Lawn and garden fertilizers can really expand your carbon footprint because the production of commercial fertilizers consumes an inordinate amount of fossil fuel energy. Vast amounts of energy are consumed in the mining, transportation of the raw materials, processing the raw materials into a finished product, and eventually shipping it to your local hardware or garden store. But this easy compost tea recipe will change that.
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.
So instead of hauling a bag of fertilizer home every year, there is a smart alternative that you can easily brew at home and avoid all the embodied energy in each bag of fertilizer, just follow this easy compost tea recipe.
Compost tea is a watery, natural and organic fertilizer made from rich compost soil. If you already compost and have a few scoops of newly minted rich soil at the bottom of your composter, you are ready to go! With a few scoops of compost soil, all you need is some unchlorinated water, sugar, a bucket, and an inexpensive bubbler. Making compost tea is a simple, natural process, 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.
The key ingredient in this easy compost tea recipe are the microbes. Compost tea encourages rapid growth of the naturally present microbes already in your compost. In the brew’s rapid growth environment, these microbes quickly multiply with the help of a little natural sugar and oxygen. In a matter of few hours or one or two 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 – in this case, a watery compost state.
What are microbes important? Microbes are critical in two ways. First, they transfer nutrients from your soil to your plant and secondly, when sprinkled on the leaves, this army of microbes actually protects the vegetation from pest and blight by literally consuming any pest that takes refuge on the leaf.
For even more insights and tips, 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.
Compost Tea Recipe: It’s A Snap – 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 can.
Green Blizzard Compost Tea Recipe: The Detail
- 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.
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.