Why make worm tea?

ainadalielJanuary 11, 2011

So I'm buying some vermicompost and been reading up on making vermicompost tea.

Then my mom said, "Making vermicompost tea requires so much time and effort (we have no air pump at home). Just put some compost on the base of the plant and water it!"

That got me thinking...yeah, what's the different between "brewing" the compost and just putting it on the base of the plant and watering it?

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equinoxequinox

Putting vermicompost at the base of the plant and watering it is excellent for the soil and thus the plant.

Brewing vermicompost tea due to increased oxygen availability (or less carbon dioxide) makes many more microbes to do work for you and your plants. Microbes or Wee Beasties fight disease on plant leaves and help roots search for nutirents.

I do not know why doctors operatate in a sterile field. It would seem better to work in a field filled with friendly wee beasties crowding out the bad guys.

For now you are probably just fine putting it around the base of plants and brewing later. We all have more we want to do but for varioius reasons have not yet. It is this desire that drives us to break through the limits and invent new things.

Maybe you could borrow one from a friend with a fish tank.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 9:19AM
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jonas302(central mn 4)

Mostly for fun you probly never see someone brewing tea that doesn't enjoy it

If you want to try anyway you can stir it with a stick everytime you walk buy

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 9:19PM
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randomz

I have made aerated tea in the past, but have now gone for a simpler approach. I put some castings into a large mouth plastic bottle (about 2 litres), add water and screw the lid on. I then give it a vigourous shake and pour the lot onto or around the plant. Reload and repeat for the next plant.

Seems to be working well so far.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 4:11AM
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ainadaliel

Hmm...will I get the same effect if I use fish and seaweed emulsion with lactobacillus?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 10:04AM
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pjames(8/LA)

No... fish emulsion is a great fertilizer but has different effects than VC or casting Tea.

The reason some of us use casting tea rather than just apply it straight and then water it in is twofold. Firstly using the tea form EXTENDS the vermicompost you have. You can treat many more plants with the same amount of VC.

Secondly, one of the major benefits ov VC is not just it's use as a fertilizer or as a soil ammendment.(And it excels as both.) Rather microbial activity, both bacterial and fungal are magnified exponentially in aerated teas. There has been research to show that these massive increases in (especially bacterial) counts have a supressive effect on disease tranmission from the soil. One of the theories is that it effects chemotaxis, which is the attraction of bad bacteria to the developing root. If this chemotaxis is hindered then the root and therefore the plant is unnaffected.

Some of this is part of the doctorial research of a woman at Cormell University.

Personally, I have storing as much VC as I can for spring planting. A good portion will be sprinkled into my beds directly.. But I will retain enough to brew and apply frequent waterings of aerated teas.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 7:32PM
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equinoxequinox

I held off posting until someone did who could explain it nicer than me. Yes "exponentially" is the key to why make vermicompost tea. Vermicompost is good. Vermicompost stired is better. Fish and seaweed emulsion with lactobacillus probably really good. But vermicompost tea made properly and sprayed right away is "exponentially" way better due to exactly what pjames says. The other things are very good and I don't want to take away from them, do them, yes, but vermicompost tea should put things into hyperdrive. I am not at that level yet. I'm still trying to get living soil into raised squares instead of gardening in straight beach sand. I think of spraying vermicompost tea as sort of teraforming.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 11:48PM
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