Help! There's Worms in My Tea

by Laura

I have been getting large amounts of spent (boiled) tea from a tea shop to use for mulch. One big plastic bag of it sat around for a few months and red worms found their way in. Yesterday, when I went to spread the mulch (on somewhat sandy soil) there were HUNDREDS of vigorous red worms in it. How long do you suppose it will be before the soil starts getting nutritious? Is there anything I should do or not do

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Feb 06, 2012
Answer from Sierra Worm Compost

It will take a couple of months before there are sufficient castings to feed your plants. Just keep in mind that for a good worm compost you need to feed them a variety of feedstock. Since the tea is largely a nitrogen source, adding some shredded paper or cardboard will help the C:N balance . It also aids in attracting all the microbes (fungi, bacteria, protozoa, etc.) needed to bring the soil back to health.

The number of worms will double in 3-4 months, but you must continue to top feed the worms with a little aged manure (if you have it) or kitchen scraps, shredded newsprint/paper, finely crushed egg shell or oyster shell (for grit) and covering it with more mulch. That top covering is very important as the worms only work in the top 2-4" of feed and if the temperature gets very warm, they head down where it's cooler.

Happy Worming!

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