How To Make Compost Tea
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Gardeners all know compost is awesome. But there's something even better than compost, and that is compost tea. Compost tea is made by steeping compost in water and in other cases adding air and other beneficial nutrients into that compost water. You can use the compost tea as either a foliar spray or a soil drench, depending on what you want.
Why Brew Compost Tea
Why brew compost tea instead of just putting compost in your garden or plant container? There are several reasons for brewing compost tea. First, compost tea makes the benefits of compost go farther. Compost tea also helps suppress foliar diseases when sprayed on the leaves, compost tea increases the amount of nutrients available to the plant, and speeds the breakdown of toxins. Compost tea has also been shown to increase the nutritional quality and improve the flavor of vegetables. I can attest to that, My vegetables with compost tea test better than any other vegetable from friends and family. Everyone that has tried the vegetables I grow always ask what I put in my garden.
One main drawback for compost tea is that after brewing for 24 to 72 hours, compost tea need to be used immediately. if you are not able to use it on that day you can add more molasses and let it continue to brew until you use it.
You can put your own Compost tea brewer kit together and save money or you can get one from a store or online
Use rain water or well water, if you do not have any of them, you can use tap water but you have to Allow chlorine to evaporate slowly over 24 hours. Or inject with oxygen from an air pump for about an hour or two to quickly dechlorinate water. Chlorine kills the microbes needed for healthy compost tea.
finished (Worm compost is great) Avoid composts that contain animal manure, as it may harbor e-coli bacteria if the compost is not completely finished.
several feet of tubing
unsulfured Molasses (preferably organic) to help feed the microorganisms or maple syrup, cane syrup or fruit juice are all good options for microbe food
5 gallon bucket (The larger the bucket, the larger the air pump you’ll need.)
paint strainer bag or an old pillowcase or tea towel, or nylon stocking for straining the tea or holding the compost in the tea.
fill the empty bucket 2/3 full of water
Cut a length of tubing at least 1.5 times the length of the bucket and attach one end to the pump and the other to the air stone or aerator. most pumps have two outlets so you will need two tubes and two air stones or bubbler.
plug the pump to power and drop the airstone or bubbler into the bucket of water.
add about 2 table spoons of molasses into the water and stair so that it is completely mix, do the same for any other liquid you add.
put about 3 - 5 cups of rich compost in the paint strainer bag, old pillowcase or nylon socks and tie with rope long enough to be able to suspend the bag in the water. with everything inside the bucket now the water should be within 4 inches of the rim with water, if not you can add more water and start the pump.
let it run for 24 to 72 hours, stir it with a stick about twice a day to make sure everything is circulating well. after 24 to 72 hours you can foliage feed or soak your plants with it