Compost tea constitutes a healthy sippy diet for your plants. As a gardener, you can convert your kitchen waste to a rich compost to improve both indoor and outdoor plants.
With the right compost tea feeding schedule, you can provide your plants with all the nutrition they need to grow. Imagine not having to worry about your yield at the end of the growing season.
While compost tea is useful in the garden, not all gardeners are familiar with how best to prepare or use compost tea in the garden. If you are one such gardener, you are in the right place. You can read up more about compost tea and the best feeding schedule for your plants below.
What is Compost Tea?
The simplest way to define compost tea is the result of soaking a bag of compost in water. You can imagine soaking your tea bag in a cup of boiling water; it is the same thing.
There are several ways to go about making compost tea, but all of them involve transferring the nutrient from the compost to the water. Just like with your morning tea, to get the nutrient in the bag, you have to soak it in water. So the two things you need to make compost tea is compost and water.
Most gardeners have their brewing methods depending on the plant. It is one of the benefits of compost tea; you can experiment with it to find what works best in your garden.
If you have an indoor garden, or you make compost tea frequently, you may consider getting some gears to help make things easier.
How to Make Compost Tea?
Making compost tea is as easy as diluting fresh compost mix in water. Introducing air in the mix improves the concentration of organic matter. Aerobic compost tea is rich in nutrition than with oxygen in the mix. With oxygen in the mix, the microbial solution in the soil increases, which further enhances the plant’s immune system.
The aeration process is the most important aspect of brewing compost tea. Most gardeners get the process wrong which can harm the plants, and make the compost tea to stink. Your best bet is to keep the compost tea aerated until you are ready to make use of it.
You can make use of an airline to aerate your compost tea. Removing the airline will cause the microbes in the mix to die.
A compost brewing unit is a suitable gear for making rich compost tea. You can liken it to a coffee machine. You can save yourself the stress of making compost tea by purchasing a small unit for your plants. Breaking down oxygen is a lot easier with a brewer. You can make use of airstones with the brewer to ensure oxygen is available for microbial activity.
Before Applying Compost Tea
Your compost tea should be ready for use from the third day after soaking it. For the best result, you should soak your compost for a week. You will need to allow up to seven days for the compost to dissolve in water.
After you are satisfied that the compost tea is ready, you will have to remove the debris from the compost tea. You can do this by using a cloth to strain the tea. You will have to do this if you intend to make use of a foliar spray.
Applying Compost Tea
There are different methods you can adopt to apply compost tea to your plants. You have to try a few of the methods to find one that works well with you. The best way to apply compost tea is by:
The simplest way to apply compost tea is with the help of a foliar spray. Spraying your leaves with compost tea is a quick way to accelerate the nutrient supply to your plants.
You can also spray it directly to the roots of the plant. If you make use of a watering can, you can get the compost tea to reach both the leaves and root. It doesn’t matter what you use in spraying your plants, so long as you can get the compost tea to reach all parts of the plant.
Best Time to Apply Compost Tea
When is the best time to have a cup of coffee? In the mornings, right? So also it is with your plants. You should apply compost tea in the mornings before the sun is high in the sky. The compost tea needs to be absorbed by the plants and the soil. And the best time to feed your plants is in the morning before the sun is hot. Applying your compost tea in the afternoon when the sun is out will cause some of the tea to evaporate in the heat.
You can also apply compost in the evenings when the temperature is below 80 degrees. You also want to avoid applying compost tea when it is windy. High winds are capable of drying up moisture, thereby reducing the nutrients available for your plant.
You should apply compost tea weekly for the best result. You may need to make it twice a week on the newly transplanted bed to improve the nutrient condition of the growing medium.
In most cases, you can apply compost tea directly without having to dilute it further with water. If you make use of manure as compost material, you should avoid adding too much compost tea to your plants. Manure is high in nitrogen, and this can alter the nitrogen level of the compost tea.
The type of compost used determines how rich the compost tea will be, so you must make use of compost with rich organic matter. You should be careful with the mineral concentration of your compost tea. Remember, too much nitrogen in your compost tea, for example, can burn your plants.
You also want to avoid using chlorinated water for compost tea. You should also avoid adding slake lime to your water.
Now that you are familiar with the compost tea feeding schedule above, you shouldn’t have a hard time preparing a quick fix for your plants.