What is compost tea?
Worm Compost Tea is a tea made from steeping (or brewing) worm compost instead of tea leaves. It isn’t appetizing for you but your plants will love it! The nutrients and beneficial microbes in the compost diffuse into the water making liquid fertilizer for your plants. Some gardeners refer to compost tea as ‘liquid gold’ because it is such a powerful organic fertilizer for any plant. There are two ways to make compost tea: the basic method (simple steeping) or the aerated brewed version. Here’s a link to my simple worm compost tea recipe.
Vermicompost tea is simply compost tea that was brewed using vermicompost (also called worm castings or worm poop) as your compost instead of compost from a hot compost pile. Using your vermicompost or vermicast to make worm compost tea is a great use of your nutrient rich worm castings.
Is worm compost tea the same as leachate?
No, worm compost tea and leachate are different. Leachate is the liquid that leaks out of the bottom of your worm bin. Compost tea must go through an oxygenated brewing process.
Leachate is the water released from the cells of decomposing food scraps. The digestive tract of a composting worm is really good at removing harmful pathogens. Unfortunately, leachate is often not consumed by the composting worms and therefore can potentially contain toxins that are harmful to people. I recommend never using foul smelling leachate as this can be a sign of contamination. I use leachate in two ways: add it directly to non edible plants or pour it on my hot compost pile that will heat up to kill any harmful pathogens.
For more about worm bin leachate read: What is Worm Leachate? Is it Safe for Plants?
To learn more about how to make your own worm compost tea read How to Make Compost Tea with Worm Castings
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