I recently came across the idea of compost tea from Chris Brown who wrote to me about it, and it’s basically an organic soil conditioner.
“So, as you probably know, good healthy soil is chock-a-block full of good bacteria and fungi which break down soil nutrients so they can be absorbed by the plants.
Compost tea is just a way to add more of these micro-organisms to the soil. It’s been described as natural steroids for your plants! And I’ve tried it and it works! Making compost tea is insanely easy too.
What you need is a bucket, some compost, and an aquarium air pump with an air stone.
Fill up the bucket with water, and stick your air pump in the bucket with the air stone weighted down to it stays at the bottom, and let it bubble for an hour or two so the chlorine and other nasties can evaporate, otherwise they’ll kill the bacteria as soon as you put it in the water!
Next you add a big handful of nice rich compost, and some simple sugars for the bacteria to eat – brown sugar or honey (not white sugar, they like simple unprocessed sugars).
You can add some nutrients if you like, such as some seaweed or fish extract depending on what you’re fertilising.
Then you just let it bubble away in a shaded spot for 24 – 48 hours or until there’s lots of bubbles and foam on the surface (you’re pretty much letting the water ferment…)
Next strain it and water it down 1:6 for application to garden beds, or spray undiluted on the leaves. This will also act as a “bio film” which will deter pests from munching on young leaves.
When applied to the soil, the bacteria will move down into the soil, and feed the plants! And they will grow like crazy!”