Use Compost Tea- you will save more money amending your soil with so little compost requirement. But it is not simple to make tea – Be a VermiFidelis subscriber to know how.

Worm enthusiasts or vermifidelis are worm farmers dedicated to the reproduction of worms in huge quantities with either a small operation or a very huge farm. These people are a step above worm hobbyists who tend to worms without the intention of a massive reproduction, or worm farmers that still rely on the traditional method of growing worms.

“At tildeWorms, we dedicate ourselves to discovering the optimum method of growing Red Wiggler worms that also apply to many different species of earthworms. We use technology, new discoveries, and computers to assist in the progressive reproduction of worms. We believe that the most important solution to solve food hunger is to regenerate the soil – by amending it with high quality compost or tea. However, with our very long traditional method of aggressive and intensive farming, it destroyed our soil and would need massive amounts of organic composting to rejuvenate. We focus on the Red Wiggler earthworm specie; producing quantity of worms compared to the composting quality of a specie such as the ‘Night Crawlers, because with the massive reproduction quality of Red Wigglers, combined with high-tech worm farming, it can outperform the night crawlers.”

The best way to use worm by-products is to “convert” the worm composts to bacterial quantity, not compost volume quantity. It is the bacterial or fungal composition in worm composts that directly feed your plants, not the worms. Worms are just producers. However, the compost tea have to be produced properly such that its bacterial content has multiplied compared to the amount of bacteria utilized (from bacteria in 1 cup of compost) in the creation of the compost tea. (Note that fungal content can never be reproduced in a solution like a compost tea, because fungus lives in a warm humid environment, not a liquid solution, hence the addition of composted carbon after the application of the compost tea is required, as explained in this article).

So, how is a perfect compost tea is made? Use fully composted worm bedding, one cup to 5 gallons of non city-chlorinated water, with molasses for supplemental bacterial nutrients, aerated for 24 hours and, if possible, seen under a microscope for activated bacterial content. Also, you may want to add a fish-scrap-emulsions as nutrients for the fungal composition of wood chips that is explained later.

What? Microscope? Is it that complicated? Yes, and No. Remember that we are talking about bacteria which is a microbial organism that cannot be seen with a naked eye. Otherwise, you will have to be content with a sweet (ish) smelling compost tea detection which ensure the tea did not become anaerobic, which can do more harm than good to your plants. I am serious about this! It is not as simple as how they show in the YouTube videos which are mostly bait-and-click-feel-good clips that have no scientific basis. We are talking about bacteria, which falls under the science of microbiology. Did you skip your biology class in high school?

As I said earlier compost tea only tends to the bacterial content of the compost. Even if the worm compost may have both bacterial and fungal content, the compost tea process is mainly for the reproduction of bacterial quantity. But to add, you may not have a need for any fungal composition depending on your application – annuals or perennials – there is a difference to the type of nutrient (soil amendment) given to plant. Annuals need more bacterial content. Perennials need more fungal content. Having the best of both contents in an amendment takes care of the guesswork, but it adds process to the (already scientific) guess-work.

But then again, as I said earlier, how do you multiply the amount of fungal content in the tea. You don’t and you can’t, in the compost tea process. You add the fungal nutrient requirements (fish emulsion) in the tea, in the “hopes” that when you apply the tea on the “soil” (not foliar -more on these in another article), that fungally dominated compost, like fullycomposted wood chips, is added on top of the soil – to cover the tea from drying out, and serve as humid environment for the fungus to grow on and multiply.

That’s how.

End of first part of this topic. Please come back for the next part.