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How To Brew Compost Tea

watering can worm teaEveryone is talking about getting their garden ready for the Spring season and what they can do to make this year’s garden better than last year’s. Brewing some compost tea at home is one of the most effective ways to make this happen!

I know what you’re thinking. What’s the point of going through all the trouble of brewing your own compost tea? Well it’s not as difficult as it sounds and there are many reasons why compost tea makes the benefits of compost go farther.

Why Compost Tea?

Compost tea brings with it a whole host of benefits for your home garden or plants. Here’s just a short summary of those benefits:
  • Helps suppress diseases
  • Increases the amount of nutrients that plants need to thrive and grow large
  • Increases the speed at which the plant breaks down toxins from garden chemicals
  • Known to improve the overall quality of the plant and the flavor of fruits and veggies.

How To Brew Compost Tea?

To start, all you need is some good compost (worm castings are the best form of compost!), moisture, aeration and some time. You may find it difficult to come up with several pounds of worm castings if you compost with worms on a smaller scale, but you can always add what castings you have to some store bought compost fore better results!

Materials you will need include:

  • Large Bucket
  • Aquarium Pump
  • A few pounds of compost
  • A few gallons of water
  • A few feet of aquarium hose

Instructions

Once you have all the supplies ready for the brewing process, fill your bucket with water. If you are using tap water, let the bucket sit full with water for a day or two to get rid of the chlorine. Chlorine would prevent micro-organisms in the compost from developing and multiplying.
Next, dump good quality compost in the bucket. You are going to want to let the compost sit in a container or “sachet” much like you would when brewing the typical tea you drink.
After that is all set up, install your pump to begin the brewing process. The pump will need to release oxygen through the bottom of the bucket throughout the solution for about 24 hours. After a while you will notice foam building up at the surface which indicates that good things are happening. At the end of the 24 hour period, you’ll end up with a biologically rich, thick, frothy brew that contains loads of nutrients, bacteria, fungi nematodes and protozoans for your plants!
Some compost tea brewers out there recommend adding a little molasses into the mix because it will help boost bacteria, which greatly benefits grasses and other plants. Other additives you might consider are fish oil and liquid seaweed which are known to boost fungal growth. Fungal activity is especially beneficial for larger plants like shrubs and trees.

The best part about this process is that nothing goes to waste in the end. You can use your left over compost to spread around in your garden!

How To Apply Compost Tea

The application of compost tea is super simple. You can either spray it directly onto foliage or soak it into the soil. Some people spray it onto their lawns and report good, healthy results.
While the idea of brewing composting tea is well known, few people actually do it. If you have done it yourself, we’d love to hear about your experiences and the results!
Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm is a vermicomposting company located in the U.S.

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