What’s the difference between worm leachate and worm tea?

We often refer to the liquid that you get out of your worm composter as worm tea but technically it’s leachate – the run off from making your worm casts. Obviously it will have drained through the casts so it’s a great product but technically it’s a bit different to actual worm tea which is made from suspending the worm casts in highly oxygenated water (like when brewing tea. Definitions Worm Leachate - The liquid run off (or seepage) that settles in or below the vermicompost or worm castings. Check for accumulated leachate in your vermicomposter frequently (when you feed, or weekly).

Worm tea - The end result of suspending worm castings in highly oxygenated water (brewing).

Every wormery has good and bad microbes. This is ok of course, as long as the good ones outnumber bad. Leachate is made when the excess water seeps down through the worm composter into the collection area. The leachate should be drained regularly and if you are getting more than a few cupfuls a week, the composter is probably too wet! Leachate can have real value as a liquid fertiliser – just make sure you dilute is 1 part liquid to 10 parts water Worm Tea Worm compost tea is known mostly for its ability to boost microbiological activity in soil by adding bacteria, fungi, and protozoa to the soil. You can make it by either soaking a porous bag full of worm castings in water or simply popping your finished castings into a container of clean chemical free water. Add Molasses (a food source) to the water as a catalyst to stimulate growth of the microbes. Then last, an add air by an air pumping system to increase an aerobic (oxygenated) environment for the inoculation of the microorganisms Worm tea is beneficial in so many ways. The microbes delivered in worm tea help plants by out-competing anaerobic and other pathogenic organisms and by occupying infection sites on plants' root and leaf surfaces The purpose behind creating worm tea is to speed up the growth rate of microbes such as bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes, and to multiply their numbers exponentially. One reason for applying the tea to your plants is that it is absorbed more rapidly by the plant than castings, which are released over time.

Not only are you feeding the plant, but you increase the number of beneficial microbes in the soil, thus crowding out the bad. It has been proven that the tea, along with the castings, can significantly increase plant growth, as well as crop yields, in the short term (a season) and especially the long term over a period of seasons Along with these great benefits come a boost in the plant’s own immune system to be able to resist parasites.

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