Ever get the itch to brew some compost tea? You might first ask….what the heck is it?
Compost tea is a watery, naturally enriched organic fertilizer that is made from rich compost soil that naturally contains millions of living organisms. If you already compost and have a few scoops of newly minted rich soil, then all you need is some unchlorinated water, sugar, a bucket, and a bubbler.
Green Blizzard experimented and home-brewed compost tea over last few growing seasons and generously applied it on our flower and vegetable gardens surrounding our house in an old cottage. The results were unquestionably noticeable and we found ourselves asking, “why didn’t we do this sooner”. The technology and writing staff here at Green Blizzard office remarked about the healthier plants and even enjoyed a seemingly never-ending mound of free vegetables in the office breakroom.
In the ongoing effort to continually reduce your carbon footprint, every step you can take in lowering any type of consumable, especially energy-intensive products such as lawn and garden fertilizers will make a meaningful impact on shrinking your carbon footprint.
Compost tea is a natural product, requiring a minuscule amount of electricity and materials, and especially time and effort. Compared to the energy consumed producing commercial fertilizers and transporting them great distances to your local garden store, making your own compost tea is an environmental home run.
Hopefully, this brief how-to-do-it article will convince you how insanely easy it is to make. So, go ahead, give it a try, bubble away, and brew your own compost tea.
Continue reading Green Blizzard’s outlined insights on how easy it is to make compost team. But for even more insights, Green Blizzard has teamed up with some garden experts on the topic of composting, Robinson Love Plants. Check out their comprehensive compost tea making guide as well.
The key ingredient in compost tea are the microbes. Compost tea encourages the natural microbes already in your compost and provides a rapdi growth environment where they can significantly multiply with the help of a little natural sugar and oxygen. In a matter of few hours or a few short days, under the proper conditions, the number of microbes expands exponentially. That’s all it really is, multiplying the number of microbes in your compost.
What is this important?
Microbes are critical in two ways. First, they transfer nutrients from your soil to your plant and secondly, when sprinkled on the leaves, protect the vegetation from pest and blight but literally consuming any pest that takes refuge on the leaf.
Our Bottom-line Advise – During the growing season, brew yourself a 5 gallon bucket of compost tea every other day, and liberally sprinkle it over all your plants – vegetables, fruits, and decorative plants. Sprinkle, toss, slosh it everywhere, there’s no downside.
Many of the more progressive gardening centers offer jugs of this watery home-brewed, organic fertilizer at a hefty price. Seems silly to pay that price, when with a small investment of $10-15 in simple equipment, you can brew hundreds of gallons over the next few growing seasons for mere pennies. The garden store smartly brand their compost tea to make you think that you’re buying something special, a treasure, secret concoction of organic matter. Like an idiot, I paid a princely sum for a gallon a few summers ago, sprinkled it around my lawn and saw no noticeable results. So, I chalked it up to a life lesson, never to be fooled again – at least in that way!
But curiosity caused me to try it again, in a different way and I’m telling you, this stuff really does work, despite what all the corporate sponsored garden experts will tell you. My guess for the skepticism is that there’s a healthy margin in selling fertilizers in fancy packaging. My lingering curiosity drove me to peck around the internet for assorted points-of-view on compost tea and as I watched a few convincing Youtube videos I was eventually persuaded that compost tea may actually work. Besides its easy to brew and affordable.
With renewed confidence, I set out to brew my own concoction.
It is insanely simple with hardly any set-up or upfront investment of time and money.
In a nutshell: Simply add a few handfuls of compost to five gallons of water, add a dash of sugar, and bubble it for 48 hours. Then dilute it in a watering can and sprinkle or liberally pour it all over your plants and landscape. Repeat every 48 hours during the growing season or as often as you care to.
Green Blizzard Compost Tea Recipe
- Clean 5 gallon bucket Hydrofarm HG5G 5-Gallon Black Bucket” or 5 Gallon White Bucket & Lid – Set of 3
- An inexpensive aquarium bubbler Tetra 77851 Whisper Air Pump
- Fill bucket with tap water, (Or rain barrell water, if you have it) bubble for 2-3 hours to dissipate the chlorine before adding any ingredients
- 2-3 handfuls of black compost from the floor of your compost bin, or even just some rich black topsoil from somewhere around your garden
- Raw sugar (we used a capful of unsulfured molasses
- Mix and brew in some shady, cool spot for 48 hours
- Dilute in a watering can 5 parts water for 1 part tea
- Sprinkle liberally over the plans and leaves and around the roots
- Brew another batch every 48 hours and continue sloushing it about during the early growing season.
Other Sources For Instructions:Health Vegetable Gardening and Grow Organic