Compost Tea looks and sounds nasty! It’s not for you! It’s for your plants! Compost tea is packed with nutrients for the garden and it is pretty simple and cheap to make. If I’d known it was this easy, I would have started making it years ago! Once my supplies are gathered I can start a batch in less than 5 minutes… okay maybe 7 minutes. But if I use the lazy girl method (described at the end of this post) I can start a batch in 1 minute and 59 seconds. Yes, I did time myself. My amazing neighbor, Mike, taught me how to do this. I hope you have good neighbors. They make life so much easier!
Supplies for Compost Tea
To make compost tea you need a large bucket, compost, an old pair of nylon stockings, an air pump, tubing, two air stones (the kind you find by fish tank supplies) and molasses. I also like to add fish emulsion fertilzer and kelp fertilizer.
Step 1 – Get Water
Start by filling your bucket almost full with water. Try not to use water that has been treated because the chlorine will kill the nutrients in the compost tea. This time I collected water from our creek. I’ve also had great success with rainwater. If you don’t have a natural water supply, you could use distilled water.
Step 2 – Get the Air Pump and “Tea Bag” Ready
Cut the tubing in half and attach each tube to the air pump. Attach the other ends of the tubing to the air stones. Put 2 to 3 cups of compost in one foot of an old pair of nylon stockings or into a paint strainer bag.
Step 3 – Put everything (except the air pump) in the water
Pour anywhere from a few tablespoons to 1/8 cup each of molasses. fish emulsion fertilizer and kelp fertilizer into the bucket of water. Drop one air stone into the bucket and put the other air stone inside the compost in the stocking. Put the stocking full of compost in the bucket.
Step 4 – Plug in the Air Pump
Set the air pump near the bucket and plug it in. Make sure that the compost tea is bubbling. Don’t let it just sit there without bubbling or it can get anaerobic and create unhealthy bugs for your plants. My tea has some little plants floating on the top because the water came from the creek.
Step 6 – Apply to Plants
Once it is ready, apply it right to the plants. Don’t let it sit around or it can get anaerobic and that would be bad for your plants. I just put it in a watering can and pour it on both the leaves of the plant and at the base of the plant. The compost in the stocking can be taken out and used anywhere in the garden.
And there you have it! A simple, inexpensive way to skip the chemicals and give your plants a natural, organic, nutrient-filled treat.
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