I collect some delicious-looking liquid (if you're a plant) from under my worm composting bins. Trouble is, I just make arbitrary guesses at how much I should dilute it. Does anyone have any ideas about that? So far I've only been brave enough to use it on plants that can handle rich fertilizer.
Worm composting liquor
I don't know the answer to your question. But I have a worm bin, but it doesn't put off any liquid. Any suggestions? It seems wet enough, and it I make it wtter, it starts to smell....
I don't get a lot of liquid, but my worm bin is quite large--it is up to about 1/3 of a large Rubbermaid Tote (a bit fuller than it should be--time to clean it out!) I have just one drain in the bottom. I sit it on a large pan, and get about 2 litres each iteration. It's dark and rich, lovely stuff.
I'm changing my system, though, to preparing two smaller Totes, the active one with multiple holes in the bottom, and then when I want to clean out the worms I (evidently) sit the composted one in the bottom one, where there is some bedding, and leave the lid off the top one so the light causes them to move down through the holes to bottom one. Then dump out the good compost, refill with the worms, and Bob's your Uncle. Or so the directions would lead me to believe.
Last time I cleaned out the worms, I had a large plastic sheet and about 8 pyramids of worm-filled compost, under a strong light. All was well until my dog jumped my temporary barrier and shuffled around with his plate-sized feet, snuffling as he went. Then he leapt out again. You haven't lived until you've had the pleasure of following a trail of worms and compost through the house.... That's when I decided there had to be a better way!
If anyone has any comments about that double-tote technique, please come forth! I'm about to make holes.
You could probably experiment with the level of dilution - one thing I did read a while back (can't remember the source) is not to use water directly from the tap, but take water that has been sitting a day or more (chlorine reduced).
You probably couldn't go wrong with 1/2 cup of worm tea for a gallon of water - more or less, probably won't matter.
What I did before moving: 30 quart rubbermaid tote with lots of holes in the bottom (and let it drain out into the tray that was the lid. Dump that every couple of weeks into older water and use it to water everything.
As far as cleaning - since I had a large tote - I would just put the food on one side or the other and let the little guys move over. And, over time, if a few ended up in the casings to be put in the plants, so be it. One other possibility if I thought I was getting too many worms in my casings raids - scoop out the dirt into a bowl, let the worms dig down away from the light and for a few days, keep scooping part of the bowl - probably only 5% or so ended up in the dirt to go to the plants and the rest got dumped back in the bin. I pretty much kept the bin 1/2 - 2/3 full, and stole casings when I remembered.
Mara - you say you don't get liquid - do you have holes or a spigot at the bottom of your bin?
Your idea sounds easier than what I was planning--think I'll try that, moving all the compost over and putting in some bedding on one side. Maybe with a strong light over the bin, as well.
Yes, I've been using a dilution of 1/2 c to 1 gal but wasn't sure if I could risk going stronger.
No chlorine in my water! The nearest community water system is about 5 hours from here! We're on a well now, but used to get it straight from our river. No one upstream.
I have tea! I don't have anything at the bottom of my bin, but there's never been any sitting water. I left the bin out in the rain, andthere was about 1/2 an inch of liquid at the bottom, so I used a turkey baster to get it out. So now I have some fertilizer! Will it work if I dilute it and use it as a foliar spray for my seedlings?
There is a thread on the organic gardening forum that is about worms and how to make the tea.