Different people have different ideas when it comes to vermicompost tea. I like to break vermicompost tea into three categories: tea from the vermicompost bin, steeped vermicompost tea, and brewed vermicompost tea. If you are only interested in the nutrients in the vermicompost tea, then the first two types of tea work great. If you are looking to help prevent disease and increase the amount of beneficial bacteria in your garden, then brewed vermicompost tea is your best bet.
The brewed vermicompost tea is full of beneficial bacteria. This bacteria will help prevent diseases in the soil and on the foliage of the plant. Spray the tea over the soil and over the foliage of the plant to prevent diseases and help promote a health garden. For treating foliar diseases you should spray the vermicompost tea on the foliage of the plant. Reapply the tea every two weeks. Continue this treat to prevent diseases from coming back.
Tea from the Vermicompost Bin
When you add water the bin and during normal use there will be liquid that drains from the bottom of the bin. This liquid is caught in the tray at the bottom of the bin. This liquid is a great source of organic fertilizer and can be used straight from the bin.
Steeped Vermicompost Tea
Steeped vermicompost tea created by simply adding vermicompost to water and allowing it to steep in the water. Stir the mixture occasionally and allow to sit for at least 12 hours, but preferably two weeks. This mixture can then be strained to remove larger chunks that might clog water can screens and nozzles.
Brewed Vermicompost Tea
- Bucket or Plastic Container
- Aquarium Air Pump
- Tubing for Air Pump
- 1 gallon of Vermicompost
- Water (fill 5 gallon bucket up to 6″ from top)
- 1 oz Unsulfered Molasses
1. Attach the tubing to the airstone and to the air pump. Then place the airstone in the bottom of the empty bucket. I suggest using a 5 gallon bucket for this, but if you want to use a larger container then you will need more air pumps, you should have 1 air pump for each 5 gallons. if the tea ever starts to smell bad, use the tea like a liquid fertilizer and start over using more air.
2. If you are using tap water, allow the air to bubble through the water for a day, then add the vermicompost. This step will allow the chlorine in the water to evaporate, helping to protect the beneficial bacteria in the vermicompost. If using rain water or other non tap water you can added the vermicompost immediately. Another helpful tip is to make sure that you leave 6″ between the bucket rim and the water, otherwise the foam on top of the water might spill over the edge of the bucket.
3. Add 1 oz of unsulferized molasses to the vermicompost tea. This adds a food supply, allowing the mixture to properly brew and create a healthy liquid filled with beneficial bacteria.
4. Keep the air on and allow the mixture to brew for at least 24 hours, 2-3 days is best.
5. Now that the tea is fully brewed you can strain it through cheesecloth. Add the solids that are strained out back to the vermicompost bin. This will help protect spray nozzles and other watering devices from clogging.
6. Now that your vermicompost tea is complete, use it immediately and keep the air on until you are ready to use it.