Guest blog by Ann Katelyn. Visit her website at sumogardener.com Are you planning on creating your own compost at home? Did you know that you can create compost tea? The information provided below should point you in the right direction to create some decent compost tea. Compost tea is an ideal modern organic fertilizer. This is largely due to the minerals and nutrients that it can provide your plants. It will also help encourage the growth of certain microorganisms that are beneficial for them. For people who don’t know, compost is made out of organic waste, which is then converted into a soil rich in nutrients. Another benefit of compost tea is that it will help ensure your garden grows healthier and disease free plants. Creating compost tea is a simple and easy task to do since the only ingredients that you need are water and compost.
Recipe for Compost Tea
Gathering Brown and Green Materials
Both carbon-rich brown materials and nitrogen-rich green materials are needed to create compost. Brown materials include dry or dead leaves (and other parts of the plant), wood ash, garden debris, and wood chips. Green ones are generally leaves, grass, vegetable wastes, and scraps and peels of fruits.
Mixing Brown and Green Materials
To create compost, you need to mix at least two parts brown materials with one part green materials. You need to break all these materials into small parts, then add some soil from your garden. Once you are done, start adding water to moisten the mixture.
Adding Water to the Compost
It is a good idea to add water to the compost once in a while to ensure that you are maintaining the moisture level it needs. Just make sure not to overdo it. Also remember to add kitchen waste and dry leaves once in awhile. The compost should be ready in as little as 3 months and will last as long as 1 year.
Filling the Container with Compost
Get a 5-gallon container (or the appropriate size for your compost). Once you have the container, start filling it with water and compost. Gathering rainwater for your compost is ideal, since it doesn't contain any chemicals, unlike tap water. Make sure that there is still space in the top part of your container to quickly mix everything without spilling any liquid. You can also add some unsulfured molasses, as this will make the compost an ideal environment for beneficial microorganisms. After adding the mixture, place the container in a warm area away from direct sunlight. It's useful mixing things up a few times a day.
Straining the Compost Mixture
On the 4th or 5th day of the compost mixture, start straining it with cheesecloth or another porous material. The materials that are solid will remain on top of the cloth and should be returned to the compost bin or pile that you have. Once you are done, start diluting the compost tea. It is now ready for you to use as fertilizer for the plants in your garden. You may also sprinkle some on the leaves to check for diseases. Compost tea can be used once every couple of weeks. Wrapping Things Up That's all the information you need to create your own compost tea. This organic fertilizer will help ensure that your plants get the nutrition they need for healthy growth. Always keep in mind that your compost tea should emit an earthy smell. If it doesn’t, definitely don't use it for your plants. Also make sure to get rid of maggots in compost as soon as you start noticing them, so as to avoid them invading your fertilizer.