How To Make Worm Tea With An Aerated Brewer
This method of brewing worm compost tea is often used by lawn care professionals in charge of fertilizing large areas like golf courses, athletic fields, or farms.
Oxygen and a food source is introduced to help feed microorganisms. This significantly increases the density of microbes and beneficial bacteria already found in worm castings.
This gives the soil and plant life a major nutrient boost, which leads to healthier soil and faster growth.
- about three pounds of finished worm castings
- filtered or natural water
- microbial food source
Some examples of compost tea aerators available for purchase online follow:
Once all materials have been gathered, follow the directions below to make aerated worm tea.
NOTE: Steps 1 and 2 are the same for the regular worm tea brewing process.
Where To Find Worm Tea For Sale
Prefer to buy worm casting tea instead of make it on your own? Many people simply have no need for five gallons worth of worm cast tea, so purchasing it is the best option.
Luckily its simple to find! Just do your research to ensure its coming from a reputable source that knows what theyre doing.
Always look for worm compost tea in concentrate form.As mentioned previously, fresh worm tea should be used as quickly as possible or microbes die without their food source.
The beneficial microbes and bacteria lie dormant in a concentrated solution. They are only activated after water is introduced. Once activated, the worm casting tea solution should be used within one day or less.
Find worm tea concentrate for sale in the following locations:
- local worm farm
These are the highest rated options online:
How To Steep Worm Casting Tea
Home brewing is the simplest method for smaller yards and gardens. Heres what youll need to get started:
- several pounds of finished worm castings from your worm bin
- filtered or natural water
- large bucket
- makeshift porous bag
Next, follow these steps to brew your own worm tea.
Dont wait too long to use the worm casting tea, as the beneficial bacteria will die off eventually.
Also, the spent worm castings can either be added directly to soil or potting mix, or put back in the worm bin. Just make sure to squeeze out any extra moisture.
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Compost Tea Is Currently Hot In The Gardening World But Will It Also Move Beyond Fad Status
Gardening, like health, has its fads. Raised beds and whole grains, once considered trendy, are now recognized as important components of good gardening and good health. Compost tea is currently hot in the gardening world, but will it also move beyond fad status?
Another benefit of considering microorganisms the workhorses of compost tea is that you can lighten up on the application. You no longer need to drench the soil with the prodigious quantities required when the teas are used as fertilizers 15 to 20 gallons of tea can inoculate a whole acre versus the thousands of gallons required to feed it.
But scientific support for these claims is thin. Only a few studies have yielded positive results, and those results are trivial or meaningless to the backyard gardener.
How To Use This Manure Tea Or Compost Tea Recipe
Dilute your tea until it looks like weak iced tea before watering plants. You dont want to burn the roots with a mixture thats too concentrated. The tea in this picture is undiluted.
We used an old jar to scoop the tea and pour it onto the garden. It worked fine since I have a relatively small garden. You could also use a watering can, hose with a sprayer, or irrigation system.
Apply tea earlier in the growing season to give the plants a boost. Too much nitrogen later in a plants life could mean beautiful plants but fewer flowers and fruit. That doesnt mean that you cant feed them, just be cautious about overfeeding.
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Natural Fertilizer Versus Synthetic Fertilizer
All fertilizers fall into one of two basic categories: chemical/synthetic or natural/organic. Chemical/synthetic fertilizers are manufactured using synthetic substances that usually contain highly concentrated forms of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium .
Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay
These fertilizers work quickly because they feed the plants directly. But they do come with a downsidethey do not improve the soil itself, and they can, over time, even destroy the beneficial organisms needed for healthy soil. When you use large quantities of this inorganic stuff over and over again, its byproducts will actually build up in the soil and can eventually hinder plant growth.
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The downside here is that they work much more slowly, first breaking down in the soil into forms that the plant roots can more easily absorb, then making their way up the plant roots to your hungry plants.
Organic/natural fertilizer, then, doesnt feed the plants directly but rather adds essential nutrients to the soil, where they become available to the plants, more slowly, over time.
Worm Casting Compost Tea
Why brew tea out of worm castings? Its not so much about the nutrients in this fertilizer its more about the beneficial microbes that worm casting compost contains.
