Making Compost Tea

I’ve never made compost tea but I saw a demo recently of how simple it is to make. So I thought I’d share it here and have a go myself (if it ever stops raining that is).

All you need is a bucket, some rain water, some honey and an old pond pump (try eBay).

  • 1. Fill your bucket about a third full of mature compost
  • 2. Pour rainwater in to fill the bucket
  • 3. Add one or two spoonfuls of honey
  • 4. Put in your pond pump and switch on
  • 5. Wait 2-3 days, strain and use immediately

Compost tea can be used on fruit and vegetables wherever you think they might need an extra boost of nutrients. It’s ideal for plants in pots, or on poor soil, or plants in the greenhouse.

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9 Comments on “Making Compost Tea

  1. We made compost tea at the farm where I worked. We used freshly cut comfrey in place of mature compost and let it go a bit longer; we made it in a large water catchment barrel, so we had to mix it with a boat motor mounted to the side. We added it to the irrigation water for certain crops (greens, mostly) and applied it directly, less diluted, when the plants seemed stressed. It seemed to make a noticeable difference.

  2. We use comfrey leaves to make comfrey tea, which is another excellent natural fertiliser. Just put a sack full of comfrey leaves in a water butt and leave for a few weeks, then use to water your plants. You can also spray the mixture on the leaves, or mulch around your plants with fresh comfrey leaves. It’s a wonder plant!

  3. Hi there, do you think this would be good for herbs too? I always attempt to grow basil but it always dies on me no matter what I do. The rosemary is great, but I leave the basil on the window sill and it never fails to die within a week!

  4. Hi George – I’m no pump expert but I think just blowing air as it had two dangling wires with what looked like valves at the end.

  5. Rainbow Prams – worth a shot. Basil doesn’t like being cold at night so maybe the windowsil is too draughty?

  6. I’m putting some of the weeds in my garden to use by making some (rather smelly) nettle tea. It seems to be the perfect solution – getting rid of the weeds but in a useful way that is beneficial to my veggies.

  7. Ive tried it on my strawberrys and they seem to be perking up after the prolonged cold and wet weather we have had recently.

  8. I’ve had a few strange emails about this post. Just to make it clear compost tea is not for drinking – it’s a fertilizer for your plants!