If you are looking for an easy and effective way to defend against pests, strengthen your plants, and hydrate your soil try compost tea. It's a great organic way to efficiently use composting for your plants.
Traditional compost tends to be the go to for growers to start their soil before they plant and then in the fall when you clean out your garden, but if you really want to give your plants a boost try compost tea.
It has all the benefits of compost, but concentrated. The benefits being that you can apply it as a spray directly to your plants and if you treat the roots it won't disturb them.
If you're looking to brew your own you simply take a bag filled with decomposed and recycled organic materials, many tea experts also recommend additions such as worm castings to help the microbes in the tea really flourish.
You have a few different options on how to brew your tea; passive, manure, and aerated. No matter which you use, you'll want to use high quality unchlorinated water (Learn more about water filtration). This is because the chlorine will actually kill the microbes you are trying to promote and make any of your teas ineffective.
Passive tea consists of allowing your compost "tea" bag (your bag needs to be made out of porous fabric) to soak in water for several weeks. You know it's working when the water begins to color. Don't apply any additives such as nutrients because it will cause your tea to spoil and become potentially hazardous to your plants.
The slowest of the tea options, manure tea, uses the waste of plant-eating animals to set your brew. Of the plant-eating mammals, the highest recommendation would be rabbit, but it is harder to come by than some of the more traditional manures such as cow. Chicken and bat can also be very effective, but also can run on the pricier side. If you have your own, you can start a manure compost bin. Once acquired, you soak it like the passive tea.
Aerated tea is created by pumping oxygen into the tea mixture. That helps to give a thorough mix faster, sometimes in as little as a day! With this method, you can add in supplements to give your tea a boost. These include materials like kelp, fish byproducts, molasses and more. Once you've brewed apply within 8 hours to give your plants the maximum benefit.
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