Monday, 4 April 2011

Making Compost Tea

by Throwback at Trapper Creek


Gardening season is just getting underway here in the form of starting transplants in the hoop house. Once the seedlings get their true leaves I like to water them with a weak solution of compost tea, at least once a week or more often if they need a boost. I also like to have compost tea on hand for transplanting to help the plants get over the shock of handling. Compost tea a great make-at-home fertilizer.

Covered compost pile.

We compost our livestock manure, so that is what we use, but any compost will work fine.
Supplies you will need:

Container - anything from a 5 gallon bucket to a 55 gallon drum.
Tea bag - recycled mesh onion bag works great.
Shovel
Stick or dowel for dunking.
Compost

I'm making about 30 gallons of tea, so I am filling my onion bag about three fourths of the way with aged compost. The more compost you add the stronger your tea will be. It can be diluted or applied directly as long as you use aged manure or compost.




Using the tie on the onion bag slip the stick through.

Place tea bag in container of water. I used spring water - rain water would be great and if you have municipal water, fill your container and wait a day or so to let the chlorine dissipate before making your tea.

I leave my tea bag on the stick so I can dunk it if needed, or take it out when I need to use the tea. It's no fun fishing around in a murky barrel for the top of the bag.


The initial dunking produced a fairly dark concoction. I will let this sit about a week before using to make sure it is full strength.

It's best to keep the container covered, to keep out rain.

Warmer gardening weather can't come soon enough for me. Our weather is vacillating between snow, sun, rain and hail these days. How is your gardening season starting out?