Compost Tea: Tea Time For Your Garden

A bucket of water and some trash are required if you want a lovely garden. You only need that easy recipe to cultivate wholesome, lovely plants all summer long. There is a catch, though, so you should be aware of it before you start floating a tin can in some water. This recipe’s catch is that you must first compost your trash. The only components needed to make compost tea, a potent plant supplement, are compost and water.

Garden compost will help your soil get better, which will result in stronger plants that are better equipped to withstand illnesses and droughts. The drainage and soil structure are enhanced with compost. It improves the soil’s capacity to absorb water and can be used as a mulch or fertilizer.

The advantages of compost tea are similar to those of compost, but they don’t end there. Compost tea can be sprayed on the leaves in addition to being applied to the soil around plants like regular compost. It strengthens the plant’s ability to access nutrients and aids in the defense against foliar diseases when sprayed directly into the leaves. Even the nutritional value and flavor of veggies will be improved.

There are many different ways to make compost tea but most recipes can be summarized by saying, if you steep compost in water you get compost tea.

Using rain water is the best way to make compost tea but you can get by with tap water if rain is scarce. Tap water usually contains enough chlorine in it to kill off all of the beneficial bacteria so it’s best to let it sit for a few hours before using it.


The quickest and easiest way to make compost tea is with an old sock filled with compost. Throw it in a bucket and let it sit for a day and you’ve just made compost tea. Sure there are more complicated ways to make the tea more effective such as using air stones or fish tank bubblers to feed the mixture enough oxygen but the old sock in a bucket method works just fine. Some people add molasses to the mix and there are many other secret home recipes. But you’ll do fine by using a sock filled with compost and a bucket of water. And actually the sock is optional if you have no plans on using a sprayer.


When applying compost tea with a sprayer you have to worry about clogs. Attach some cheese cloth or a piece of panty hose to the sprayer’s intake with some rubber bands and you should be fine.


If you need more than a few buckets of tea, then an old fish tank or a plastic storage bin would make a great container for brewing compost tea.


After you’ve brewed a few batches and are happy with the results why not try aerated compost tea? You’ll need to feed your mixture a constant supply of oxygen so a bubbler or air stones will be required. You need to keep it aerated so it doesn’t grow any harmful pathogens. Some popular ingredients to add to bubbling compost tea are alfalfa, fish emulsion, powdered seaweed, corn meal, green sand and more. Don’t use manure. Manure tea shouldn’t be used as a foliar spray especially if you’re growing vegetables and who wants manure floating around in their bucket anyway.


Ask a weekend gardener about compost and chances are they’ll tell you it’s powerful stuff with a lot of uses. But ask a serious gardener about compost and they’ll probably tell you that it’s the most important ingredient there is when making compost tea.




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