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Do You Have Questions About Worms?

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

Do you want to raise worms, but don’t know the difference between a Red Wiggler and a Canadian Nightcrawler?   Fear not!


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Featured Customer Question – Steven D.

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Hey Jerry,

The worms I bought from you in July 2008 & October 2008 are all thriving! I
bought them for two different sets of Wriggly Wranches and just got around
to emptying the catch basins on both. I’ve ended up with about 5 gallons of
leachate and I’m not sure what to do with it.

The research I’ve done online is pretty conflicting. Some say “spray it on
your plants” or “it’s toxic to your plants” while others say “aerate it
before using with an aquarium pump to get rid of anaerobic bacteria and
propagate aerobic bacteria”…

What’s your experience?

Hi Steven,

I’m happy to hear your worms are doing well!

For those that have not heard of the word, “Leachate” is simply excess liquid that has filtered through the worms bedding.

The problem with Leachate is that there is no way to manage it’s consistency.

For example:
You could easily create a basin full of leachate by simply overwatering your worms as soon as you receive them. If the bedding material included the unwashed peat the worms were shipped in, you’d have a very acidic liquid in the basin. Acid loving plants would love it….others would perish.

Let’s look at the other extreme. You take the worms out of the unwashed peat, and put them in bedding of paper and cardboard…very neutral stuff. The makeup of the leachate coming out of this material would likely be very close to the water coming in.

Although these examples are extreme….they help make my point that the liquid in the bottom of your basin could vary so much, that it’s hard to predict the quality of the leachate.

My rule of thumb has always been, as long as it smells good, go ahead and use it. But the more I think about this issue, I’m heading more towards the, “Disgard the Leachate” camp.

Making aerated tea by using your castings, molasses, water, and a pump results in such an easy and great product, I’d dump the leachate and brew the tea!