Beneficial microbes are the products of the worms digestive tracts, and break down nutrients in the soil that feed the plant. Simply put, beneficial microbes make plants grow bigger and faster.
To make worm compost tea, you will need to have already established a worm compost bin and have compost that is ready to be processed. You can learn more about how to start a worm compost bin in the video tutorial I gave on .
You will also need a few other relatively inexpensive and easy-to-find supplies:
Heres the process:
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The Best Compost Tea Recipe To Help Your Plants Thrive
- Yard & Garden
Compost tea has been hailed as the magic elixir that makes plants grow stronger, ripen faster, taste better, run farther, and jump higher. While some of these claims may be taken with a grain of salt, there are still some real benefits to compost tea. It can be fun to brew, too.
Using Grass Clipping Tea Fertilizer
The best use of a liquid fertilizer is around the base of the plants. If you are using it for a single plant, 1 cup offers a fine boost. For container plants, you can use the diluted fertilizer as much as you want to moisten the entire container without draining.
For more information on making fertilizers from scraps, do check out ourarticle.
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Essential Nutrients In Grass Clipping Fertilizer
Depending on the type, growing conditions, and season, fresh grass clippings contain 4 percent nitrogen. They have an NPK ratio of 4-0.5-2. As it is relatively high in potassium, it makes for an excellent contributor to the root vegetables and flowers in their early growth stage.
Accumulation of salts is one of the major problems in containers while using fertilizers, and as it is low in sulfates, salts, and sodium, it helps to eliminate the accumulation.
Compost Is The Best Way To Go
Rather than rely on compost tea, I continually enrich my garden soil with plenty of compost and other organic materials, an approach I have been using for 30 years.
I rely on time and temperature to do their job on my compost. I monitor progress and quality with my compost thermometer , my nose , and my eyes . The regular addition of compost or other organic materials to soils maintains and improves them by keeping beneficial microorganisms thriving and multiplying, so I have no need for compost tea.
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When Do You Make And Use The Compost Tea
I use this recipe at three important months every year: February, June, and September.
I use the compost tea in February because it helps replenish nutrients in the ground that will be absorbed when Spring is in full swing.
In June, the compost tea helps provide nutrients during fruiting.
Nutrients from the compost tea can be absorbed before hibernation for trees. Likewise, vegetables being overwintered are fortified by the extra push of minerals and nutrients.
Does Compost Tea Add Microbes To The Soil
There is no doubt this is true. You have a pail full of slimy microbes and if you spread it around the garden you are certainly adding microbes to the garden.
There is a new gardening trend of adding microbes to the soil under the assumption that the soil needs microbes. Ive looked at this myth in more detail in the post Soil Microbes. In summary the soil already has lots of microbes and adding a bit of tea is not going to make much of a difference.
If you are interested in identifying the microbes in tea you should read this before buying a microscope and taking Dr. Inghams course: Soil Bacteria The Myth of Identification and Management.
The scientific study discussed in Compost Tea Does it Work? clearly shows that adding microbes from AACT tea does not impact plant growth.
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Why Manure Tea Or Compost Tea
Some homesteaders go to great lengths to understand their soils unique needs and deficiencies. While I think this is important and necessary sometimes , its not always possible.
Sometimes youre running late in the season getting plants in the ground and dont have time for soil tests. Other times you just dont want to have one more thing to do!
But if the garden is floundering manure tea is a quick fix.
Whats great about this manure tea or compost tea recipe is that it can be added at almost any time throughout the year and its almost always free to make.
If you follow my tips in this post on crop rotation, youll be in a great place to feed the plants that need feeding.
What Are The Benefits
While there are only a handful of studies that have researched the benefits of compost tea, without any true conclusions, there are thousands of gardeners who swear by it from their own personal experience. According to the many different articles published by various university extensions, compost tea used in conjunction with other good gardening habits creates healthy plants.
In an article analyzing compost tea, Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, Extension Horticulturist and Associate Professor at Puyallup Research and Extension Center, Washington State University, stated, There is no silver bullet for plant health problems caused by poor soil health and improper plant selection and management. But, she admits that compost tea has been shown to suppress pathogens in some plants.
