Vermicompost Tea Bags

Elbourne(8b)April 17, 2013

I am brewing my first batch of vermicompost tea. I harvested worm castings from my bin and funneled them into pantyhose, dropped them in a couple of 5 gallon buckets of water, and turned on the aquarium aerator. I plan to brew for about 48 hours and then water my peppers, zucchini, okra, and bananas with it.

Any suggestions for the contents of the used tea bags? Can I reuse them in my next batch? Should I add something special to make a potting soil mix? Top dress the garden? Just curious what others do and have found successful.

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I either top dress or treat the worms and put back into the bin. Worms love it!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 3:14PM
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I have never brewed the tea but from what I have read...
be sure the water is not chlorinated city water.
what lucky peppers, zucchini, okra, and bananas you have.
you say water but perhaps you mean spray the foliage of.
If you do not have a sprayer then at least splash it onto the leaves while watering.
Do this at a time when perhaps it has just finished sprinkling and the sun will not come out for a few hours. This gives a nice environment to get the good guys going for a bit before the hot sun.
I would not reuse them.
LIke mendopete I would either dump them on a lucky plant or back on top of the bin.
The reason for the panty hose is so they will not clog your sprayer. If you are just watering then panty hose not needed unless to hold material suspended if the bubbler will not. The cheepest if ones with runs in are not donated to you would be "peds" or knee-hi's. These cover the foot or just up to the knee and should be very cheep unlike top of the line $$$ nylons.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 10:06PM
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Thank you.

The water is not chlorinated, I am on a well out in a rural area. According to the smell, it does have a lot of sulfur and iron in it. I assume that is good - at least for the plants. My shower is a different story.

I did use cheap knee-highs, 39 cents.

I do have a sprayer, but this early in the year, my plants are only a few inches tall. I figured I would hit their foliage, but also just drench the entire surface of the soil in the raised beds.

I plan to keep experimenting with compost tea all summer.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 11:47AM
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I use and re-use 1 gallon paint strainers from the hardware store. I only strain after brewing, and then only enough to fill my water-can a time or 2. I usually make batches of 5-15 gallons and dilute this with well water by 50%. I use the can to foliar feed and soil drench with the rest without straining.

Usually I add about a cup of un-sulfured molasses and a gallon or 2 of castings.I use a 4- port aquarium pump. When it is warm enough here in the summer, it takes about 24 hours to foam up Plants love it!

Hope this helps, and good luck! Pete.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 12:08PM
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How important is the molasses? I did not have any, so I did not use any for this first batch. Would other sugars, like Log Cabin pancake syrup work?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 12:20PM
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I am no scientist, and there are some who say do not add molasses .I have used leftover soda and beer after a BBQ,, but never tried syrup. I have used horticulture grade molasses in 10lbs? sacks from the nursery. Last year I added a local brand of fish and kelp, but it did not froth up.

I do not know what it means, but when I can get warm evenings (rarely) so the brew does not cool so much at night, it gets done in 24 hours. If I add enough molasses it will froth up with a giant head of foam 8" tall. This is what I like to foliar feed with. My plants respond well.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 10:56PM
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compostgal(9a-CA Sierra Foothills)

Sulphur is a fungicide. That's why you use unsulphured molasses. I'm wondering if Elbourne's high-sulphur well water would have the same effect used in tea-making.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 1:31AM
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