I’m not talking about earl gray or green tea. And the only fancy hat will be my gardening hat, which really isn’t fancy at all. But your plants will be very happy that you have thought so much of them. I’m talking about a compost tea party. Whether you make it from your composted plant material or from your worm castings, compost tea will give your plants the extra nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy.
The reason we compost is so the dead plant material will break down to a form that living plants can use. This process releases all the minerals that helped grow the now dead plants. Composting is natures original recycler, turning old plants into food for new ones, improving the soils structure. Whether we put it in a bin or in a pile the organic matter will eventually break down and become compost. Or we can put a few earthworms into this bin and voila we have vermicomposting. We let those busy little earthworms chew it up and…well…turn it into worm castings (a more delicate word for worm poop). Worm casting are one of the best fertilizers for your plants. It is like probiotics for the soil. You can then just dig this compost or worm casting right into your soil or top dress next to your plants.
OK, you can put compost right into your garden. Why make tea then? Wouldn’t it be great to give your plants a little extra nutrients every time you water them? Or what if you have a plant that is in need of a little extra care? These are both great times to use compost tea. How about your house plants. You can give them a nice boost every time you water, without hauling in the compost. You can also make it into a foliar spray. The leaves can take in the good stuff even quicker than the roots can. And in the ground some of the nutrients will just get washed away.
There are many schools of thought on this. You can:
All of these will give your plants an added boost of nutrients. The aerated brewer is supposed to increase the microbial activity significantly, but it also takes longer, requires more equipment and electricity. So use which ever method you prefer to make your garden tea.
You can use your tea both to soak the soil and as as a foliar spray. To spray you will want to strain your tea to remove anything that will clog your sprayer. You should fertilize and water your plants in the early morning, before the heat of the day stresses your plants, and in time for the plants to be able to dry out. The longer your plants stay wet the more chance for fungus to grow.
Compost Tea is a very mild fertilizer that provides nutrients, improves pest and disease resistance and reduces plant stress. It doesn’t burn your plants like many other fertilizers can. So throw your plants a tea party today. They will thank you with strong vigorous growth.
Happy Gardening, and Have A Ducky Day!
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