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Natural Liquid Fertilizer (Compost Tea)

Updated: Oct 2, 2021

Natural, powerful, and FREE fertilizer is literally right under your feet. Daily, you walk on some of the most nutritious "weeds" and grass that can easily be turned into an incredible boost for almost everything in the garden.

The conversation of liquid composting can get quite exhaustive and I am certain that some folks out there will find my method arbitrary. Nevertheless I have been using this process or several years now with no issues. In fact, my soil has only improved and continues to do so.

While I won't be getting into specific recipes, I will provide an example and explain the process of creating an age old liquid manure. This is truly an archaic method, that's not to say obsolete. I am an emphatic believer in "what has been, shall be again", and I find that most old ways are just a no brainer solution to modern day problems.

You will need only a few things to make your liquid compost the olde way.

- A bucket (however big or small your container is up to you.)

- Enough plants or grass to fill 2/3 of your vessel

- Non-chlorinated water (Rainwater works best, you can also leave tap water overnight)

Steps in making your "compost tea".

  1. Fill your container 2/3 with organic matter. Place it in a mostly shaded area.

  2. You can put a stone on top to hold it down.

  3. Pour in water to fill it to the brim.

  4. Cover with screen or loose fitting top to keep mosquitos from breeding. (I use a wooden board)

  5. Allow your mixture to ferment for about 7-10 days.

  6. Strain the contents through a screen and put the solids into your traditional compost.

  7. The liquid is your finished compost tea!

Notes: This is what is called an “anaerobic mixture”, which means "without oxygen". While there are many people who will claim foul, there is actually a growing support for the use of these microorganisms. Farmers in Asia have no problem with these anaerobic bacteria and actually have been finding them to cure soil damaged by nuclear radiation!!

Being that it is an anaerobic ferment you will most likely notice two things.

  1. It's stinky. (You may want to use rubber gloves and a face covering.)

  2. It has some mold on the surface. (This is perfectly normal and is consumed by earthworms and other decomposers.)

How to apply your compost tea.

  1. Take a small amount of liquid manure (About 1 cup, 8 oz.) and pour it into a watering can. We are seeking a 1:10 ratio liquid compost to water.

  2. Fill it up the rest of the way way non-chlorinated water. (again, rainwater is best)

  3. Water your plants in need.

That's it!

You can achieve more tailored results by using different plants in your mixture. I typically use whatever is most abundant in my yard, because overabundant growth is usually a sign of what is most needed in the soil. For instance, clover grows due to a deficiency in nitrogen in the soil, and on the flip side is a nitrogen packed plant.

You can also use comfrey, nettle, dandelions, grass clippings, etc. Really anything you have that is green and pesticide free will work. Be sure to only apply this compost tea every 2-3 weeks at the most. Good luck!


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