Excess use of chemical fertilizers depletes the natural nutrients and the microbes from the soil.
Compost tea could return the beneficial microorganisms to the soil. Your garden plants, including the tender seedlings can easily absorb the liquid compost. Compost tea can even double as a natural fungicide, reducing the risk of the harmful fungal attacks on your garden plants.
Compost tea making process
Compost tea could be easily made at home. To make compost tea you need mature compost and water. Good quality mature compost should be used for brewing compost tea. To obtain good quality mature compost, the compost pile should be kept at 135 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit temperature at least for a week. Composts that are at least a year old are best suited for making compost tea.
For every 10 pounds of compost, you need about 10 gallons of water. Place the compost in a large barrel and pour water over it. Do not use chlorinated water for making the compost tea. Chlorine in water could kill the beneficial microbes in the compost.
You can add an ounce of sulfur-free molasses, which is a popular food for beneficial microorganisms. Now stir the compost and water mixture with a stick. Allow the compost tea to brew for at least five days. Stir the mixture at least once a day. After five days, strain the liquid with cheesecloth. The compost tea should have an earthy odor.
A foul scented compost tea should not be used for fertilizing plants. It should be returned to the compost pile and the compost tea brewing process should be repeated.
Use the compost tea immediately to fertilize your garden plants. If you keep the compost tea aside for a long time, the beneficial microorganisms might die.
Dos and don’ts about compost tea
You can pour the compost tea directly on the soil or you can spray the fertilizer on the plants. You can use compost tea for fertilizing your plants at least once a week. However, stop fertilizing vegetables three weeks before their harvest date.