It’s no secret that compost is the number one thing you can do to your garden to grow healthy plants that produce an abundance of vegetables. When planting the spring garden, it’s important that whether you planting seeds or plants, they need adequate water and consistent moisture in or to germinate (seeds) or to establish strong healthy roots (plants).
Rather than using simple water, I accidentally let Mother Nature create compost tea for me over this past winter. After building the 15 new beds last fall and hauling in aged cow manure, compost and garden soil. I did have some manure left over, so instead of exposing it to the elements and allowing it to just “go away”, I wanted to store it. I placed it into 20 gallon tote with a lid and left it sitting outside. Over the winter, the lid slipped and rain water continued to pour into the tote. I just left it sitting and as a result, this spring I had a tote full of compost tea for planting / fertilizing.
I did have lots of mosquito larva in as well, so I had to work quickly to use it up. I couldn’t stand the thoughts of just dumping it out. So this is what’s left in the bottom, its not pretty to look at but the garden LOVES it deeply. I will say that I did go ahead and dump the left over, mosquitos were getting out of hand. If you want to store compost tea, make sure the container is well sealed to keep out unwanted critters.
You can make your own compost tea very easily and it doesn’t take all winter to do so.
5 gallon bucket
1 shovel-scoop of quality aged manure, finished compost, or worm castings (I used manure)
Non-chlorinated water (rain water is best)
(If you must use chlorinated water, fill a separate 5-gallon with water and allow to sit for 2-3 days to allow the chlorine to evaporate)
1. Dump a shovel of aged manure OR finished compost into the five gallon bucket. Fill the rest of the way up with the non-chlorinated water.
2. Stir well with the shovel and set aside for about a week or so. Keep it stirred 2-3 times a day.
Finished tea can be sprayed directly onto the plants themselves or used to drench the soil. If you plan to spray this on your plants, you will need to strain the tea first before putting it into the sprayer. (I choose to put directly into the soil-much easier) If tea is really dark, you can add additional water to dilute it some.
When putting your seed/plants into the ground, pour a portion into the hole or in the row and then plant.
What’s your thoughts on compost tea, do you use it? Feel free to leave comments.