Boost Flowers and Veggies Naturally: Make Your Own Compost Tea

I want to share a little gardening gem that has truly transformed our green space: compost tea. I learned this method from our friend @deannacat3 a few years ago, and now I can’t imagine gardening without it. It’s an eco-friendly solution that recycles compost and unchlorinated or rainwater, making it a win-win for your garden and the environment.

Why Compost Tea?

Compost tea is a great way to use up your homemade compost while also improving the health of your plants. By brewing compost tea, you create a concentrated solution rich in beneficial microbes that promote plant nutrient absorption, and soil moisture retention, and eliminate the need for artificial fertilizers.

My Secret Ingredient: Worm Castings

The secret to my compost tea is worm castings from my worm farm. These little ones are awesome! Worm castings are simply worm feces, but don’t let that put you off – they’re fantastic for your plants. When added to a pail of unchlorinated water, combined with a food supply like molasses, the beneficial bacteria in the castings reproduce rapidly. What was the result? A nutrient-dense brew that your plants will love.

Fun fact: worms left in the worm castings do not die in the bucket. They breathe through their skin and may subsist on oxygen from the water. So you don’t have to worry about injuring your worms when brewing compost tea.

How to Harvest Worm Castings

To collect worm casting, open your box and allow 10 minutes for the worms to bury themselves deep. You can then scoop out the top layer without risking to get the worms. There are other ways to do this but this is what I do!

DIY Compost Tea Recipe

  1. Construct a square frame using timber and a hand saw. Attach wire mesh to the frame with staples to create a DIY sifter.
  2. Use your sifter to collect and sift worm castings from your worm farm. Remember to wait until the worms have hidden away.
  3. Place the sifted worm castings into a nylon sack. Add this sack to a bucket filled with unchlorinated water.
  4. Set up an air pump and place an air stone in the water. This ensures that the beneficial microorganisms have plenty of oxygen to thrive.
  5. Let the compost bag steep in the water for 12-24 hours. During this time, the microorganisms will multiply, creating a powerful brew.
  6. After brewing, remove the compost bag and use the tea to water your plants.

Benefits of Compost Tea

  • Improved Nutrient Absorption: The beneficial microorganisms in compost tea help plants absorb nutrients more efficiently, leading to healthier, more robust growth.
  • Enhanced Soil Moisture Retention: Compost tea improves the soil’s ability to retain moisture, reducing the need for frequent watering.
  • Reduced Fertilizer Usage: With compost tea, you can cut down on chemical fertilizers, promoting a more natural and sustainable gardening approach.

Making compost tea has transformed our garden. It’s simple, cost-effective, and extremely beneficial to plant health. It also feels wonderful to know that I’m utilizing a natural, environmentally friendly solution. Give it a shot, and I’m confident you’ll be as hooked as I am!

Happy gardening!