Compost Tea Feeding Schedule: Apply at the Right Time!
People want inexpensive ways to add nutrients to the plant along with improving the soil structure. There are very few such methods available which you can opt for. One such proven method is the Compost tea application.
Adding compost tea has shown tremendous results. When you apply it, your soil gets rich in beneficial microbes, nematodes, fungi, and both macro and micronutrients. Now, you can imagine how effective it can be, right? But you have to take care of the Compost Tea Feeding Schedule. Adding it at the wrong time will cause some complications.
So, what exactly is compost tea, and When you should apply it? Don’t worry, we have got you covered here.
- As a Bonus, there is an FAQs (frequently asked questions) section just for you. It is addressing the most asked queries related to the compost tea.
Let’s start the article with the introduction of Compost tea.
What is a Compost Tea?
Compost Tea is the plant liquid food made by brewing any compost. Believe it or not, beneficial microbes, bacteria, nematodes, fungi, etc are extracted from the compost bin during this process. On top of this, the liquid obtained will have soluble nutrients that plants can uptake easily. This is why it is gaining popularity worldwide and some growers are even calling it a BLESSING!
If you extract every nutrient from the compost, then you can call the obtained liquid “A true Compost tea”. The reason it is called ‘compost tea’ is that you use compost as a tea bag (More on that later!). Let’s have a look at why you should use compost tea by glancing at its benefits!
What are the Benefits of Compost Tea?
Compost tea is gaining popularity globally due to the benefits it provides.
1) It makes the soil rich in nutrients. Thus, you don’t have to purchase expensive chemical or inorganic fertilizers in large quantities.
2) As the compost tea is rich in beneficial microorganisms, the microbial activity increases in the soil. This will cause the decomposition of organic matter at a rapid pace leading to the release of more nutrients.
3) Compost tea improves soil by improving its water retention capacity. Moreover, it helps loosen the compact clay soil too. Hence, the root growth is robust under these conditions.
4) When you spray compost tea on the plants directly, it adds beneficial microbes to them. They protect plants by not allowing any pathogen to gain a foothold.
Moreover, due to the nutrients it provides, plants become strong. As a result, the immunity of the plants gets stronger too. So, the diseases and insects don’t harm much!
5) Compost tea is an excellent replacement for chemicals that harm beneficial microbes already present on the soil.
6) You can purchase it from a nearby gardening store or you can make it at your home. Another exciting benefit is that it is Inexpensive to make.
So, how you can make compost tea?
How to make Compost Tea? (The best compost tea recipes)
You can make compost tea at home using Aerated and Non-aerated methods.
Making a general compost (with aeration)
Materials required- 5-gallon bucket, fish tank aerator, compost tea brewing bag, and one thermometer.
Ingredients- One handful of compost, water, one handful of garden soil, two handfuls of straw, 5 healthy leaves, seaweed extract 1 cup, and one cup fish hydrolysate.
After obtaining all these materials, follow the following steps:
1) Fill the bucket with the water and let it sit for 24 hours at least. When you do this, the chlorine from the water will evaporate.
2) Then add compost, garden soil, leaves, and straw in the tea bag and tie it tightly. Submerge this tea bag in the bucket of water.
3) Then, add hydrolysate and seaweed extract liquids to the bucket. Now, turn on the aerator after putting it in the bucket. Brew it for at least a day and a half (36 hours). During this time, keep monitoring the temperature which should be between 68 to 72 Fahrenheit. After doing this, you will have the tea you were desiring!
Now, it is time to apply the tea to the soil. For Spraying, dilute the solution 3:1 (3 parts tea and one part water). Spray it with a backpack sprayer early in the morning. This is the compost tea recipe for vegetables mostly.
Making Compost (Non-aerated method)
You will need the following materials and ingredients to make compost without adding excessive oxygen- 6.5-gallon bucket, 5 gallons of water, Compost (2-4 cups), and Stirring equipment.
1) Add water to the bucket and let it sit for 24 hours to remove chlorine.
