There are several ways to brew your own compost tea, from buying some expensive equipment (some brewers range from $100 to $600) to brewing it right in the backyard with supplies that you may already have or can get very cheaply. Compost tea is the best fertilizer you can get, and it is totally natural and organic. Brewing this wonderful concoction yourself is an easy way to supercharge your vegetable garden.
What Is Compost Tea?
Compost tea is the process of straining the vital nutrients, beneficial microbes, and minerals that are in compost, using water. Compost tea contains everything a commercial fertilizer could only dream it had. One thing that compost and compost tea does that no other fertilizer can do is its ability to control diseases and fungi on vegetable (or flowering) plants.
How To Brew Your Own Compost Tea
Brewing your own compost tea is very simple and does not require much work at all. Here are the items you will need in order to easily brew compost tea:
- 2 – 5 gallon buckets, cleaned and free of any dirt
- some well-aged compost, enough to fill the bucket at least halfway
- a fine screen strainer or old piece of burlap
- a stirring stick
Once you have acquired the need supplies, you are ready to start brewing!
- First, shovel some of the well-aged compost into one of the clean 5 gallon buckets, filling it almost halfway.
- Fill the rest of the bucket with fresh, clean water (using gray water or water from a rain barrel will do also). Make sure you don’t overfill the bucket with water, just fill the bucket about 3 inches from the top. You will need this room when stirring the tea.
- Leave the bucket with the compost and water outside for a couple of days. It is very important to make sure the bucket stays out of the sunlight. The sunlight can foul the tea.
- Occasionally stir the mixture to make sure it separates properly and to allow the mixture to aerate. Oxygen is important in the mixture because this helps the microbes thrive and keeps the tea from becoming a stinky mess.
- After a few days, the tea is ready to strain. Take the other clean bucket and place the strainer on top (an old piece of burlap works better). Gently and carefully pour the liquid from the compost bucket into the strainer. The valuable compost tea will pour through the strainer and into the second bucket. Continue this until you have strained all the good compost tea from the compost bucket.
That’s it! You know have some great compost tea ready for those thirsty vegetable plants. Dilute the strained compost tea with water at a rate of 5 to 1, or put in a bottle hose sprayer and apply to garden plants. You will notice a difference in your vegetables in no time!