DIY: Compost Tea

Compost tea can be used for watering seedlings or established plants. The jury is still out on its benefits, but it said to loosen clay soils, stimulate root growth, and boost overall plant health

Level: easy   Cost: minimal   Use: gardening 
Materials:
bucket
– rain water

large mason jars or other containers with lids

Step 1: In a clean bucket, fill until about 1/3rd full of composted material — either sourced from our your compost pile or purchased.


Step 2: Fill the bucket almost to the top with rain water from your rain barrel or collected in buckets after a storm. Chlorinated water can kill the good beneficial mircrobes in the compost that you are trying to promote.

Step 3: Let it sit for 5-7 days while stirring the compost occasional a few times a day. This is to aerate the mixture. If you want to make it faster, you can run an aquarium pump  or bubbler in it.
Step 4: Next strain the compost with a stainless steel strainer* over a second bucket and then apply the leftover strained compost “pulp” to a garden bed. 

Step 5: Save the strained liquid in an air-tight container. Apply to plantings right away and then every two weeks or so.

Tips: To amp up your compost tea, you can add a few tablespoons of blackstrap molasses, sugar, or liquid kelp/fish fertilizer. You can also throw in chopped-up straw or comfrey. 
*Note: You might want to dedicate that strainer for outdoor use only.
Caution: Don’t drink it – yuck!!!
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This is a monthly blog series on DIY projects for the beginning home gardener. Look for the other installments in this DIY blog series by putting “DIY” in the search box here at washingtongardener.blogspot.com