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Compost Tea Recipe

Healthy Home 2008, Spring 2008

Making compost tea is simple. All you'll need are a few items to create the appropriate "brewing" atmosphere, mature compost, and a few other ingredients. You can also purchase a ready-made compost tea kit from You'll need roughly 1 quart tea per 1,000 square feet.

Tools and Materials
About 2 gallons mature compost
About 3 gallons water (it's important that there is no chlorine in the water)
1 ounce unsulfured molasses
5-gallon bucket
An aquarium pump that can run three air stones (this helps aerate the brew to add oxygen that microbes need to multiply)
Gang valve
Three bubblers (also called air stones, or the tubing that "bubbles" the air)

Compost Tea How-To
1. Half fill the bucket with compost and then add water (unfiltered water contains chlorine, which will kill the bacteria you are trying to build up). Attach each end of three pieces of the tubing to the pump and to the gang valve. Assemble the aquarium pump so that the three bubblers are buried at the bottom of the compost.

2. Add some unsulfured molasses, which feeds and helps beneficial bacteria to grow. Stir several times a day.

3. After three days, strain the compost using a pillowcase or tea towel into another bucket. This should leave about 2 1/2 gallons of tea, which can be sprayed onto plant leaves or applied to the soil. Either way, it will help protect the plants from disease and increase the amount of nutrients in the soil. It can also be regularly sprayed across your lawn to enrich the soil for grass growth.

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