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Ask a Grower

Ask-a-Grower Question #37

How to make worm tea?  What ratio of worm castings to molasses to water do you use to make worm tea? And then what is the dilution ration for the tea that you have made?  I know the free gallon of tea that you have at the store you dilute 1:5.

Here is your worm tea recipe.

We sell tea brewers.

or

  • One 5 Gallon bucket or equivalent
  • String of any kind
  • One 20-60 Gallon, Double Outlet Aquarium Air Pump
  • Several feet of aquarium tubing
  • Two large bubble stones and two small bubble stones
  • Two aquarium tubing T-valve connectors
  • A one gallon paint strainer
  • One bottle of hydrogen peroxide
  • (Optional) Drill and 5/16 inch drill bit
  • One bottle of molasses
  • Earth Worm Castings

Step #1
Drill two holes in the side near the top of the container 1 inch apart. This is where you will use the string to hang the bag of castings. If you don’t have a drill and a drill bit then you can just tie the bag to the handle

Step #2
Place the two large bubble stones in the container and connect an 4 inch hose to each end. Connect the T-valve to both ends of the hoses. Now attach one long hose to the last hole on the T-valve to where ever the pump will be.

Step #3
Repeat step #2. using the smaller bubble stones.  making worm tea

Step #4
Install the check valves that came with the pump somewhere in between the pump and container. Be careful to install them in the right direction. This is to prevent siphoning from the tank to the pump. If you do not have any check valves them make sure you place the pump above the water to prevent the water from siphoning.

Step #5
Fill the container with water. Caution: use rain water or pond water. Tap water has chlorine which will kill your microbes. Stay away from treated water of any kind. That also goes for bottled water. If tap water is your only source then you will have to run the system for 4 hours without any castings. You can also set your water out in the sun for a day. This will allow the chlorine to gas out. Chlorine is added to the  water to kill any and all microorganisms. The one good thing about chlorine is that it burns out fast. Hang in there. You’ll be making worm tea in no time.   making worm tea

Step #6
Put a couple of handfuls of castings into the paint strainer along with a tea catalyst we sell at the store. Now put the small bubble stones in as well. Place the bag into the water and tie it off with the string to the holes you predrilled. The bag should sit just under the water making sure that all castings are submerged.

Step #7
Turn the system on and slowly add 1/2 ounce of molasses. The molasses is the catalyst to grow your microbes. It serves as their food source.  After 8 hrs. take the bag out. By now you should have enough microbes to work with. They will begin to multiply exponentially. You may now dump the castings back into the worm bin. making worm tea

Step #8
After 24-36 hrs. spread on your soil or plants. Dilute the tea in whichever way you like. The water is only a carrier. The 5 gallons will treat approximately 1 acre of soil. Mix the tea with 50 gallons of untreated water or use it straight. You cannot put too much on. Remember, it’s just healthy, living microorganisms. Spray or shower your plants. Be sure to get under the leaves as well. The bigger the drops are the longer it will soak into the plant if using as a foliar spray.

Note: You must use the tea Immediately or it will become anaerobic. Lack of oxygen will promote the bad microbes to populate.

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