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How to Make Compost Tea?

Making Compost Tea is Easy! We'll Tell You How To

For plants, compost tea is an ideal fertilizer that can help keep them healthier by providing crucial nutrients, besides restricting the occurrence of leaf diseases. So, find out how to make compost tea at home, through this Gardenerdy article.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
Compost is the ideal organic fertilizer for your plants that can provide the essential nutrients and minerals, and encourage the growth of some beneficial microorganisms. Compost is basically made from organic wastes, which are converted to a form, highly rich in nutrients, by a process known as organic decomposition. Compost tea can work wonders for your garden by ensuring the growth of disease-free, healthier plants. The method of making compost tea is quite easy and simple, as compost and water are the only ingredients required for this purpose.

Recipe for Making Compost

You will require both carbon-rich or brown materials, and green or nitrogen-rich materials to make compost. Dead or dry leaves and other plant parts, garden debris, wood ash, and wood chips are brown materials, while fresh vegetable wastes, grass, leaves, and other plant parts, as well as fruit peels or scraps are the examples of green materials.

To make compost, you have to mix two parts brown materials to one part green materials. Break all the brown and green materials into smaller parts, and then add some garden soil to the mixture. Finally, add water to make the mixture moist.

Occasionally, do keep adding small amounts of water to maintain the appropriate level of moisture, but do not overdo it. Also add dry leaves and kitchen wastes from time to time. If you find that your compost is emanating a foul smell, then add some more dry leaves, or any of the brown materials explained above. Your compost should be ready within 3 months to 1 year. Worm compost is also ideal for making compost tea. This type of compost can be made by using worms for decomposing organic wastes. You can also use worm castings. But if you do not have much time, then buy some compost from the market.

Recipe for Compost Tea

Take a bucket of appropriate size. The size of the bucket will depend on the amount of compost tea required. If your garden is small, then a 5 gallon bucket will do. Now, fill the bucket with compost and add some water. Rainwater is always better than tap water, which may contain many chemicals including chlorine.

Leave some space at the top, so that you can easily stir the mixture without spilling the liquid. You can also add some unsulfured molasses into the mixture, in order to create a favorable environment for the growth of beneficial microorganisms. Leave the mixture for at least 3 to 4 days. Keep the bucket in a warm place, but away from direct sunlight. Also keep stirring the mixture several times a day.

On the fourth or the fifth day, strain the mixture by using a cheesecloth or any other porous material. The solid material or the compost will be left behind on the cloth, which can be returned to your compost pile or bin. Now, dilute the compost tea, and it is ready to be used for fertilizing your garden plants. It can also be sprinkled on the leaves to check the occurrence of leaf diseases. You can use it once in every two weeks.

Compost tea is a liquid fertilizer, which is readily absorbed by plants, as compared to solid compost. Moreover, it can enhance soil quality by promoting the growth of beneficial microorganisms. But remember that good compost tea always smells earthy. So, if the tea smells bad, do not use it on your plants. Instead, dump it on the compost pile.