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Mallacht Talks Aerobic Worm Tea

aerobic anarobic compost compost tea worm

Compost tea of any kind, particularly when made from beneficial bacteria rich worm castings is one of the best things any gardener can give their garden. With an N-P-K that generally won't burn just about any plant, oxygen rich water, and teeming with beneficial bacteria, few things are more beneficial to your plants.

It is essentially a culture of aerobic (oxygen-loving) bacteria. When water is left to sit in a tepid state, anarobic (oxygen-hating) bacteria tend to thrive. They also smell really bad which is why tepid water smells bad and adversely compost should smell rich and fresh, just like compost tea :)


Materials Needed:

  • Enough Worm Castings to fill around 2 socks (for teabags) (Bag of Worm Castings: $10)
  • 2 socks
  • Molasses, Black Strap Molasses is better ($2)
  • Airstones (preferably 4 or more) (around $10 - $20)
  • Air Pumps for the Airstones (Depending on how all out one goes, $15 - $30)
  • Standard 5 Gal Bucket (Home Depot one pictured, $2.50)


First off here's a picture of what mine looks like without water:

As you can see, there is 4 Airstones in the bottom. I made improvements and tied the smaller ones to the large one. The reason I have done this is because the smaller ones tend to end up floating and they work much better fixed to the bottom.

Here is a picture with it connected to the Air Pumps:


Good ol' Grandma's Black Strap Molasses:


With water added and bubbling...


Add 2-3 Tablespoons of Grandma's Black Strap Molasses added to the bucket:


With worm castings, molasses, and in full operation:


I wired a pump with a switch, like this:

So I can more easily facilitate the filling of jugs (as pictured above). I also leave it running and it seems to produce the foam that is indicative of the beneficial microbes we're after here far more quickly. 

It should be bubbling for anywhere from 48-72 hrs (Some say more), but the foam is the real guide IME. The more foam the better. I have read that the foam is insinuative that there is a large amount of beneficial bacteria present.

So FOAM = Ready for use.

I have heard other people say add things like an extra sock full of fresh soil from the garden to help jump start the beneficials, since garden soil tends to already have a lot of it, unless it's horrible soil of course.

There's a lot of other stuff that you could add I suppose, but I like to keep things simple and my plants are thriving like crazy so I don't feel the need to add anything more.

Anyway, that's about it... Simple stuff.... Enjoy!



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