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A Simple Way to Make and Use Worm Tea


Worm tea is ultimately the end result of steeping worm castings or vermicompost in water. Worm tea is known mostly for its ability to boost microbiological activity in soil by adding bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, and protozoa to the soil. If you are already worm farming and have easy access to worm castings then making worm tea will be a breeze, or if you want to start a worm farm to reap the benefits of the castings we have you covered with our many options of worm kits.


Things you will need to make worm tea:

  1. Porous bag (Uncle Jim’s worm bag, old t-shirt, panty hose, cheese clothe, etc)
  2. dechlorinated water such as: rainwater, pond, or distilled water
  3. bucket ( 5 gallon will work)
  4. Worm Castings


First thing you will want to do is add your worm castings to the porous bag of your choosing and tie the end of the bag. Place the bag of castings in your container of water and let it steep overnight. In the morning the water should be light brown and that water is your worm tea! After the bag of castings is ‘spent’, you can add it to a potted plant or to your garden because it has finished its tea making job. Ultimately, to make a batch of basic compost tea with worm castings, all you really need to do is soak some vermicompost overnight in water.

Now that you have your worm tea brewed let’s talk about how to use it.  If you have a large garden or many houseplants, worm compost tea can be diluted with water to cover more area. Yworm-tea-featureou simply take 50% water to 50% worm tea. I suggest putting your worm tea in a watering can, however, a sprayer or spray bottle works well too. Just be sure to strain the worm tea before adding it to a spray bottle. Now simply water your house plants, outdoor potted or hanging plants, and you garden. Cover a whole plant with worm compost tea including the leaves. Many people believe that the beneficial microbes in worm tea help protect plants from diseases.


And that is it! Now you know how easy it is to make worm tea. It is just one of many great benefits to having your own little worm farm. Your plants will especially thank you!

Note: You can get higher-quality worm tea by adding a sugary liquid and an aquarium bubbler — see instructions.

31 comments on “A Simple Way to Make and Use Worm Tea

  • To whom it may concern.
    I make my compost tea 55 gal at a time. I put in the bottom of a 55 gal barrel. ( you might want to cut some of the top out.) about 3 gal of worm compost I raise my own composting worms. Then I put in 5lb sugar, Fill 3/4 full of water. Then I put: (picture a fish tank pump with a rock bubbler.)
    I put the rock bubbler on the end of a stick, so it hits the bottom of the 55 barrel. With a long hose. I have also added a gal of milk, and a jug of black strap mollasses. stir once every day. After about 4 days of bubbling, you have a barrel full of the bacteria from the worm compost. Plant food and spray for your plants

    • Dear David
      Thank you for sharing..
      Just want to know why you put the sugar , milk and molasses..
      What are the benefits
      Thank you

      • The idea with putting additives like sugar, molasses and milk in compost tea is that it feeds the bacterial culture, thus producing more of the bacteria than you would get otherwise. This is a controversial idea in the compost tea world, and I, for one, fall on the side of “don’t add sugars”. Here’s the reasoning: yes, adding sugars to compost tea will give you a bacterial “boom”. However, which bacteria are booming? The ones that feed on simple sugars. These are not necessarily the bacteria that live in soil, and when you spray your compost tea out on the soil these bacteria all of a sudden don’t have that food supply and quickly die out.

  • Jamie Harrington says:

    Is it ok to use the water out of a fish aquarium to make the worm tea. Curious if the ammonia in the water would hurt or affect the microb’s

  • Lillian DiEgidio says:

    It was my understanding one used the liquid “tea” to make fertilizer and I’d like to know the ratio 🙂
    Lillian, NJ

  • I honestly think you guys are over thinking the ratio here, its nothing like the chemical fertilizers that need balanced out, I don’t even bother straining it. I just take two handfuls of worm poo castings from my bin and fill a gallon sized water jug with the top cut off and let it steep overnight, so abou 3/4 gallon. I pour the entire content of soil and liquid all around my veggies it’s like pop-eye meets spinach after that for the plants. I love my worms!!!

  • Do I have to wait between spraying my veggie garden with worm tea and eating the veggies? If I’m going to pick today, I’d pick and then spray. If I spray today, can I pick tomorrow?

    Thank you!


  • Maureen Dion-Perry says:

    My worm far has holes in the bottom so that when I water – some of the liquid comes through to the lower level and forms a tea. Is this useful like the brewed tea recipe?

  • Maureen, that is not “tea” coming out of the bottom, it is leachate and not considered suitable. If you have a lot of that liquid coming from the bottom, your moisture content is too high and you should consider adding more bedding and decreasing your watering. Usually the water content in your food scraps is close to adequate.

  • Can I make compost tea from the bagged Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm Compost? I don’t have my own compost this year (hoping to start next year – I am new to gardening in general).

  • JusSome PhoKingGuy says:

    Some of these questions are plain silly.Don’t use aquarium water! They were using the aquarium for the example to describe the “air stone” that CAN be added but IS NOT NEEDED This is simple biology. Put any amount of high quality castings in a 5 gallon bucket filled with water that’s chlorine free water let it soak until it browns like any other type of tea ( Please don’t drink it! ) It’s fine to harvest your garden after the tea has dried. Use it as is or add an additional amount of water to meet your own needs.Don’t overly complicate things by add molasses.Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) Less Is More,Practice the 7 P’s- Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance –

  • Just curious why everyone bothers with a bag? I’m new to vermicomposting, but why bother with the bag? If I’m going to pour it in a watering can with large enough holes to pour in spout, why bother with the bag? Why not just dump some worm compost in the bucket, ensure its aerating for at least a day to increase growth, and then pour around the garden?

    The bag just seems like a messy step. Where dealing with a few un-composted twigs in my watering can at the end of pouring around the yard seems like the preferred choice.

  • I agree with Morty. Why bother with the bag. Just dump a gal of dirt in a 5 gal bucket of good water and let it sit overnight. Pour the worm tea into sprinkler can and use it on your plants. Pretty simple! The remaining dirt can be just dumped in the garden or use it for potted plants. This is not rocket science just worms and dirt.

  • I always thought you had to aerate worm tea, either with periodic stirring or an aquarium bubbler. Is this not the case?

  • I understand that the nutrient content of worm tea is pretty low and dependent on specific worm bin’s diet, but I see recommendations to use worm tea as fertilizer for seedlings a lot. Does anyone have experience, good or bad?

    • Uncle Jim says:

      Worm Tea is good for almost any plants, young or old and can be diluted for younger plants and more sensitive plant life. That is the great thing about liquid organic Castings/Tea!

      Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm!

  • For those of us who are new to vermiculture or, specifically, making worm tea, and worry about the proportions, I found an actual recipe (actually two) in a post on the Stone Family Farmstead blog. Very helpful. She also says that you can use filtered city water if the water is allowed to sit for 24 hours before making the tea…which makes sense, because that’s what I use to water my plants.


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