How to Make Compost Tea : Compost tea Benefits in Garden

Compost Tea can be called a liquid gold fertilizer for your home garden where you grow vegetables, flowers, fruits and and other houseplants. As the name suggests, it is a nutritionally rich liquid fertilizer made by extracting bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes from aged compost.

The compost tea adds microbial life into the soil, roots and on the foliage of plants. The available nutrients to the roots develops a stronger healthier plant.

Learn how to make compost tea for vegetables, flowers, fruits and other plants; and its benefits.

The compost tea (how to make compost) acts as a very mild, organic liquid fertilizer that is full of nutrients that are quickly absorbed by plants. The nutrition of compost tea, being a liquid, is available to the plants immediately through roots and foliage, so it is fast acting. The live microbes in soil results in healthier stress-tolerant plants. It helps produce more blooms and fruits.
Compost tea
Application of Compost Tea

If the compost tea is used as a foliage spray on the plants, the leaves are covered by beneficial microbes that will fight mold, blight, fungus or wilt.

Compost Tea Nutrition For Plants

The nutrient content of compost tea will be different, depending on the type of ingredients used for making the compost. Generally, it contains major nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) and other nutrients.

The amount of nutrients depends on how the compost is made. Homemade compost, made mostly from plant material and kitchen scrapes has a NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) number of 3:0.5:1.5. The compost based on manure comparatively has more amount of phosphorus.

Making a Compost Tea : Compost Tea Recipe

The compost tea production is a brewing process and can be made in Compost Tea brewing equipment. However, you need not to buy expensive brewers for making compost tea, rather you can make your own by using a very simple and fast way.

There are several different recipes for compost tea.

What You Need
The simple method requires the following:
  1. A container with lid, like a bucket, garbage bin, barrel, etc.
  2. Aged compost, fresh compost can burn the plants.
  3. A bag like an old pillow case, sac, etc.
  4. Water to fill the container

Steps

  1. Fill the bag with the compost and tie the top.
  2. Fill the container with the water. Place the bag in the container of water.
  3. Cover the container and let it steep for about 10 to15 days, stirring occasionally.
The steeping and fermentation process will form benefical bacteria.
Take out some tea and dilute it with water (3 parts water to 1 part tea) and use it for foliage spray and feeding to roots. Be careful, strong tea can burn young plants.

The remaining tea can continue to steep. You can continue to use the solution until brewing water becomes nearly clear. At this stage, mix the used compost back into your compost bin.

Alternate method

You can put aged compost in the container and fill it with water and cover the container with lid. Let the mix sit a week to for about 10 to 15 days, stirring occasionally.

The compost tea can be made aerobically or anaerobically. In the aerobic method, the tea is brewed in the presence of oxygen, so air is bubbled through the tea as it is brewing.

When tea is made anaerobically, no oxygen is added.

What is the shelf life of compost tea?
The shelf life is short for the active organisms in the compost tea. If the tea is not used for long, you need to aerate, agitate and add more food to the tea to feed the micro-organisms.

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