What Is Compost Tea?
Before we discover the easy tea compost recipe you can make at home, let’s first understand what Compost tea means. It is the cloudy but nutrient-rich watery runoff produced by the decomposition of organic matter. True compost tea contains all the living things that were present in the compost prior to brewing. At the same time, brewed water extracts should also contain soluble nutrients from compost. It is great for fertilizing seedlings because it provides nitrogen in a low enough ratio that it won’t burn the seedlings. In fact, this fertilizing mix serves as a natural garden tonic. Indeed, most gardeners and compost tea makers widely used this method for centuries.
Moreover, with compost tea, you can inoculate a nutrient solution with the beneficial microbes found in well-stabilized compost. You can make compost tea on demand by creating a compost pile in a trash can or tumbler, then flushing the water and collecting what comes out of the bottom. In fact, there are various recipes for making compost tea. However, the simplest tea compost recipe is the best because they are easier to deal with. To make quality compost tea that benefits your garden, you need to get many factors right.
Can You Compost Tea Bags?
Are tea bags good for your compost? Yes, to some extent. Most of us love to have our tea every day. And it is great to know that our gardens can enjoy the organic scraps of these drinks too. Undoubtedly, tea leaves are a great addition to your compost. However, you need to understand that not all tea bags are equal in creation. Some tea bags are plastic or most of them contain very small amounts of plastic. Other varieties of cotton length. And a label that may take longer to compost. Moreover, paper tea bags are safe to compost. You need to consider a tea compost recipe before jumping into consideration.
Furthermore, all gardens benefit from composting. And making compost tea breaks down the compost ingredients while providing water. Composted tea bags and used tea leaves are great as soil fertilizers for plants. It promotes growth and provides plants with all important nutrients. It is also a good substitute for chemical fertilizers. Tea bags increase drainage, help retain moisture, promote microbial growth, and benefit soil nutrition. Additionally, tea leaves, coffee grounds, and other kitchen vegetable scraps are a valuable addition to composting. Their use also avoids the collection and disposal of unnecessary waste. In fact, it is also very environmentally friendly.
The Benefits Of Compost Tea?
- Add extra nutrients to your soil.
- A good substitute for chemical fertilizers.
- A plant disease inhibitor rich in bioactive compounds.
- Plant nutrients are absorbed directly through plant roots.
- It’s a microbial inoculant that improves your soil food web.
- Beneficial organisms that boost the immune system of plants.
- It has the potential to increase the number of microorganisms in the soil.
- Improves soil water retention; this reduces the need for frequent watering.
- Better plant growth in the form of better-tasting vegetables, larger shoots, and greener leaves.
- Tea bags and coffee grounds are considered green materials that have higher nitrogen when composted.
- Tea bags increase drainage, help retain moisture, promote microbial growth, and benefit soil nutrition.
- Tea leaves are naturally rich in nutrients like potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen, which help balance the carbon-rich substances in compost.
Easy DIY Tea Compost Recipe
Things You Will Need:
- Tea leaves
- 1-2 cups of inoculant
- Non-chlorinated water
- ¼ – ½ cup of food source for bacteria or fungi
- A compost bucket
- A compost cultivator
How To Start?
- ) If you are using tea bags as fertilizer, either in a compost bin or near plants, first try to determine if the bags themselves are compostable.
- ) Take a large bucket, fill it 1/3 full with finished compost, then fill it 2/3 full with water.
- ) Keep it for 3-4 days.
- ) Squeeze it so you have only the liquid.
- ) Look at the color of the liquid. Add water to give the tea light color.
- ) Put it in a spray container or pitcher and pour it over the plants according to the directions for using tea compost.
Things To Consider In Tea Composting
- Remove plastic tea bags because they are not biodegradable. So these are generally best avoided, although opening the pods to remove the tea leaves is an option. You can usually tell if a tea bag is made of plastic just by looking at it. If the material looks shiny, it’s probably nylon. If it looks darker, it’s probably paper.
- Use well water or rainwater. Chlorinated water kills your nutrients and good bacteria. However, it depends on the availability you have. If your only option is to use City water, then you can put the water in a bucket and let it sit for 24 hours before adding the compost bag. This allows the chlorine gas to evaporate.
- If your composted tea smells stinky, then it is not getting enough oxygen. Make sure to constantly aerate them with your gardening tools.
- You can also put some sweeteners like honey or brown sugar. This will nourish your bacteria and fungi to create more nutrients for your plants.
- Avoid using fresh manure. It is high in nitrates, which can burn your plants. Additionally, it may contain pathogens that are unwanted to your garden.
The Countless Opportunities You Might Have In Tea Composting
To sum it up, while there are countless ways to make composted tea, basically all teas start by mixing compost in water to extract necessary plant nutrients and useful microorganisms. It has been used for centuries because of its effectiveness. It is a balanced and nutrient-rich component that you can make by brewing compost in water. The good thing about tea composting is that you can develop and fine-tune it to get the particular component needed for your plants.
Moreover, you can think of compost tea as a vitamin for your plants. And by applying it to your plants, you can reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides, and ultimately reduce the cost of keeping your plants healthy. Undoubtedly, with the right tools and components, just about anyone with good organizational skills can make compost tea.
Do you have another recipe for compost tea in mind? You can give us your thoughts and comment down below!