How to Brew Compost Tea (Videos)


Image credit: Growing Wisdom

Whether it's discussing how worm compost suppresses plant disease, or getting a sneak peak at industrial-scale composting, I've talked a lot about both methods and usage of compost here on TreeHugger. But when I posted on a video about making compost extraction, I realized we've barely covered the opportunities for producing liquid plant feeds like compost tea from compost. So I went digging around to see what I could find. Unsurprisingly, there is plenty of material out there on the web for folks who are interested in making or using compost tea. The idea behind this life-giving stuff is to seed our soils with microorganisms like beneficial bacteria, protozoa, fungi and the like. Of course, as I noted in my post on compost being like yogurt for the soil, that's exactly what regular, bulky composts do too (with the added benefit of also providing organic matter to the soil).

Compost tea, on the other hand, provides a method of both making small amounts of biologically active compost go further—and it provides a more instant pick-me-up for young or ailing plants than regular compost.

Anyhow—that's enough on the theory. Here's a quick video on how to brew compost tea from Growing Wisdom:

A Commercially Available Compost Tea Brewer

Readers will note, of course, that there's some not-too-subtle product placement going on—and there may well be a case for purchasing dedicated equipment for making compost tea (I am by no means an expert). But for the DIYers out there, you can also rig up your own set up using a barrel and an aquarium pump:

DIY Compost Tea Brewing

I plan on putting together a more thorough roundup of compost tea brewing methods and usages in the near future—so I would love to hear readers' experiences and recommendations for other resources. It is not, as yet, a field I have direct experience in. But with my dead bees composting nicely, I reckon it's about time to try something different.

More on Composting, Soil Life and Organic Gardening
Compost is Like Yogurt for the Soil - Probiotics in the Garden
How Worm Compost Suppresses Plant Disease
Composting as Animal Husbandry
40 Tons of Life in One Acre of Soil (Video)

Tags: Agriculture | Bacteria | Biodiversity | Composting | Farming | United States

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