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Green Barbarians–Ellen Sandbeck

A Buddha A Day–Ellen Sandbeck


Dear Ellen,

Can worm juice be used as a compost bio-activator? Would love to use it to kick start the ole compost pile after a long winter? if so, how much and at what strength?

Karen, Minneapolis, MN

Dear Karen,

Yes, worm juice is loaded with bacteria, it certainly can be used as a bioactivator. I would use at least two cups of worm juice, and actually, I think the best way to do this would be to invest in one of those hose-end fertlizer sprayers--the kind that siphon fertilizer out of an attached bottle. If you have enough worm juice to fill the whole bottle, fill it. If you want to really turbo charge it, pour a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses into the bottom of the bottle before you add the worm juice, and then stir to make sure it dissolves. Set your sprayer to dilute the worm juice as little as possible (probably about 20 parts water to one part worm juice) , then water your compost pile down with the sprayer until you completely empty out the bottle.

If you don't have enough water pressure to do this, and need to use a watering can, moisten the pile completely with plain water before watering with diluted worm juice, say at about a ten to one dilution rate.

Happy composting!

Environmentally yours,



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