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Basic Vegetative-Health Boost Compost Tea Instructions

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This article is all about how to make compost teas and will explain why these teas are fast becoming the best way forward when trying to achieve outstanding organic results for your garden.

Great example of a well aerated compost tea.

What is a compost tea? Quite simply, it is a liquid, nutritionally rich, well-balanced, organic supplement made by steeping aged compost in water. Steeping is the easier way to make compost tea, as no pumps are required for steeping, but we will concentrate on aerated teas as the benefits of bubbling or aerating your teas are immense.
The benefits of this amazing organic concoction are varied as well as outstanding. Now without going into too much detail, we should look at these brews or teas the same as what we ingest for our productive biology. Meaning when humans digest biotic and organic foods and bacteria this helps our digestive system to process with all the food we digest. Plants and people are quite similar biologically. Both species need air, water, and the sun, so if you look at compost teas as a super beneficial pro biotic drink for your plants you will understand more clearly why we even bother to brew teas. Teas can also be used as a foliar spray too; but we will look into this aspect further in.
So we want to make a drink for our plants that is rich in microorganisms that are highly beneficial to your plants' growth and health let alone the additional aspects of mycorrhizae. Compost tea and its benefits are amazing, for it also acts as a very mild, organic liquid fertiliser that can be added anytime when required.

Always leave adequate brewing space for your teas bubbles.

Making your aerated compost tea is quite easy but you will need a few items:

1) Firstly depending on how many litres you wish to make will depend on the size of bucket or container used. Your compost tea will expand and bacteria will multiply in foam or bubble form so bare this in mind. So if you want to make 10 litres make sure your bucket is at least 20L, as you will otherwise encourage spillage and mess. (Picking the correct container size is important, as your compost tea will expand as bacteria multiplies creating a rich foamy froth of bubbles at the top of the container, do bare this in mind especially if your brewing your tea indoors.)
2) Next you will need an air pump some airline and a diffuser or air stone. The size of airs stones diffusers or size of pump solely depends on how much tea you want to make and remember the more air the better. The V20 Hailea air pump is ideal to begin with and may only require one air stone if you’re on a budget. (The size of the air stones, diffusers and pump size is determined by the volume of tea you wish to make.)
A good organic quality molasses is vital for your compost tea. This is literally the food source for your microbes and bacteria. Dragonfly Earth Medicine Europe produces an excellent organic molasses alternatively there is Humboldt Honey ES which comes with a few more added beneficial additives.
Worm humus or worm compost is the next crucial ingredient. There are many types and grades of worm humus, so look out for rich and dark humus is usually the most sought after and of course the fresher the better. If your sack of worm humus has actual worms in it, is a great sign!
Now this is usually all you need to make your basic compost tea. However to give it more activity meaning more beneficial organisms we strongly recommend adding to the tea some extra microbes, bacteria and mycorrhizae fungi. This is easily done by obtaining one of many brands available on the market and not a lot is required; so you don’t have to break the bank, by adding a pinch or teaspoon of Great White powder or Lush Roots which both inoculate the friendly good bacteria characters that we want in our compost tea is personally a must.
Finally but far from least is the actual water you use. You can NOT use water straight from the tap as this water has too much chlorine in it and will not allow your bacteria to grow. You will be wasting your time and money. So if you have no access to nature’s liquid gold or AKA rain water, then you can use filtered water or reverse osmosis water. Failing all of these, you can use tap water but you must either let it sit for 10-12 hours or you can speed up the de-chlorinating of the tap water by using your pump and simply aerating the water you’re going to use for 2 hours instead of 12 hours.

Step by step for 10L tea brew:
1. Fill your 20L container/bucket with your 10L of de-chlorinated water.
2. Place your air stone (which is attached to your air line and then to your air pump) into your water and turn on your pump.
3. Add approximately two heaped handfuls of worm humus directly into the water.
4. Add approximately 2-4 Dessert spoons of molasses into the water.
5. Add a tea spoon of your beneficial bacteria’s. I.e. Great White, Lush Roots.
6. Leave the bucket bubbling in a warm temperature, 55°- 85°F degrees (12C-26C) at the cold end of this temp range to process will take longer and the upper range is more preferred. But use 12 hours mark as the minimum for brewing. (Bubbling aerating.)
7. Lastly cover your container limiting the light that gets to it, but remember to leave it ajar as the microbes need fresh air too.
8. After 12 hours of brewing you should be left with a great earthy smelling liquid that resembles the picture attached.

You can always innovate and add more air more air stones etc.

Now that your tea has been made, the sooner you use it the better, because as soon as you stop aerating the numbers of good bacteria’s will diminish quickly so try to use your tea with half an hour of switching your pump off.
Lastly in this instalment on introductory compost teas, as stated previously, compost teas can also be used as a foliar spray. Two things to remember here, firstly do NOT use compost teas containing any manure (worm humus is fine) as a foliar. Teas containing guano horse cow or chicken manure are usually used for bloom and flowering stages of your plants growth. So remember foliar teas must be for Vegetative use. Secondly open up your sprayer nozzle when applying, because the finer the spray the more chance you will disintegrate the bacteria and microbes you’ve just brewed. You want as little harm to come to the little microscopic blighters, so give them a hand and you will reap the obviously and visible benefits.