My summer garden looks amazing! The entire garden is lush and vibrant despite the challenging conditions that are typical of the south’s hot and humid.
As I’ve come accustomed to that, the experience has taught me how to take on the challenges quite well. But I’m aware that it’s not always under my control. However, I’m feeling like the actions I’m taking are packing an impressive impact in my favor, particularly this new routine.
In the last few months, I’ve fed my plants a diet consisting of “worm leachate”. This is the fancy term for the fluid that flows through a large bin of worms that happily eat food scraps, cardboard, paper coffee grounds, etc.
The bin was created with an upper compartment for these trays in order to collect every drop of the worm’s juice. A single pan added to a bucket that holds 5 gallon of water supplies many plants
Since the beginning of spring I’ve been collecting the liquid worm juice in a pan set in the bottom inside my bin. I designed it specifically to catch each drop of the gold-colored liquid. Based on my previous experience it is a magical liquid that produces amazing outcomes for my plants and soil.
I first discovered its remarkable healing capabilities several years ago, when I began the first bin for worms. The liquid had built up in the bottom of the bin, with an spillway. It was my first clue to look into taking a plunge into it.
The super rich, coffee-colored liquid appeared so good that it was a waste. It was so good that I dilute it by 10 parts water and it looked as strong. If compost tea is good then this must be fantastic, I thought.
I decided to test it on some struggling azaleas in pots by pouring it on the roots. To my delight, the following day, my sick plants showed noticeable improvements.
This was the point at which I was a admirer of this incredible natural liquid fertilizer.
After returning to raising worms to make vermicompost (worm manure) and particularly the juice, there’s no going back. My plants are fed around every two weeks using either a 10-1 or even 20-1 dilution of leachate. That’s it. While I am always focused on creating fertile soil, I add compost twice per year, in spring this is the only activity I’m taking.
I am beyond happy with the outcomes. Even during hot, humid days as well as long times of heavy rain (a tomato plant’s biggest enemy) I’m happy to say that I’m on top of the disease-curve.
In full disclosure, I frequently spend time actively examining my plants and taking care to remove any indications of problems developing. It is equally important making sure my plants are getting what they require from excellent soil and worm juice that they need to remain healthy and ward off any the possibility of disease catastrophes.
That’s enough to make an enormous impact.
My inner geek wanted the opportunity to analyze this liquid gold through researchers at University of Georgia. I was curious to know what helped it work exceptionally. The results revealed the presence of all essential nutrients as well as an adequate amount of minerals (something isn’t present in synthetic liquid fertilizers) I believe the true reason lies in the natural structure of the ideal organic liquid fertilizer that is brimming with all the nutrients (including billions of micro-organisms that are good) that soil and plants need to thrive.
My fellow garden enthusiast and professor of horticulture Jeff Gillman, Ph.D, also sent me his perspective on the use of leachate from worms that is liquid within the gardens. As you would expect, his analysis is definitely higher-quality than my however, it is still a good one. It’s always helpful to have a an impartial view.
But what I have to say that you won’t find in the lab is that the result is the proof and what I can confidently say is simply amazing!