Using Worm Castings & Worm Tea

by on October 28, 2011


Vermicompost is a mixture of humus, worm castings and decomposing matter. Worm castings look like rich soil, it is dark and crumbly. Most food will be broken down and active microorganisms will have dwindled. Both are gold for the garden. Use them sparingly and with clear intent.

  • Plant your seeds in it
  • Use it for transplants – use a small handful when planting them
  • Place it around the base of your plant to give it nutrition
  • Make worm tea from the worm castings for spraying the leaves of your edibles


Making tea is easy.  Spray it on all of your vegetables with a 5:1 ratio (water:worm tea).  This will strengthen your plants, make tastier veggies and prevent insect infestations and disease.  We don’t recommend leachate (the liquid that collects at the bottom of worm bins). There is conflicting info out there on leachate, but to me safe we encourage you to just throw it out because it oftentimes can have anaerobic microbes, bad for plants.

Quick and Easy Worm Magic

  • 1 cup worm castings or large handful
  • 32 ounces of water (non-chlorinated)
  • 1 tablespoon of molasses (optional)

If you have highly chlorinated water like we do in Los Angeles, let the water sit for 24 hours so that the chlorine evaporates or boil the water until the chlorine smell dissipates.


Mix together into a glass jar with a lid and let it sit for a few hours uncovered. Then screw the lid onto the jar and shake vigorously.  Pour this magic potion over your plants at the base. You can also spray it onto your leaves, but be sure to strain the castings (use a cheese cloth) so that it doesn’t clog the spray bottle. The most convenient method is to use a  2 in 1 Sprayer that allows you to spray your whole garden effortlessly.

Carol Carimi Acutt

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew August 13, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Leachate is not the same as actively aerated worm tea. Leachate contains anaerobic bacteria which are harmful to plants. Leachate should never be applied to plants or living soil.


Carol August 13, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Thanks Andrew –
After doing more research, we agree. There are many conflicting reports regarding leachate, but I think it’s best to just make worm tea from castings, even if it’s the quick and dirty method.


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