worm bin leachate

Should You Use Worm Bin Leachate In Your Garden?

If you have a worm compost bin you might want to consider using the leachate at as a foliar spray.

FYI: The “leachate” is the liquid that sometimes accumulates on the bottom of the bin if you don’t have enough absorbent material in the bin.

Researchers in India report that worm leachate applied as a foliar spray at a low concentration (two milliliters per liter of water) to strawberry plants at 30-day intervals during the growing season resulted in better plants than control plants sprayed with clear water.

*Increased leaf area (by 10-19%),
*Increased dry matter per plant (by 14-27%),
*Higher fruit yield (by 10-14%),
*Reduced numbers of malformed fruits (by as much as 11%),
*Less incidence of gray mold (by as much as 5%), and improved firmness of fruits.

This worm bin leachate wasn’t aerated and it was stored in a refrigerator for up to 75 days. In a previous study, the effects on tomatoes was similarly improved (attributed to the humic acid in the leachate).

This falls into the “dont’ know if it’s true but it likely can’t hurt” category. 🙂

And for the record, I wouldn’t do this as it’s just one of those things that “may” give you some increased yields but is more work than the results may warrant on the home garden. But at least now you know what one study has shown.

Rajbir Singh (Directorate of Waste Management, Bhubaneswar 751023, Orissa, INDIA), et al., “Sequential Foliar Application of Vermicompost Leachates Improves Marketable Fruit Yield and Quality of Strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.),” Scientia Horticulturae 124(1), February 26, 2010, 34- 39. (Elsevier Science B.V., Molenwert 1, Postbus 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS.)

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2 thoughts on “Should You Use Worm Bin Leachate In Your Garden?”

  1. I have been using worm leachate full strength on plants__i this a good or ba idea? Also, the the casting I get tend to be damp and messy or clumpy if I lay them out to dry–any advice?

  2. I don’t use leachate at all (or didn’t when I had worms) Here’s an article explaining the differences. There’s a potential for problems at full strength.
    When/If the worm bins got too wet, I’d simply add more paper to soak up the excess fluid.
    Worm castings – I just put them on the garden and don’t worry about moisture levels. That will sort itself out very quickly in the garden.

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