“Worm Juice” – The Secret to Growing the World’s Hottest Chillies?

Someone recently pointed me in the direction of a really interesting article (thanks again, “Babe Ruth”!) called “Aussies grow world’s hottest chilli“.

It doesn’t really contain much info relating to vermicomposting, but as you can probably guess from the title of my post, there is certainly some relevance! Here is a blurb:

Marcel adopted Neil’s idea in using liquid runoff from a worm farm – ‘worm juice’ – to fertilise the crop and he believes this is the secret to the super-hot chilli.

“He originally worked with it but didn’t understand why it worked,” says Mark, who studied the fertiliser. He discovered that worm juice contains nutrients, plant growth hormones and promoters, beneficial bacteria that colonise the root area, and chitin from dead insects that triggers the plant’s natural defence systems.

Pretty cool!

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  1. The micronutrients would certainly help, but nitrogen readily available in worm juice should be cut back in flowering peppers to make them hotter. Heat and lack of water are the two big factors that makes them hotter.

    • Rich
    • September 6, 2011

    Ah yes – the “Butch T” chili. I watched a video when this was first announced to be the hottest chili in the world, and the dudes down under who were showing them off actually ate them for us as well. When you eat a chili that is so hot you have to strip you clothes off – that’s the kind of heat I like!

    Needless to say – I wouldn’t put one in my worm bin!

  2. Wow I never knew that – I grow chilli’s and wheatgrass but never thought that they would make them hotter? will have to experiment on this. I put it on my wheatgrass which makes it taste better? http://wickedwheatgrass.com/worm-juice-fertilizer/ any reason for that?

  3. I too, am using the runoff from my worm farm as fertilizer. I have a 3 section worm farm where unjust keep rotating the trays as the worms eat all the scraps. I have a spigot at at the bottom where the tray holder is. I would like to know how often I should drain it off and what the dilution ratio is for fruit and veggie gardening. Also, how long it keeps before and after dilution and should it be refrigerated. And, if anyone knows the approx nutrient value and/or N P K of said compost tea. Thanks in advance. G chabraya

    • SDR11
    • October 29, 2015

    The run-off from a worm farm is different than “compost tea.” Run-off might be expected to have higher levels of certain nutrients that, undiluted, may alter or inhibit flowering and fruit bearing. Too much nitrogen from over-fertilization promotes “green” growth at the expense of flowering. I have read suggestions on diluting the run-off anywhere from 10x-15x with non-chlorinated water. I have used ~10x and have seen no plant damage and very strong “green” growth.
    Compost Tea:
    To make a “compost tea”, put the final worm castings in a permeable cloth (like cheesecloth) and dip and soak in a bucket of water for a period of time, (a few hours, overnight or a day or two with stirring / oxygenation). The resulting “compost tea” can usually be applied directly to plants and some organic gardeners/farmers even promote it as a foliar feed.

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