DIY Compost Tea Spray
Brewing compost tea is a great way to create a homemade liquid fertilizer that will provide your plants with vital nutrients and beneficial bacteria to help suppress fungal diseases and support seedling growth.
You Will Need:
- 1 pound of mature compost
- 2 tablespoons organic unsulfured molasses, no preservatives
- 4 gallons of water
- 5 gallon bucket
- Nylon stocking
- Rock or weight
- Aquarium pump with 3 feet of aquarium hose and gang valve
- Fine mesh strainer bag, strainer, cheesecloth, or fine sieve
- Goggles for eye protection
- Rubber gloves for skin protection
- PreGro Plant Sprayer
When working with compost, always make sure to protect yourself. Put on your protective eyewear, rubber gloves to safeguard your skin, and a facemask for those concerned about inhaling potentially dangerous microbials. Dangerous bacteria, such as E. Coli. can exist in the raw ingredients of a compost pile, so make sure to use mature compost, which has a sweet, earthy smell. Put your pound of mature compost into a nylon stocking and tie off the end. Fill a 5 gallon bucket with 4 gallons of water and place the nylon stocking full of mature compost into the bucket of water. Use an aquarium pump with a 3 foot hose and a gang valve to aerate the liquid. The gang valve divides the flow of air into separate streams. Attach a rock or weight to the end of the aquarium hose so that it sits at the bottom of the bucket and pushes a good amount of air throughout the liquid. Add 2 tablespoons of organic, unsulfured molasses with no preservatives to the liquid. The beneficial organisms in the compost will feed off the molasses and release gasses, creating a bubbly foam on top of the liquid. Consider adding 1 tablespoon of organic liquid fish emulsion fertilizer and 1 tablespoon of liquid seaweed to the bucket to make your compost tea more powerful. Let the compost bubble and brew in your bucket for 24 to 30 hours. You will know the compost tea is finished when it is a dark brown liquid with a foamy, white, bubbly top and a strong yeast smell. Once the compost tea has been brewed, remove the aquarium hose to stop aeration. Strain the compost tea using a fine mesh strainer bag, cheesecloth, or fine sieve. All solids must be removed from your final compost tea in order to make the spray. Pour the strained liquid into the easy-to-fill glass container. Never shake the PreGro Plant Sprayer when the glass container is attached to the sprayer. The PreGro Plant Sprayer utilizes aerosol technology, but does not contain CFCs. For optimal spray, hold sprayer between a 90 degree angle and a 45 degree angle.
- Spray your plants in the early morning or evening, so as not to burn the leaves during the heat of the day.
- Test your homemade compost tea on a single plant to make sure the compost tea does not have adverse effects.
- DO NOT spray compost tea to any vegetable within 3 weeks of its planned harvest date.