Thursday, 11 April 2013

Vermicomposting & How to Brew Vermicompost Tea!

At-Home Vermicomposting Guide 
Vermicomposting is composting with the help of red wiggler worms. These special worms eat organic matter at a fast pace, and produce nutrient rich poo called worm castings or vermicompost that can be used to fertilize your garden and increase the health of your plants.

The Bin - An indoor home for your worms so you can compost year round.
·     Choose something opaque (not see-through). Worms dislike light.
·     Ventilation – makes some holes for air flow
·     Bedding – strips of newspaper, cardboard, paper towel, straw, saw dust
·     Moisture – keep the bedding as moist as a damp sponge
·     Feeding – feed your worms fruit & veggie scraps
·     Harvesting – every 3-4 months remove the worm castings to use in your garden/house plants and replace with fresh bedding.
FeedingRed worms can eat their body weight each day (half bedding/half food scraps)
·     When starting out, feed less rather than more. Observe your worms to see how quickly they eat what you give them. Feed once or twice a week.
·     Bury food scraps 2 – 3 inches underneath surface of bedding to prevent odours and fruit flies
·     Feed in a different location of the bin each time
·     Feed your worms fruit & vegetable peelings/scraps, coffee grounds, plant clippings, leaves
·     DO NOT FEED: citrus family (lemon, orange, grapefruit, etc), onion family (onion, garlic, chives, leek, etc), or cooked or oily foods.

HarvestingFree the worms from their poo and reap the rewards!
·     Pile & Sort method – lay out contents of bin in small piles. Worms will avoid the light and go to the bottom of the piles making it easy to scrape off the worm castings from the top of the piles.
·     Migration method – Feed your worms on one side of the bin only for 2 weeks. The worms should move to that side of the bin, leaving the other side relatively worm-free for easy harvesting of castings.
·     Have fresh bedding ready for your worms after harvesting.
Using & Storing Vermicompost - Worm castings are “gardener’s gold”!
·     Store unused vermicompost in a non-airtight container with a lid.
·     Worm castings & vermicompost tea help soil to retain moisture and make nutrients in the soil available to plant roots.
·     Uses of worm castings include: adding to a soil mix for growing seedlings or in potted plants, adding to your garden’s soil, and vermicompost tea.

Vermicompost Tea – 1 cup of worm castings in a 5 gallon bucket of water. Create a tea bag for the castings using a porous material like cheese cloth, an old t-shirt, or sock. Stir or aerate (using simple aquarium pump) over course of 24 hours. Use the solution within 24 hours of brewing. It is an active microbial solution and can be used to water your plants, or as a foliar spray if plants have insect or disease damage.

Tip: Fill your bucket with water at least 24 hours before you start brewing your Vermicompost Tea, so that the water can de-chlorinate.

My at-home worm bin got harvested earlier this winter in the PACT greenhouse and a whole bucket full of worm castings was produced by these hungry little worms! So the PACT team has been using these worm castings to create vermicompost tea. We've been watering our greenhouse seedlings with it regularly, and using it as a foliar spray as well! Seems to be working out because our seedlings sure look healthy!

Some of PACT GTL's seedlings, 2013!
For more tips on at-home vermicomposting check out


  1. Hey, nice information about preparation of vermicompost tea. I am preparing vermicomposting tea in a small form and this information helps me to do this process in a different way. thank you and keep posting new methods.

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