Worm Factory and Worm Tea

Worm Factory Websites Advertise Worm Tea

Are you thinking of buying a Worm Factory?  Several websites sell the Worm Factory, which is an older model, and the Worm Factory 360 which is the new model. These sites state that the liquid that drains into the bottom tray is worm tea.  This liquid is actually leachate not worm tea. Potential buyers of the Worm Factory should have accurate information.  So I would like to clear up the misunderstanding here:

Here are two examples of the erroneous comments from some of the marketing websites for the Worm Factory:

  1. “In a Worm Factory water will filter through the trays soaking up nutrients from the castings.  The Worm Tea ends up at the base of the Worm Factory, and can be extracted from a handy spigot.”
  2. “Worm tea can be collected at the base of the Worm Factory.  This is the waste liquid processed by the worms and it is rich in plant nutrients.  A spigot at the base allows you to collect the worm tea easily.  The worm tea can be diluted and used as an organic fertilizer or foliar spray.”

One Worm Factory owner emailed the Worm Factory (WF) company and posted this comment:

“After I bought my WF and following the posts here, I have e-mailed WF and commented on their description of “worm tea”. I got a reply and they admitted that the run-off is NOT WORM TEA, rather what is called LEACHATE in the vermicomposting community. The name will be changed with the next printing.” See more on this response from Worm Factory .

The Liquid from the Worm Factory is Leachate not Worm Tea

The website owners selling the  Worm Factory are giving out erroneous information.  The liquid in the bottom of the Worm Factory is what leaches out of the worm compost. The composition of the leachate depends on  how composted the worm compost is, what food scraps are in there and what state of decomposition they are in and if any part of the factory has gone anaerobic from lack of oxygen.  This leachate could actually harm your plants.  See this link: Using Worm Bin Leachate.

Worm tea is made by soaking finished worm compost in water.  There are many aerobic micro-organisms in worm tea.  Some people aerate the tea using an aquarium bubbler and add molasses to increase the growth of the micro-organisms.

Here is an excellent discussion on the value of worm tea with differing opinions.  There are over 50 comments on this thread with valuable information so you will become very educated about worm tea!

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2 thoughts on “Worm Factory and Worm Tea

  1. Jesse

    I’ve never had the desire to use “compost tea”. The way I see it, if I’m using worm castings, I’m already giving my garden a huge foot forward, and the simple act of watering to facilitate the release of the nutrients in the soil is enough. The Worm Factory is EXTREMELY adept at delivering high quality worm castings, while at the same time recycling your kitchen waste and junk mail. There are, undoubtedly, better ways of acquiring compost tea out there…

  2. Sandie Anne

    Hi Jesse,

    Thanks for the comment! What you are saying makes a whole lot of sense. Why go to the trouble of making worm tea when you can just use your worm compost! I guess one advantage to making worm tea is that you can get a lot of worm tea out of a little bit of worm compost so the worm tea extends the goodness of the compost. My question is how long do the beneficial bacteria and fungi live in the worm tea? It seems a lot better to just spread the compost in the garden so the bacteria and fungi stay alive within the compost.

    Sandie Anne

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