Search: Follow Mike on: Facebook Pinterest Twitter You Tube Instagram
Home | Store | My Account | Podcast | Videos | Become an Affiliate | Media | Blog | About | Contact | JOIN THE SEEDS CLUB |

Next Article: Tips on Harvesting Your Vegetables

How to Brew Compost Tea


Date Posted: July 3, 2014

Seeds of the Month Club by Mike the Gardener How to Brew Compost Tea
photo credit: Mike the Gardener

Compost is the best thing you can do for your soil and when your soil is in tip top shape, your home vegetable garden will yield plenty of tasty fruits, vegetables and herbs. It goes without saying that your soil is the foundation of your home vegetable garden. If you have poor soil, you won’t grow much, if anything. However, if your soil is rich in nutrients, has the right pH, is loose and friable, the sky's the limit.

The best way to make sure your soil is always in tip top shape is to add plenty of well broken down compost to it before your season begins and again after you remove your vegetable plants. If you want to do a quick check to see if you have good soil, take your shovel and dig out a twelve inch square about four inches deep in your garden and count the worms. If worms are in abundance that means you have lots of good fungi and bacteria. If your worms are lacking, your soil needs nutrients.

Worms in the garden

If that quick test seems a bit too simple for you and not enough scientific data, you can always buy a home soil test kit or send a soil sample off to your local co-op extension, and they can mail you the results. Worms are a pretty good indicator though.

But what do you do while your home vegetable garden is growing? You can add more compost around the base of your plants which can help, but if you are looking for a more direct solution with plenty of benefits, compost tea is the way to go.

Healthy plants have a far better chance of fighting off diseases and resisting pests than vegetable plants that are not. Compost tea helps keep your plants healthy throughout the season to do just that.

Remember the quick test above to check if your soil was healthy? Lack of worms means your soil is depleted in the fungi and bacteria they need. Many experts agree that compost tea will add these back into your soil very quickly.

So what is compost tea and how do you make it? Compost tea is nothing more than taking broken down compost, steeping it in water (similar to what you do to make a cup of tea) for a few days. When complete, you have an elixir that contains loads of microbials that will help your soil and your plants.

Let’s go through making it, step by step. In my photos I am using composted horse manure, however compost straight from your compost pile works also.

TOOLS YOU NEED

Here is what you will need to make compost tea:

  • Compost
  • 5 Gallon Bucket
  • Small burlap sack
  • String
  • Water
  • Window screen
  • Bungee Cord

Sign up for our newsletter and never miss a blog post:
Email:

STEP 1
The first step you need to do is fill your small burlap sack with compost, leaving some headspace at the top of the sack so you can use your string to tie the burlap sack tight. You can also simply add your compost to the bucket. That makes it a bit more messy to pour later on.

In my photo, the composted manure is already tied tight in a permeable sack. You need something like a burlap sack to allow the water to pass through and mix with your compost, but not allow the compost itself to escape. A burlap sack works great, as does cheesecloth.

How to Brew Compost Tea

STEP 2
Now that your sack is filled with compost, go ahead and place it in your 5 gallon bucket, as shown in the photo. Make sure it is tied tightly. As noted before, compost in your water is not a bad thing, it just makes it a bit messier to pour when you are ready to use.

STEP 3
Add water to your 5 gallon bucket that contains the burlap sack of compost. I like to leave three inches of headspace in the bucket. I found that filling the bucket to the top with water is meaningless as I end up spilling some anyway.

How to Brew Compost Tea

STEP 4
Once you have your bucket filled with water, you will want to cover it with something that allows air in and out, but prevents mosquitoes from getting in there and using your compost tea bucket as a hatching ground for their youth.

This is where the window screen comes into play. I have a small piece lying around that I use for this purpose. I picked it up years ago from a friend who was rescreening some of his windows. If you do not have access to get a piece for free, screen is available at any home center or hardware store for a few bucks.

Place the screen over your bucket so that there is about 3 inches of overhang all the way around. Then, secure the screen to the top of the bucket with a bungee cord that is long enough to make a tight fit, but not too long where the screen can come off.

How to Brew Compost Tea

That’s it! You have now begun the process of making your own compost tea. All you need to do is let this sit outside for 1 to 3 days and when you come back to it, you will have created an elixir that when used in your garden will help increase your plants’ health.

Using the compost tea is easy. First remove the burlap sack of compost from the bucket. Second place the screen back on the bucket. This helps filter out chunks of compost that may have escaped the sack. Third, pour your compost tea into a watering can or a garden sprayer. Finally, go use it on your plants and have the healthiest home vegetable garden ever!


Please share this article! Let`s get everyone gardening!


Mike the gardener

About the Author

Mike Podlesny is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of the Seeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on the Vegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts. Don`t forget to link up with Mike on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.


RELATED CONTENT

Brew Compost Tea in 5 Easy Steps
How to Use Matches to Grow Better Peppers
25 Tips for Better Compost
Grow These 3 Heirloom Bush Beans in Your Garden
Grow Melons in Your Home Garden


If you want to learn more about compost, check out these titles below:


KEYWORDS:

how to make a compost tea brewer, how to brew compost tea fertilizer, how to make compost tea, making compost tea at home, make your own compost tea, how to make good compost tea, watering plants with compost tea, homemade compost tea



Discuss How to Brew Compost Tea on our Gardening Forum

READ OUR LATEST BLOG ENTRY

How to Grow Italian Flat Leaf Parsley from Seeds


CHECK OUT THESE OTHER GREAT TIPS

Tips on Harvesting Your Vegetables
20 Ways to Keep Deer Out of Your Garden
How to Kill Squash Bugs
How to get rid of Bad Bugs with Beneficial Insects
How to Create a Wildlife-Friendly Habitat Garden


comments powered by Disqus

SITEMAP
About UsMediaContact UsMike's Book
SitemapPrivacy PolicyGarden with your KindlePhotos
Vegetable SeedsOnline StoreSeeds of the Month ClubMy Account
BlogPodcastVideosLow cost books on Gardening
Seeds of the Month Club Referral Code Program

copyright (c) 2009-2017 Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC - All rights reserved

Vegetable Gardening in your Inbox: