So you've been gardening for quite some time and your garden is coming along nicely but has not turned out as grand as you would like. You may already use manure and fertilizer to help you produce a bigger and quicker harvest but sometimes a regular fertilizer is not enough.
Making a compost tea can really help speed up vegetable/fruit growth and produce a bigger crop for harvest. A basic compost tea is made up from adding compost to water and using aeration to breed bacteria that are beneficial to plants.
Compost Tea Benefits
The benefits of using a compost tea on your garden are
- Increased Harvest
- Larger produce
- Help plants resist disease and pests
- Used by many professional gardeners to grow Guinness book of records size pumpkins and other giant vegetables.
Compost Tea Recipe - How to make Compost Tea
So now for a compost tea recipe that I currently used and have success with
- A Bucket ( size depending on how much compost tea you plan to make)
- Aeration Device ( simple aquarium air pump will work fine , used to force air into the mixture)
- 9 Litres of Water
- 1-2 Cups of homemade or bought compost
- 2 capfuls of seaweed fertilizer
- 2 capfuls of fish emulsion
- 2 capfuls of liquid humic acid
- 3-4 tablespoons of Molasses
1. Fill the Bucket with water and setup your air pump
2. Add Compost to the water and mix
3. Add all other ingredients, make sure to mix the molasses in properly as it can easily get stuck to one side.
To grow the beneficial bacteria try to ensure the water temperature is not too cold as hotter temperatures will ensure larger bacteria growth.
Let the compost tea mixture aerate for around 12 to 24 hours before using it on your garden. Some people have known to let it aerate for about 36 hours but any longer than that and a lot of the beneficial bacteria will die off.
Using your compost Tea
To use your compost tea on your garden mix 5 parts water with 1 part compost tea. Ensure the water you use has all chlorine removed as this will instantly kill any bacteria you have worked hard to make. The simplest way to remove the chlorine is to let the water sit outside in the sun for 24 hours otherwise aerating the water or adding chlorine remover will work just fine.
The importance of each ingredient to make Compost Tea
Molasses - The Molasses works as a food source for the bacteria and has added benefits as Molasses has the ability to turn the vitamins and minerals into a form that is easily absorbed by the plants. Any simple sugar source will work fine to feed the bacteria , many people use basic sugar, glucose or honey.
Humic Acid - probably the most important ingredient that will add extra benefit to your compost tea. Humic acid is the end product of decomposing organic compounds and is extremely effective at increasing plant size and fruit production.
Humic acid is said to increase the plants cell structure and give the plants the ability to absorb more water and nutrients. This is why so many people who grow giant vegetables will always have a high quality humic acid in there compost tea. I currently use a liquid compost tea as the really high quality humic acids (humates) can be extremely expensive.
Fish Emulsifier / Seaweed Fertilizer - Provides many essential vitamins and minerals for the plant as well as nitrogen , phosphorus and potassium.
Have fun :)
Goodluck with your gardens everyone and have fun experimenting with your own compost tea concoction,you see making compost tea can be great fun:P until next time:)
greenthumb on November 01, 2011:
Bio-dynamic macro oils are critical to aide humic tea decomp process
GracieLake from Arizona on May 28, 2011:
What a great idea. Once I get enough compost going I will give this a try.
joebob on May 18, 2010:
receipe for 100 gals of compost tea with cow manure
expectus (author) from Land Downunder on May 08, 2010:
just a little bit should be ok, as you don't want to kill the benefical bacteria
cathy on May 08, 2010:
can i use 20 0 0 liquid fertilizer in compost tea
expectus (author) from Land Downunder on April 10, 2010:
I bought some from a local nursery but you should be able to buy it online, avoid the liquid humic acid and go for the powder its much better bang for your buck
carson on April 03, 2010:
were do i buy humic acid and kelp meal ? im in canada ont can find it ?
expectus (author) from Land Downunder on January 20, 2010:
thanks for the comment exinco , I may make another hub about it, its actually very simply just mix water with all sorts of nutrients good for plants and aerate it with an air pump:)
exinco from Malaysia on January 18, 2010:
hi, you have good sharing. unfortunately i'm noob. i start my vermicompost in September 2009. Compost tea is new to me. I hope that you post another hub regarding Compost tea or send me a message on how to make it.
expectus (author) from Land Downunder on June 22, 2009:
thanks for the comment:) its great fun making it too can't wait to get back into it once i'm out of these colder months