Last Updated: January 17, 2017

Definition - What does Leachate mean?

In horticulture, leachate is the liquid that settles in or below vermicompost or worm castings. During compositing, a liquid waste is released from the broken down (digested) cellular structures in the worm castings. This liquid or leachate seeps down through the home worm composter into a collection area. Leachate is the fertile basis of worm tea, which is used as a liquid fertilizer in the garden.

MaximumYield explains Leachate

While leachate is valuable as a liquid fertilizer, the gardener must exercise caution. Leachate contains both good and bad bacteria and can also contain phytotoxins. These are toxins that are actually harmful to plants and humans.

It’s recommended that you not use leachate if it smells bad. It can be used on inedible plants if diluted at a recommended rate of ten parts water per one part of leachate. Therefore leachate is suitable only for ornamentals, shrubs, and blooming plants.

This definition was written in the context of Worm Compost
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