There is no better way to power your vegetable plants and flowers naturally than to make and use your own homemade compost tea. And is it ever simple, fast and inexpensive to make. In fact, if you happen to have your own compost pile, you can make an endless supply all summer – for free!
The power of compost is undeniable. It overflows with all types of trace minerals and nutrients that plants need and love. Even better, those nutrients are easy for them to absorb. Because of that, compost can provide plants with a steady and easily absorbed flow of energy.
When mixed into the soil of gardens or flowerbeds, it helps to re-energize and rejuvenate the soil, boosting its fertility and structure in the process. The result is healthier soil and more productive plants. But when mixed with water and allowed to soak – all of those nutrients turn into the perfect liquid fertilizer!
How Compost Tea Works – How To Make Homemade Compost Tea
Compost tea works in the same way as pure compost, but with a more “instant” power. Instead of building soil vitality, the tea harnesses all of the nutrients of compost into a very powerful liquid form. One that can then absorb into plants quickly.
But perhaps what makes compost tea so amazing is that when you apply it, the power can soak into plants in two unique ways – both through the roots of plants as it soaks into the soil, and the stems and leaves as it absorbs into the plant.
As an all natural fertilizer, compost tea can be applied every few weeks to give plants a steady supply of natural nutrients. All without the worry of overpowering plants with too much energy, or of using a commercial fertilizer that may contain questionable non-organic ingredients.
In addition, compost tea actually improves the soil where it is used. Many times, commercial fertilizers can contain heavy salts that over time will leave soils weaker. The end result is that it can take even more fertilizer each time to produce the same result, and the soil only becomes weaker.
Homemade compost tea on the other hand, contains all-natural minerals and nutrients. Instead of depleting resources or building up saline levels, it actually improves the soil, all while powering your plants in the process.
The Ease Of Making & Using Homemade Compost Tea
Perhaps the best thing about compost tea is that you only need two ingredients to make it – compost and water. And is it ever easy to use and apply! Homemade compost tea can be applied with a simple watering can, a gallon jug, or even a pump sprayer. By simply watering plants, the power heads right to where it’s needed most.
So how easy is it to make? As you will see below, it’s easier than you can ever imagine! And, contrary to all of the conflicting information you might find on-line, you don’t need fancy or specialized equipment to make the best all-natural liquid fertilizer around.
In fact, you don’t even have to have your own compost pile! You can just as easily make compost tea from bagged or bulk compost from your local nursery, garden center, or purchasing bagged products on-line. And yes, it will create a liquid fertilizer that is just as potent and effective – and at a fraction of the cost of buying fertilizer!
For more on making your own great compost – check out our article : How To Make Great Compost – The 4 Simple Secrets To Success!
How To Make Compost Tea
Although you can find a lot of recipes and equipment for making compost tea, the formula and equipment you need for success is simple. In fact, all you really need to make your own great liquid fertilizer is a 5 gallon bucket, compost, water and a stirring stick!
Listen To Our Podcast Below On Making & Using Compost Tea For Even More Great Info!
To start the process, begin by filling a 5 gallon bucket half-full of compost. If you have a backyard compost pile or bin, always select compost that is either completely decomposed or very close to finishing.
When materials have not had enough time to break down, the compost will not have the same potency or nutrient level. In addition, if fresh materials or manure have been recently added to your pile, they can actually be too potent.
If using bagged compost, always make sure you are using a product that contains 100% pure compost and not added fillers. Bags of traditional compost, composted manure or even mushroom compost will all yield excellent compost tea as long as they are 100% pure compost. Affiliate Product Link: Charlie’s Bagged Compost
Adding The Water – How To Make Homemade Compost Tea
Once you have your 5 gallon bucket half-filled with compost, fill the bucket to within a few inches from the top with water. As you fill the bucket, stir the compost and the water with your stirring stick. This will allow the water to start mixing with compost and begin the process of absorbing the compost’s nutrients.
One note of caution on selecting your source of water. It is extremely important to use untreated water when creating compost tea. Chlorine and other chemicals that can be present in treated water can alter the tea and even harm plants in some cases.
Well water (without a water softener), distilled water and rain water are all excellent choices for compost tea. If you must use treated water, allow it to sit out a few days. This will help to let any chemicals present in the water leach out.
Once you fill and stir your bucket of tea for the first time, place in a shady area. This will help to keep it from losing valuable liquid from evaporation. Do not put a tight lid on your container. The air flow will help it to absorb better while the compost is in the bucket. If need be, place a screen over if you need to keep critters out.
Final Steps – How To Make Homemade Compost Tea
It takes around 7 days for the nutrients from the compost to fully absorb into the water. Try to stir the mixture at least once a day to help re-agitate the solution. Stirring twice a day is even better.
After a week, strain the liquid through a cloth or old kitchen colander. As for the leftover compost – don’t throw it out! You can either use it as a mulch around plants or place it back into your compost pile to recharge.
Once strained, the resulting liquid becomes an amazingly balanced fertilizer perfect for applying to plants. In fact, compost tea is great for boosting the vitality of nearly any plant you can imagine. From vegetable plants, herbs and flowering annuals, to perennials, shrubs, bushes and more.
The tea is balanced enough that you can apply it to plants every seven to ten days. This will help to keep them energized and growing strong. All, of course, without the worry of giving your plants too much energy.
You can keep compost tea for a month or more if needed. Store with a lid to keep from evaporating. Here is to making your own homemade compost tea – and powering your plants this year naturally!
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