How to Make Compost Tea for the Garden
Compost tea is an excellent way to provide plants with nutrients in order to minimize disease and maximize their growth rates. It can also be useful in controlling certain pests. It is very easy to make, can be applied wherever you are growing plants or herbs, and you only need some basic material to complete this project. Take a look at the steps below, and feel free to improvise in order to make this trick work best for you.
A bag of the compost of your choice
2 Five gallon buckets
A small air pump and hose
A small shovel
A large wire-mesh strainer
A piece of cloth for the filter
Surgical mask (optional)
Brewing the Tea
The first step is to fill one of the buckets about a third of the way up with your compost. Add in about a ¼ cup of the molasses before filling the bucket up with water. Fill until the water reaches about two inches from the top so it will be easier to pour through the filter later. Consider using purified or distilled water for this process because additives from municipal supplies can prolong the fermentation process. These chemicals may also kill off some of the bacteria that you need for this tea to work as well.
Attach the tubing to your air pump and place the end inside of the tea. Make sure that you have enough tubing so it will rest on the bottom inside the bucket. Consider placing some sort of weight on the end to hold it in place as well. Clamp down the tube on the edge of the bucket with a clothespin, large clip or some duct tape if necessary. Turn on the pump and allow it to circulate through the mixture up to 48 hours. Place outside in a well-ventilated area and consider putting a lid or cover over the bucket in order to keep odors to a minimum as well.
Filtering the Tea
Place the strainer over the second bucket and line it with your cloth. You don’t necessarily need the cloth, but it will remove more of the debris and solids from the tea and give you a nicer finished product. You can also pour the tea through the strainer first and then run it through the cloth for a nice finish as well. The latter is probably the best option, but it does involve the use of a third bucket a a little more work.
In any case, you will most likely need to clean the strainer and cloth numerous times throughout this process. Be patient and allow the tea to drip into the bucket. Once finished, you can dump the remnants of the compost anywhere in your yard you like, including your existing compost pile. Store the tea in a container or spray bottle and use as necessary.
Apply to your garden, seedlings, plants or flowers. It can also be applied to items that are struggling to grow or look sick as well. Re-apply as necessary and see how well this trick works to promote the healthy growth of your garden. Just remember to thoroughly rinse edible items with water before consumption.
Try this trick for yourself and consider adding other nutrients to the mix as you see fit. This trick can help you to reduce the amount of chemicals and fertilizers in your garden while helping to produce healthy crops at the same time.