Compost Tea

There are many ways to compost organic materials to enrich your garden in an organic way!
I love that I don’t have to throw kitchen scraps and grass clippings in the weekly trash bin. Why not re-use your scraps for your benefit and keep waste out of the landfill!

I separate kitchen scraps from coffee grounds and egg shells. The kitchen scraps go in the compost pile or the trench. The coffee grounds I place directly on top of the soil in my garden. Did you know you can get used coffee grounds from the coffee shops around town (for free, of course). Coffee grounds may be a deterrent to some insects and so, summer or winter, I spread the grounds on the ground.
Here is a reliable source of information on coffee grounds, Gardeners (including myself) promote a lot of ideas and old wisdom that just might be folklore, not based on fact!

The egg shells, I save and allow the shells to dry out and then crush them and spread them on the ground. These MIGHT be a deterrent to snails and slugs. I really have not seen any studies done on this, so I am hesitant to say it works. But, I use them anyway, because if they don't deter the snails, as they break down, they do add nutrients to the soil.

Here is how I make compost tea:

1. 5 gallon bucket
2. Old t-shirt, cut into a tube and one end sewn shut
3. Compost placed into the t-shirt and suspended in a bucket of non-chlorinated water.
4. Wait for 2 days
5. Pour onto the plants.
6. Throw the used compost from the tea bag back into the pile and start over with a fresh batch!

Use caution! Once, I used old manure to make compost tea and then watered plant leaves. In a few days, those leaves were burned!
This time, I am going to water the soil.
Don't water plant leaves with compost tea on a hot sunny day- its just a good precaution.

Modified old t-shirt for a tea bag
Modified old t-shirt for a tea bag

"Tea bag" full of compost
"Tea bag" full of compost

"Tea bag"  brewing compost tea- suspended in the bucket for a couple of days!
"Tea bag" brewing compost tea- suspended in the bucket for a couple of days!

There are some other methods for making compost tea that I have seen on the web - like using an aquarium pump as an aerator, adding fish emulsion and molasses to make the tea more nutritious. I don't know if there are any studies to support these additions, so for now, I am keeping it simple.

Let me know how it works for you. Are you a compost tea user? How do you brew yours?

Published by Vicki

I love gardening and when it comes to vegetables, organic gardening is important to me. I am an Advanced Master Gardener with the University of Idaho, and my favorite garden activity is pruning. When I'm not cutting down plants, you can find me shooting photos on my Canon DSLR or out smashing overheads on the tennis courts.

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