Transforming Compost into an Effective Liquid Fertilizer Tea

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Cathy Isom shares one of the best ways for transforming compost into an effective liquid fertilizer tea. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

Transforming Compost into an Effective Liquid Fertilizer Tea

Store-bought liquid fertilizer can be expensive, especially if you have a lot of plants to feed. Fortunately, there’s a cost-effective, easy alternative you can brew up at home.

Getting started with home-brewed liquid fertilizer can be as simple as steeping compost in water for 24 hours; or it can be a slightly more complex process.


The best compost tea is made by aerating the tea during steeping. This part of the process will brew a stronger, more microbe-rich liquid fertilizer. You’ll need a five-gallon bucket filled with water, an aquarium air pump and an air stone for aeration purposes, about ¼ cup of molasses. Finally, a tea bag – which could be made out of a cheesecloth, adult-sized sock, or one leg of pantyhose filled with one gallon of dry compost. Add the molasses to your bucket of water. If you’re not going to be aerating your tea, just use a stick to mix up the water and molasses a bit to help it dissolve.  If you’re aerating your tea, attach the aquarium pump and the airstone right after submerging your compost. Follow the pump directions, turn it on, and leave it running during all 24 hours of tea steeping. After 24 hours, turn off the pump and remove the compost bag.

When compost tea is done brewing, it will have a rich, earthy scent. You shouldn’t smell any foul odors. If your tea smells like a trash can, don’t use it. Teas that smell noxious are likely home to a wide array of plant-harming pathogens.

Aerated compost tea does have a short shelf life and should be used within 48 hours.

I’m Cathy Isom…

Video by: Grow Someplace

Compost tea from start to finish.

John Fowkes shows how he makes compost tea for his vegetable garden. Compost tea is an easy to make homemade plant feeding method. Everything you need to know is here.