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July 2012
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What is a Compost tea? How is it made? What are the advantages of Compost Tea?

What is Compost Tea?

• Compost tea is a liquid extract or a dissolved solution but not simply a suspension of compost.
• It is made by steeping compost in water for 3–7 days.
• It was discovered in Germany.
• It became a practice to suppress foliar fungal diseases.
• This is done by nature of the bacterial competition, suppression, antibiosis on the leaf surface (phyllosphere).
• It has also been used as a fertilizer.
• Lab tests show it is very weak in nutrients with less than 100ppm of available nitrogen and potassium.
• Other salts present in the tea solution are sodium, chlorides and sulfates.
• The extract is applied as a spray to non-edible plant parts such as seedlings, or as a soil-drench (root dip), or as a surface spray.
• This is to reduce incidence of harmful phytopathogenic fungi in the phyllosphere.

Advantages of Compost tea

• Increases plant growth.
• Provides nutrients to plants and soil.
• Provides beneficial organisms.
• Helps to suppress diseases.
• Replaces toxic garden chemicals.

How to make compost tea?

• Compost tea is easily made by soaking or steeping compost in water.
• The resulting compost tea is used for either a foliar application which is sprayed on the leaves.
• It can be applied to the soil.
• Compost is a wonderful addition to soil which helps the gardens grow better.
• By using compost tea to replace chemical-based fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides, the garden is safer and more protective of the environment.

Supplies needed:
• 2 – 5 gallon buckets
• 1 gallon mature compost
• 1 aquarium pump
• 1 gang valve (to divide the air supply into several streams)
• 4 gallons of water
• 3 feet + of aquarium hose
• Unsulfured molasses

• Attach 3 separate pieces of hose at least 12″ long to the gang valve.
• Place the gang valve onto the bucket and make sure the hoses reach the bottom of the bucket.
• Add your finished compost and make sure the ends of the hoses are covered.
• Add the water, filling the bucket to within 6 inches of the top.
• Add 1 once of unsulfured molasses to provide a food source for the beneficial microorganisms.
• Turn on the aquarium pump and let the mixture brew for 2-3 days.
• Stir the brew occasionally to help mix the compost.
• Separate the microorganisms from the solid compost particles.
• After brewing the mixture, strain the tea.
• Use cheesecloth and strain the tea/compost mixture into another bucket.
• The tea should smell sweet and earthy.
• Apply the compost tea to flower and vegetable plants immediately.
• The beneficial microbes will begin to die shortly after the air source is removed.
• Sprinkle the compost tea onto the foliage and the soil around each plant.
• The tea will provide nutrients and an energy boost to your garden plants.
• Apply compost tea every two weeks to your garden.

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