For those who have experienced the benefits of compost tea, the results are clear due to two things it seems to do very well:
- Improving the nutrients in the soil. This seems like the most obvious benefit, because it is made of the same basic ingredients as compost .
- Increasing the population of mycorrhizal fungi and predatory nematodes, both of which help defend plants against a variety of microorganisms.
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How To Make Compost Tea: A Free Guide To Organic Liquid Fertilizer
Lets have some Tea Time, Have you been wondering how to make the most talked-about compost tea for your garden, farm or in commercial quantities for sale? You are on the right post. Roll up your sleeves and get ready to make your own compost tea after reading this guide.
Compost is the end product of biological decomposition of organic matter. It is achieved through a natural or artificial process. Compost tea is a by-product of compost. If you do not already know how to make compost just head over to this post on how to make compost for beginners.
Compost tea is a compost liquid extract you can brew with a microbial food source like molasses, kelp, rock dust and humic-fulvic acids. The compost-tea brewing technique is an aerobic process that extracts and favour the growth of large populations of beneficial microorganisms.
Most growers now prefer organic liquid fertilizers because it contains soluble plant food that is easily absorbed by plant root. To have a consistent high-quality finished product, you have to know what you are doing which means being able to test and determine exactly what biology is present in the tea. The tea is loaded with lots of benefits that are beneficial to the entire ecosystem.
Is Compost Tea A Fertilizer
When it comes to using compost tea as a fertilizer, theres some debate. In conventional agriculture, things such as erosion, leaching, and compaction can cause the loss of nutrients from the soil. We also know that nutrients are removed when crops are harvested. When we add decaying or uneaten parts of the plant into our compost, we help continue the nutrient cycle. This helps increase fertility over time.
We can think of compost as something that improves the condition of our soil. It adds organic matter, which allows for better air circulation and water drainage. Compost is also a fertilizer because it does have an NPK rating.
Compost contains a host of macro and micronutrients. When we add these nutrients to additional amendments in our tea mix, we produce an effective fertilizer. Using amendments can help tailor our compost tea to meet specific needs.
For instance, tomatoes need extra calcium and phosphorus. By adding liquid bone meal to our tea, we increase the likely hood that our plants will have the nutrients they need.
While compost will be feeding your garden over the long term, your compost tea also feeds your garden but offers more immediate results.
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Serving Your Compost Tea
To use the chicken poop tea, pour some into a watering can, or use a sprayer attachment on your hose, then apply it to your plants. Because of the potential for pathogens and the risk of burning tender leaves, water around the plant roots only, not directly on the flowers or fruit of the plants themselves, especially avoiding leaves you will be consuming, such as spinach, kale, lettuce and other greens. Its also recommended that you dont apply the chicken poop tea to root cropsbeets, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnipsto reduce chance of contamination. As always, wash your hands well after each use.
I like to give my seedlings a good watering right after I transplant them, and then give them another nutrition boost each week for the first several weeks. The nitrogen-rich natural fertilizer is especially beneficial to plants as theyre growing their leaves: It assists in photosynthesis and prevents yellow, sickly plants. You can also water your established plants once a week with this liquid fertilizer.
I hope youll try your hand at brewing some chicken poop tea for your garden this spring. Your plants will love it, and youll begin to appreciate your chickens poop instead of looking at cleaning out your chicken coop as a dreaded chore. Theres a reason why gardeners call livestock manure black gold, and chicken poop tea is most definitely liquid gold!
What Do You Think
Lately, before I toss anything into my trash, I stop and ask myself, How else can I use this? As often as not, the things I would have otherwise thrown away can help out in my garden. That said, this list of homemade fertilizers is by no means exhaustive. If Ive missed any of your favorites, be sure to let me know in the comments below!
Finally, keep in mind that the most important thing you really need to understand about making your own natural fertilizer is that you control what goes into it, so you know exactly what goes into your garden and therefore what goes into your body. Making your own homemade plant food is also a great way to reduce, reuse, and recycle.____________________
This is an updated version of an article that was originally published on September 1, 2015. The author may not currently be available to respond to comments however, we encourage our Community members to chime in to share their experiences and answer questions!
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