How to Make Compost Tea for Your Garden

Show your plants some love, the sustainable way. 

Compost Tea for Your Garden

By Blair Donovan, Country Living

Compost is already the stuff of gardening dreams, namely thanks to its laundry list of plant-friendly nutrients and soil-feeding capabilities. But maybe it's time to kick your sustainable matter game up a notch—by making compost tea. As implied by its name, compost tea is compost that's been mixed with water, from sprayed from your best garden hose, and left to brew over the course of a few days. It actually rivals regular compost in terms of plant benefits—the liquid organic matter helps fend off diseases; if aerated, it becomes full of a ton of beneficial microbes; it quickens the breakdown of toxins; and it works as an organic fertilizer. No more trying to decipher those bags of fertilizer numbers and letters, plus you can say goodbye to the dangers of chemical fertilizers!

Ready to hop on the compost tea bandwagon? (Or maybe you've already started with a kitchen compost bin.) Know that the process does take a bit of time—anywhere from 2 to 4 days—and you'll need to invest in a few supplies. Here's how to brew your own compost tea from home and give low-maintenance bushes and shrubs a rich, organic place to grow. Go green, gardeners, and get ready to watch your plants and flowers grow with abandon!



What do I need to make compost tea?

Materials will vary based on the type of compost tea you plan to make—aerated or non-aerated. While some gardeners swear by one method over the other, there's no supporting evidence to pinpoint either as superior. But for simplicity's sake, non-aerated versions only demand non-chlorinated water, compost, and a large bucket. You'll need the same for aerated compost tea, as well as an aquarium air pump and tubing to keep oxygen flowing. Some gardeners also add a bit of unsulfured molasses into the brew, which feeds beneficial bacteria.



How long does it take to make compost tea?

Before getting started, let tap water soak in your bucket for at least 24 hours to remove any chlorine (skip this step by using rain or well water). From there, the compost tea solution will require at least an additional two to three days of brew time.



How do I DIY compost tea?

Once you've gathered your materials and de-chlorinated any tap water in the bucket, pour in the compost and molasses, if desired. Let the substance soak for 24 to 72 hours (during which you'll leave the air pump running for the aerated route). Once fully brewed, strain the mixture and pour the compost tea on your plant roots for immediate absorption. Or pour the tea in a squirt bottle and use it as a foliar spray to apply directly on plant leaves.



What should compost tea smell like?

Stinky compost or tea isn't a good sign—the substance should have an overall sweet and earthy odor to it. Never apply a foul-smelling compost tea to your plants. This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.



How long does compost tea last?

Aim to use your tea creation within 24 hours once it's finished brewing. The longer it sits, the higher the chances of growing unwanted bacteria.
How to Make Compost Tea for Your Garden


See more at: Country Living

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