Gardeners all know that compost mixed in with your soil does wonders for your garden, but did you know there is something even better than plain old compost? As the name implies, compost tea is made by steeping compost in water. It’s then used to drench the soil or applied as a spray on foliage. Compost tea has long been used as a mild fertilizer, but it’s the beneficial micro-organisms that led to the resurgence of this plant beverage’s popularity.
When sprayed on leaves, the microorganisms in the tea help provide protection against foliar diseases such as powdery mildew. Compost tea also provides nutrients directly to plants since they absorb the liquid through their roots. If you use this magical elixir on your vegetable garden, it will improve the nutritional value of your veggies and you may even notice your vegetables are more flavourful.
How to brew compost tea
According to the Compost Council of Canada, compost tea is simple to make, easy to use and is beneficial to your plants. To make compost tea for your garden, you need to start with mature compost that has microorganisms living in it.
- 2 5-gallon buckets
- 1 gallon mature compost
- 1 aquarium pump
- 1 gang valve (to divide the air supply from the pump)
- 5 gallons of water
- 4 feet aquarium hose
- 1 oz unsulfured molasses
- old pillowcase