Worm Tea for indoor plants

cats39(z5 Upstate NY)November 30, 2008

Hi All!

Does anyone know how many ounces or cups of castings they would use to make one gallon of worm tea for indoor plants.

A gallon would last me sevearl weeks so I don't want to make to much.

Thanks in adv


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Hi cats39; As I understand it the tea should be all used fairly quickly. After the 24 hour brewing period, the microbes start to die off pretty quickly.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 8:15PM
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Also if you try to store it, it stinks!!! I made some in my watering can, and the next day it smelled like a sewer. It needs to be aerated.
I find it easier just to top-dress my plants with castings, as well as mixing casting into a pail of potting soil, ready to use whenever I want.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 7:08AM
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With a little bit of Molasses or Sucanat and an air stone (or simply daily agitation) the microbes will not die off they will survive and thrive for as long as the food and oxygen is available. 4 tablespoons per gallon is a good amount for casting teas. However I must agree with jasdip if you donthave many plants and dont feel like doing the extra work or spending the extra money to make the tea as good as possible, it seems like it would be much easier and just as useful to simply top dress each of your plants with the castings. It may not give them the sudden burst of nutrients and growth that a tea would, but it will give them a steady supply of nutes over a good month or more.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 2:28PM
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If you do make some worm tea, be sure to store it in a container with the cap off of it, or at least loose. The beneficial microbes need the air, and will be killed off if kept capped tightly for prolonged periods. You may then get anaerobic micro-organisms growing in there, which probably won't smell so good.

My potted plants have benefited significantly by regular applications of worm tea. They seem to like that better than fertilizers.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 10:32PM
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a question to "regrets_plantmanager": you mentioned 4 tbl-spoon per gallon is a good amount for casting tea. I assume you mean molasses, right. So, how much casting is needed?
Or did you mean casting? In that case, how much molasses is a little bit. Sorry, I'm not a good cook. Thanks.
Happy Holidays.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2008 at 9:02PM
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mimulus(z 10/24 SoCal)

I have used worm tea and castings in my houseplants for years - they love it. You can either top dress with the castings or use tea. The 4T/gallon seems about right and don't let it steep for more than 3 days and try to stir/swish as often as you can remember.
One warning though, if you use fresh castings that may contain worm eggs you may end up with worms in your houseplants. This isn't a bad thing except that they will eventually eat all of the organic matter in the soil and the soil turns into a gooey black mud (all castings) that really retains moisture and most plants will be very unhappy or die in it. If you repot regularly this isn't a problem. I usually use tea from my own bins which I have strained really well.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 4:20PM
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I use 2 tablespoons of castings per half gallon of non-chlorinated water. I fill the jug half full, add the castings, shake it like crazy, then top off the jug. I use it all and make it fresh when needed.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 10:21PM
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so it sounds like putting a tablespoon in a quart of water would probably be about right for ya. Just mix it up for a day or two and then use it all up.

Probably not worth the trouble to make aerated worm tea unless you have an extra air pump and air stone begging to be used. In which case a quart of water the table spoon of castings and and perhaps just a dribble of sugary stuff. Make sure it is in a big enough container that it doesn't bubble over and use it up in a day or two also.

Personally, I'd probably just top dress the plants with the castings. If worried about the worms eating up all the organic matter in the containers, just regularly top dress the containers with organic matter as well like crumbled up leaves, corn meal, wood chips, shredded cardboard, whatever seems appropriate to you.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 6:08PM
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No, I don't think you got it. Please read my post again.
My castings do not contain worms, so no worms end up in the plants.
I mix the tea (castings and water) and water the plants.
This is not that hard.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 6:47PM
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Karchita(WA Z8)

I also just mix the castings with water and immediately pour it on my plants, indoor and outdoors, in pots and in ground. A teaspoon per quart sounds about right, but I just go by color and about the color of dark iced tea is good. Personally, I have plenty of castings and don't see the need to bother with aerated worm tea, but YMMV.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 11:32PM
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