I know what some of you may be thinking, and no this is not any tea that is suitable for people to drink. However, you would be hard-pressed to find anything better than compost tea for your plants. It is the perfect drink for the vegetable plants or fruit trees in your garden.
The main ingredient in compost tea is of course is compost. You can buy compost online or in any hardware store, but if you want to take things a step further and help protect the environment, you can make your compost at home.
Creating your compost bin at home will not only help you by upcycling your food waste products into a handy gardening tool, but doing so will also enhance environmental awareness among the members of your family.
Instead of throwing fruit and vegetable scraps into the trash which would then be dumped into landfills leading to greenhouse gases; try dumping them in a compost bin. Those waste materials are perfect for creating your compost pile at home.
Starting your compost pile at home will undoubtedly be beneficial for your family, your garden and the environment as well. It is easier than you think so please try it for yourself and reap the benefits sooner rather than later.
If for some reason creating your own compost does not appeal to you then that is fine too. Compost is easily purchased in most hardware stores, nurseries, and online as well. Making compost tea is ideal for gardeners with a limited amount of compost.
Creating compost tea will allow you to stretch whatever compost you have and extend its use for a more extended period. Even if you do have a steady source of compost, maximising its use by brewing compost tea is a fantastic idea as well.
This will allow you to nourish vegetable or fruit plants allowing them to grow even faster.
Compost tea is also an excellent solution for your plants that are in need of extra attention, like if their leaves started to yellow or after a hard rain when the nutrients of your soil were just washed away.
Using compost tea on your plants for these type of scenarios will immediately give it the boost it needs to get better faster. Utilizing compost tea will make your garden grow quicker and even give you a better yield on the crops that you are growing.
Once you have your compost, then you can get started in adequately making compost tea.
How to make compost tea
There are two distinct methods on how to make compost tea. Both processes are effective and have similar results. You can try each one then just go with the one that works better for you, moving forward.
Depending on the size of your garden, you can just make enough to use in your garden for that particular moment or make enough to use for a couple of weeks. How much compost tea you make would be entirely up to you.
Step 1 Put compost in a container
You would need a bucket or a large drum, unchlorinated water, rainwater would be best for this purpose or tap water is fine too, but then you would need an aerator to help get rid of the chlorine present in the tap water.
For a small garden, a five-gallon bucket should do. If you have a large garden, you may want to use a thirty-gallon drum or large trash can that is no longer being used. For a bucket, all you need would be about several handfuls of compost.
You can add the compost directly into the bucket and then fill it up with water. Some people prefer putting compost into an old sock or stocking and then using that like a tea bag in bucket filled with unchlorinated water. Either option works fine.
Step 2 Prepare your air pump
Secure an old aquarium air pump and position the hose inside the bucket or drum that you will be using. Make sure it is not buried under the compost, you want the tube of the air pump unhindered from expelling oxygen which is vital to brew a batch of very potent compost tea successfully.
Step 3 Fill with unchlorinated water
You can put the compost directly into the bucket and then fill it up with unchlorinated water or rainwater if you have it. If you don’t have either of those types of water then that is fine, just use tap water but be sure to use an aerator to help get rid of any chlorine that may be present in the water.
There are several methods on how to dechlorinate tap water; you can buy a dechlorinating agent at any pet store, use a carbon filter on your tap water or if you have a reverse osmosis filter installed in your home then that would remove any chlorine from your water.
This is vital because chlorinated water is not beneficial for the good bacteria that you are trying to breed with the compost tea. Your plants derive nutrients from the soil, and the compost tea imbues the earth with the right bacteria for the sole purpose of feeding your plants.
Step 4 Add Molasses
For a five gallon bucket add about two tablespoons of molasses. This particular ingredient will help feed the microorganisms in the compost to multiply in the compost tea brew rapidly.
At this point, you should have already turned on the air pump to continuously feed oxygen into the brew to provide more nutrients and stimulus for the good bacteria to multiply even faster in the compost brew.
Step 5 Leave Brew for 24-48 hours
Once you are done with combining the ingredients all that’s left is for it to brew correctly. Leave the air pump on and let it brew for about twenty-four to forty-eight hours. You can opt to brew it longer than that for maximum effect, but that timeframe is more than adequate.
This is a much simpler method. You just do pour the compost in the bucket. Fill it with unchlorinated water and stir. You do not need to use an air pump or add any other ingredients.
The stirring process is essential in this method. That is the only way to get the required oxygen to the microorganisms for them to properly multiply. You will need to let the compost tea brew for about twenty-four to forty-eight hours as well using this method.
While it is brewing it would be necessary for you to stir your compost tea brew several times a day. It is vital to help appropriately feed oxygen to the microorganisms and accelerate their growth.
How to use compost tea
Once the brew is done, all you would need to do is pour it in a watering can. Then proceed to water your plants. Your compost tea would then work to nourish your plants. Providing them with an abundant food source, namely the microorganisms that were cultivated on your brew.
Some people prefer to dilute the compost tea with water. That is a perfectly fine practice as well. Either method will do wonders for your plants. Your vegatbles, fruit trees and yes even your flowers will love your compost tea as well. Use the tea to treat any ailments your garden has and pump invigorating life into your plants.
Making your compost tea is a big step in ensuring the continued health of everything in your garden. It is like steroids but for foliage. All your plants will love a dose of your compost tea. Treat your plants to a helping of your newly brewed compost tea. You will see a big difference in your garden.