How to compost tea

Tea compost or compost tea is a method of brewing a sort of tea like substance that's great for your garden plants and soil.

I only came by this wonderful method of enhancing you're garden with this organic compost tea just a few years ago. But I've been using it regularly ever since!

Some of you may be wondering, what is compost tea? Well compost tea consists of mostly organic compost, other ingredients and water. Yep, that's it!

While this may seem a bit silly at first (Why wouldn't you just use the organic compost as it is?!). Well, the benefits of compost tea are so remarkable it's definitely worth the effort.

Benefits of compost tea


  • Assists plants with disease prevention and protection 
  • Increases the amount of beneficial organisms within soil
  • Completely natural, safe and organic
  • Very simple and easy to get going
  • Helps to create strong, healthy plants

You might be thinking... "This sounds great! How do I get started?!" Well you'll need some simple things beforehand. Here's a little list!

  • Bucket. 5 gallon should be plenty. Although it depends on how big your plot or garden is!
  • Air pump. You will want a fairly powerful one (At least two outlets! Three is best.)
  • Air stones. To go with your pump! and the necessary tubes for connecting 'em up!
  • Stick. For mixing and stirring!
  • Rain water. You can use household water although you will have to let it set for a while to remove the chlorine. (At least 72 hours).
  • Some organic compost (Make sure it's well composted!), or worm tea.

You will want to begin by filling your bucket almost all the way with water. Then, place your air stones into  your bucket, arrange them so they're evening distributing air. Connect them up to the air pump and turn it on!

It's best to keep it on a high setting, the more bubbles the better!

Let that sit for a about an hour, just to allow the water to become aerated properly. If using tap water remember to leave for a good while to remove all the chlorine! If chlorine is still present within your water when you try to make tea it will actually kill the beneficial organisms as well as the bad ones!

While that's bubbling away you should get your compost ready. Any organic homemade stuff is great! Try to avoid the stuff you buy at garden centers. That won't make very good plant tea.

After the water in your bucket has been aerating for a while. It's time to get brewing!

Simply pour some of your organic compost into the bucket (Not to much though, only about enough to cover the floor of the bucket). Give that a stir for a few minutes, turn up your air pump to it's highest setting and return every few hours if possible to give it a stir. Besides that just let it brew!

The tea should be ready within about 24 hours. Any longer than that and it may start going off. You will want to use the plant tea when it's at it's maximum and is absolutely teeming with beneficial organisms.

Be sure to use the tea, as you would when watering regularly, within 3-7 hours of it being finished. Any longer and it will be pretty much dead pond water.

Extra tips 

  • Your plant tea should not smell foul! If it smells foul discard it!
  • It will be more beneficial if you can give your brewing plant tea a stir every few hours! 
  • Try to keep your compost tea at a fairly high temperature. This will help the microorganisms multiply!
  • You can also use the compost tea as a spray on your plants foliage
  • Another thing you can do is buy a worm composting system which allows for worm tea run off and use that to brew plant tea!
  • Compost tea is no substitute for using good compost on your garden! It is not a fertilizer! It just aids in boosting microorganisms activity!

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