A while ago, I learned a technique to fertilize a garden or lawn using a method that’s cheap, easy and organic! I’m so stoked to actually get to try it.
tea for your garden!
Now this method doesn’t actually put biomass down on your garden as fertilizer, instead, it increases the microbial growth in your garden by a million times! (results may very) Your plants will love this!
compost tea ingredients
You will need:
- very little intelligence – this is very easy!
- a 5 gal bucket (or 19L bucket for you metric peeps) – you can probably get them free from a baker or restaurant.
- an aquarium pump – $5 – $20 – get a medium-sized one. I think I spent $10, but this will last you forever if all you’re using it for is
- an air stone – $1 – $5
- about 3 feet of air tubing – $2 ish?
- a hand full of compost and/or manure – make sure if you’re using manure, it comes from a vegetarian animal or that it’s been in the compost for 6 months or a year or so. – I didn’t have any compost, but a dude at the hydroponics store near my house just gave me some.
- a water permeable bag – this doesn’t have to be fancy. An old pillowcase will work, a burlap sack will work too. I got this mesh bag thing from the hydroponics store, but that was before I thought about using a t-shirt or pillowcase.
- molasses – a few tablespoons or so
- water – you want non-chlorinated water. I’m not going to get into a water debate over this, all I’m saying is chlorinated water will kill the bacteria you’re trying to cultivate, so use a Brita to filter it or you can even pick up some activated charcoal (which is what is in a Brita filter) at the aquarium store for way cheaper.
put it all together!
- fill your bucket with water
- put the compost into your bag and put that in the water
- add your molasses and stir the water to mix the molasses in (maybe do the molasses and stiring before the bag goes in.)
- put your pump and hose and airstone together (this is really simple, just read the directions if you don’t know how)
- drop the stone in the water and let the pump run for 24 hours.
You have to use the tea immediately. About an hour after stop airating the water, your microbes start dying at a huge rate, so don’t store the tea.
The great thing about this stuff is it doesn’t burn your plants. You can dump the whole bucket on your garden and be fine.
Lots of people spray the tea on their plants as well as add it to their soils.
If you’ve tried this, let me know. I’d love to know what you use for your compost ingredients.
Here’s a video by John Kohler describing what I said.
Thanks for reading!