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How do you make a good compost tea ?

I would like to make a wonderful brew for my vegetables to thrive on and introduce nitrogen to the soil.

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acidbass6 years ago
anything that you use in cooking that is decomposable (besides flesh and bones) is good I use egg shells, banana peels, watermelon/cantaloupe shells, orange peels, apple cores, potato skin, leftover salad, newspaper, paper towels, and much more I put it in a box in my kitchen and pour water on it every once in a while and I also put some worms in there too (to help with the decomposing) then when it gets full I dump the box in my garden and spread it in my garden bed then I restart the process all over again (including buying worms)
Mike736 years ago
Did you probably mean you want to make a fertilizer? If so, then change the header. Or is this question really about tea?
No offense here, but I didn't quite get your question.
kelseymh Mike736 years ago
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compost_tea#Compost_tea
The liquid portion of a fertiliser is often called a "tea" in English gardening circles at least.

Steve
Thanks for the clarification. I didn't know this :-)
There are a few ways to introduce nitrogen into the soil, and compost tea is certainly one of them:

-Rot green plants (dandelions, grasses, and other assorted weeds) in a bucket of water.  This process is anaerobic, so it's going to smell.  However, it's dead easy and has been done by farmers and gardeners for centuries.  The smell will disappear after a couple hours of applying the tea.

-Make an aerobic compost tea with a bubbler, but be warned there are some major concerns about its safety and productivity over anaerobic compost tea.

-Mix legumes into your crops.  Legumes will fix nitrogen and put it back into the soil.  Some popular legumes are beans and peanuts.

-Plant a cover crop of legumes and then chop the plants into the soil before planting.

-Add compost to the soil for tilth and nutrition.

-Move your compost pile to where you'd like to grow your crops and let the pile rot and add nutrients.

-Use nitrogen-rich fertilizers (organic or conventional) such as blood meal.

However, it's important to have your soil tested for macro- and micro-nutrients.    You can add loads of nitrogen, but if you don't have enough iron in your soil, it's going to be a bit of a waste.
AndyGadget6 years ago
There used to be an Instructable about this, but it's gone!

Not the right time of year for it, but you need a comfrey patch. Comfrey is a quick-growing leafy plant whose roots go down 10 foot or so and contains high levels of potassium and nitrogen.  Make sure it's in a rough area of the garden because once it's there, it's not going to go away!

Get a strong container with a lid of 5 gallons or so.  An old cold-water header tank is fine.  Find yourself a decent length on 4" by 2" wood.  This is your comfrey mulching stick.

Three-quarter fill the container and mulch in as much comfrey as you can.  Don't worry about over-picking the plants - They're indestructible.
Mulch, mulch and mulch some more.  Leave in the sunshine and stir and mulch every couple of days, aerating the brew. 

The comfrey will rot down and stink like Satan's bottom, hence the lid.  Give it a month then dilute the foul brew 10 to 1 and use it as a foliar feed (water it on to the leaves) or around the roots.  To give a boost of phosporous to the plants, sprinkle a little wood-ash there as well before watering.

To establish a comfrey patch, you need to get some bits of root.  Any of the wild varieties will do. It grows wild in the UK and most likely a lot of other places. Just plant a few bits of root in a rough area of the garden, ideally moist-ish - and it will grow into 6 foot high plants.  It isn't a great spreader, so no need to isolate the roots, but once established it is very difficult to remove.