The Department of Public Worms is now offering worm tea to the local gardening community!

Our tea invigorates your plants by providing high amounts of nutrients and organic content to your soil. The difference is noticeable immediately! Best of all, our worm tea is made onsite at UCSB with worm castings produced from food scraps that our Worm Wranglers collect at our dining commons on campus. 


Worm Tea – What is it? It’s not for drinking!

Worm tea is a natural, non-synthetic liquid soil amendment (also known as a fertilizer) made by steeping worm castings in oxygenated water. Oxygenating worm tea helps grow beneficial microbes that enrich soil. Because worm tea contains living microbes we recommend that you use it ASAP (within 1-3 days) or else those enriching living organisms will die off. If you notice a moldy film growing on your worm tea, then it has definitely gone bad.  Worm tea also contains water-soluble nutrients such as nitrates, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, and calcium in addition to many nitrogen fixing microbes.

Worm Tea is NOT for human consumption!

To Order Worm Tea

  1. Firstly, we want to thank you for your interest in Worm Tea! We are excited for both you and your plants!
  2. Let us know you are interested by filling out this google order form at least a week before the day you want to pick up your liquid gold. Please include your name, a contact phone and/or email, and the days/times you are available to pick up the tea. Also, please read the following “Helpful Hints” section before you order to get filled in on the procedure.

  3. We will start brewing your tea and soon after you will have your fresh batch of Worm Tea!
  4. Please always return your worm tea jugs after use to be able to order more in the future. 

Helpful Hints:

  • Worm Tea take about 48 hours to brew. If you need your Worm Tea by a certain date, it is best to contact us at least a week before so we can schedule the brewing, and make sure it is ready by the date and time you would like to pick it up.
  • Worm Tea is alive! The living bacteria in the tea is what gives it fertilizing power. We keep them live in our brewing process by giving them oxygen through aquarium pumps, but as soon as the leave the big batch the nutritional content will start falling. It is best to use worm tea within a few days after picking it up and refrigerating it might slow down the dying process. 
  • Keep the tea out of reach of pets and kiddos! It is meant for plants and plants only!

Click here to order!

*Contact us with questions regarding orders, pick up times, or location by calling or emailing us at (805) 893-7765 and

Please return your jugs when empty to help us conserve our resources!


How to Use

Worm tea does not need to be diluted since it is great as is! Diluting worm tea is possible, however, if you would like it to stretch further for your garden. When diluting, make sure to always dilute with non chlorinated water by using a dechlorintor liquid or by letting tap water sit in a bucket for 24 hours.

When watering seedlings, wait until seedling have been growing for 2-4 weeks to apply worm tea, or fertilize at 1:12 to 1:6 dilution every 7 to 10 days. Seedlings can be watered at the base of the stem, or by watering on a tray for the seedlings to absorb as needed through the bottom of their starter pots.

Not advised for use if mold or film develops on top of the liquid, or if the liquid becomes overly cloudy. While uncommon, these are signs of rot and the worm tea should be disposed. Worm Tea doesn’t technically expire, but it is best to use it while it’s fresh for the most microbes and the highest quality nutrients.

Worm Tea is NOT for human consumption!


Does DPW Sell Worm Castings?

We are currently not selling worm castings as we simply cannot produce enough to meet demand for both castings and tea. Our tea is more popular and a much more versatile product with a faster effect, so check it out!

Does DPW Sell Red Wriggler Worms?

Unfortunately we do not sell worms because previous worm sales led to a population crash in our worm bins. In order to continue to compost at UCSB and to continue to provide worm tea, we are unable to distribute worms. 

Some good worm sources:

Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm – We originally bought our worms here!

Goleta Island Seed & Feed – Our favorite local garden supply shop.

La Sumida Nursery – One of the largest nurseries in our area.

Local Bait Shops – see what’s close to you!