Compost tea is a hot topic during the gardening season. Pumping air through a mixture of compost and water will draw the aerobic microbes on the compost into the mixture for ease of spreading on your garden and lawn. With the right ingredients, and a good brewer, compost tea is easy to make to promote soil and plant health.
Making it: Using non-chlorinated water, good quality compost and microbe food, pump air through the mixture for 24-48 hours. Once the brewing is complete, it should be used within six hours to ensure the undesirable anaerobic microbes don’t take over. The tea can be used as is, or diluted to cover as much area as possible.
The science: Pushing the air mixes the microbes from the compost into the water, where they flourish on oxygen and microbe food. Steeped tea (no air bubbles) may not sufficiently activate aerobic microbes, and anaerobic microbes could proliferate, creating an ineffective compost tea.
Benefits of using compost tea:
· Spray it directly on plant leaves to protect them from disease;
· A little goes a long way, tea can cover a larger area than the same amount of compost on it’s own;
· Your soil will love the extra microbes
For more information about compost tea or to purchase a brewer visit
The Organic Gardener’s Pantry (www.gardenerspantry.ca) or Smiling Gardener (www.smilinggardener.com)