so that you can collect any runoff or leaks later!

Let it sit for two weeks, much like you would if you were simply planting directly into your garden soil. Then it’s time to collect your worm tea and use it just like you would your garden soil or other composting materials!

  • The final method is to use plastic bags with holes in them. Depending on the size of the bag, you can add up to 10 liters of worm casting tea into each one. Fill it up with all of your worms and then place the bag under some tarp or a large piece of plastic. This will let any runoff water out easily without affecting the worms who are nesting inside.

Leave your bag to sit in the sun for two to three weeks, then get ready to collect your worm tea and use it as you would any other type of fertilizer!

Worm Tea Uses & Benefits

Now that you’ve got a basic idea of how worm castings are made and how they can be used in the garden, let’s take a look at some of the specific uses for these little critters. You’ll see some of these are common sense benefits, but others are slightly more unique. Once you know what your worms are up to, it can be much easier to keep them in check and make sure they’re happy.

  1. Worm castings can be used to fertilize your soil naturally and sustainably. This is a great benefit as it negates the need for chemical fertilizers, while also making sure that you’re getting what you need in the way that’s best for your plants. By using worm castings as a fertilizer, you can avoid real problems with chemical residues and other harmful effects.
  2. When worms turn their castings into tea, you’ll be able to use them to enrich your soil with nitrogen once again rather than relying on chemicals or other sources for it – a fantastic benefit!
  3. You can also use worm tea to help with the beneficial bacteria and fungi in your soil. This is worth mentioning because it’s a great way to add beneficial microbes to your garden that aren’t easily available elsewhere.
  4. Worm castings can be used to create compost in the same way that it’s made, meaning that you’ll have a sustainable resource for the future! It will do away with any issues of heavy metals or nitrogen deficiencies, so you’ll simply have a more dependable product at your disposal.
  5. You can use worm castings to help feed your plants with nitrogen, rather than having to add it in yourself. This means that you can use it just like other fertilizers, while also helping the environment by avoiding the need for chemicals or other resources.
  6. Worm castings are 100% biodegradable and safe for use on land and in water as well! This is great news as we’re looking at a resource that doesn’t harm the environment or create any risks of contamination, while also having a great benefit for your garden!
  7. The worms themselves are actually pretty good at collecting elements from your soil and turning them into valuable fertilizer on their own. They’re able to do this because they’re great at breaking down composting materials and being able to do so quickly.
  8. They even eat up other harmful elements like heavy metals and harmful chemicals as they go, turning them into something that’s better for the environment. This is a great benefit if you happen to have an area where pollution or other issues are going on!
  9. When worms turn their castings into worm tea, they can actually help your plants grow by releasing important nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus into the soil. This helps all of the plant parts flourish with ease for a healthy garden!
  10. If you’re looking to save money on fertilizers and other resources, then worm castings can be a great resource! You may not bother using them in the first place since they’re naturally made and a renewable resource, but you can turn it into worm tea if you choose to. This will help you save quite a bit of money as well!
  11. You can use worm castings as a soil amendment when planning for your garden or just for general maintenance. Instead of having to buy expensive nutrients that might not be good for your plants and could end up being costly in the long run, you can use something that is already useful for those purposes!
  12. Worm castings are also great for plant root health by combating some of the invasive problems that many gardeners face when trying to grow plants. The castings can help combat damaging pests and disease if you have those issues in your potential garden areas.
  13. They’re very good at collecting harmful elements like salts, heavy metals and other toxins, absorbing them as they go so that you can use it without worrying about any potential contamination! This is especially useful for areas where industrial pollution or other threats have made their way into your soil in the first place!
  14. The nutrients in worm tea are super high quality, unlike other fertilizers available elsewhere. This means that you’ll have a better nutrient concentration that is both easy to use and won’t cause any issues with the soil!
  15. Worm castings are also great for the environment since they don’t need to be processed or manufactured like other fertilizers do. You won’t have to worry about producing harmful byproducts or needing to use hazardous chemicals to get the job done either, making it a safe and natural fertilizer source!
  16. Worm castings are also a great way to feed your garden animals too, so keep an eye out for small critters munching on them! This will be a great way to feed your pets as well as give them a way to get their nutrition in the animal foods they love.
  17. Worm castings don’t require expensive additives or other methods of storage, so you can easily just add it to the soil and enjoy the benefits that come with it! You’ll find that it’s incredibly cheap, super easy to use and the best part is that you can use it over and over again.
  18. The worms that are used in the production of worm tea are incredibly beneficial for both you and the environment as well! They’re a great way to get rid of harmful elements in your soil and nutrient-rich fertilizer all at once, plus they’re super easy to come by and use.
  19. When they create worm tea, they’ll be able to turn even more worms into it too! This means that there will be an endless supply of the necessary elements available to you every time you add more to your garden soil. You’ll also find that it’s really safe as well since it doesn’t have any harmful chemicals or poisons within it!
  20. The byproducts of worm tea are also incredibly beneficial, whether that is compost or the castings themselves. You can use them to make more compost or just keep using them out in the garden as a good, sustainable fertilizer option which you’ll have on tap for all of your gardening needs!
  21. The nutrients found in worm tea are perfect for ensuring that you’ve got a complete set of elements within your soil – it’s not just nitrogen and phosphorus that you’re looking for, but also potassium, calcium and other useful elements as well!
  22. Worm tea can be a great and natural fertilizer choice if you are looking to add something extra to your soil without having to use extra fertilizers or chemicals.
  23. Worm tea is a great addition to any kind of gardening equipment that you might have in your garden as well. All you’ll need to do is simply add it in and wait until it cools before using it! You can also add it right into another one of your fertilizers if you like for more options and a more complete set of elements for your soil.
  24. Worm tea can actually help to revitalize your garden’s soil and make it a lot better and more useful if you are looking to improve it. You’ll see that it will help to bring in nutrients, add in beneficial elements and generally make your garden soil the best that you’ve ever seen!
  25. Worm castings are a great way to keep your garden growing without needing to get off of the ground, so you might consider using them if you have limited mobility options for whatever reason. They’re also great for small children who might find crawling around in the dirt fun as well!

Last Words

Have you been wondering about all those worm castings that you saw in the backyard? There are a lot of benefits to using worm castings as fertilizer. One of these is making a tea that can be used on your plants and flowers. If this is something you are interested in trying, take some time to explore the different ways that it can help your garden grow. You need to find a way to brew the worm castings. Either use a bucket and straw, or drill holes in the lid of a bucket that you can cut into. In either way, you will be able to add water, then wait for it to be strained through the lid below or through the straw. You can also add things like molasses or a fertilizer for your plants that needs to be brewed.

One of the best ways to apply this is by putting it around the plant’s root system. This is something that is easy to do with a watering can as long as you make sure it is done properly and not too much water is being used on one plant at once. You can also mix it with your compost and use it as you would regular compost. This is something that you can use to create a more fertile garden bed, one that will grow fruit and vegetables that are varied.