Spring Garden Tips
Tea Time in the Garden

Fertilizing with Compost Tea

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Convert compost into liquid fertilizer for your houseplants, containers and landscape plantings.

All you need is some compost, cheesecloth or other permeable material, a bucket and water for this method.

I’m using compost harvested from my worm bin. Place a scoopful, about 8 ounces, of compost in the cheesecloth. Tie up the sides to hold the compost inside.

Place the bagged material in a five gallon bucket of warm water and let it soak for at least an hour, all day long or even a week. Stirring occasionally helps prevent stagnation. The compost tea is ready when the water turns the color of weak tea.

Tea time in the Garden videoApply the compost tea to the ground in the garden or containers using a watering can.

Or do a little foliar feeding. Strain the liquid through cheesecloth, fill a clean sprayer with the tea and apply to the leaves and stems of the plants. Be sure to use a sprayer that has NOT been used to apply pesticides including weed killers.

A bit more information: Though the making and use of compost tea has been a long time practice, the science and effectiveness is currently being tested. There are many compost brewers on the market. These machines oxygenate and agitate the compost and are suppose to provide better results. Oregon State University Extension provides plans for making your own brewer from a 25-gallon plastic container. Continue to watch for new information and research related to this long time gardening technique and the new compost brewing systems.




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