2) Add compost to the bucket and stir. Keep stirring for up to 10 days.
3) Then, filter the solution through a strainer or cheesecloth.
Just like that, Your compost tea is ready to add to the soil!
People consider aerated compost better because more oxygen was used in it which means there will be a large population of microorganism in it.
Now, have a look at the two most famous recipes of Tea compost which are beneficial for every kind of plant or tree.
Early Blooming Period Special (Mr Canucks compost tea recipe)
There is another recipe that is slightly different than the rest. it is generally applied during the blooming stage.
In this, you will need- 5-gallon water, 2 cups of worm castings, two tablespoons of alfalfa meal, 1 tsp Peruvian seabird guano, 1 tbsp bat guano (2/3 cup), two tablespoons of kelp, and 5 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses (Organic).
People use worm casting tea for flowering initiation. It is also called the Bat guano tea recipe for flowering due to two types of bat guanos present. Each ingredient in this recipe promotes microorganism growth and nutrient release.
Here’s the procedure you should follow:
After dechlorination of water, add blackstrap first. After that, add the remaining ingredients to the water and aerate it. Bubble the solution for three days, and then you can either spray it on plants or root drench it.
This is the Mr Canucks compost tea recipe. Mr. Canucks is a grower who has been helping people with gardening via his youtube channels. Check out the video to know more!
Mushroom compost tea recipe
When mushrooms are harvested, the leftover residues and even some parts of mushrooms are sold as fertilizer. You can make compost of these mushrooms to add nutrients and improve overall soil structure. After forming a compost with these mushrooms, you can then make mushroom compost tea.
Here’s is the mushroom compost tea recipe:
As usual, add four gallons of water to the bucket and dechlorinate it. Then, add half a gallon of mushroom compost into the water. Then add 4 tsp of unsulfured molasses to the solution. If you want, you can also add sea minerals to this solution. Stir it and you have a mushroom tea compost.
Compost tea can be stored in a cold environment for up to 30 days. Refrigeration is an ideal way to provide a cold environment. If you do aeration, then must use the tea within 3 days if you don’t want to store it in a cold environment.
When you want to add the tea again after refrigeration, then let it rest for one hour at room temperature and then stir it.
How to Apply Tea Compost?
There are two prominent methods to apply the tea. One is soil drench and the other is Foliar spray.
Soil Drench Method
In this method, you literally soak the roots with the compost tea. You apply the solution at the base of the roots. This is suitable for indoor gardening (for houseplants)
If you are growing plants in the field, then apply 5-10 gallons on 1/4 acre in soil drenching.
Spraying the solution is another way to add this beneficial solution. Foliar Spraying is a convenient method of application. You should use a cleaned pump or backpack sprayer for this purpose.
- Note: While spraying, avoid open flowers as it may affect the quality of fruit. Also, slow dispersion of the compost tea is better. It should be 70 psi.
In the soil drench method, you add the solution to the soil while in foliar spraying, your main target is plant leaves, stems, and branches.
For an acre, add 250 gallons of compost tea.
- Quick Tip: You should apply compost tea when the conditions are moist. This will promote beneficial microorganisms’ growth. So, keeping this in mind, the best time to apply compost tea is dawn and dusk a there is some dew at this time.
Adding the compost tea at an appropriate stage is also important! Want to know the perfect time of application? Well, here is the Compost Tea Feeding Schedule!
Compost Tea Feeding Schedule
Generally, you can apply every 14 days to a month, depending upon the soil and plant requirement during the growing season. If you want a plant stage by stage guide, then there is the feeding schedule of compost tea is:
In Late Winter or Early Spring:
- Apply before the flowering stage.
- Then, apply again when buds are formed (flowers are not opened)
- Apply the third time when the flowers have fallen
- If you are growing annual plants, then you should also apply before planting. It is also known as compost tea for seedlings.
During Growing season:
In the growing season, apply at the regular water intervals.
You can also apply this tea when you observe our plants are getting weaker in addition to the described compost tea feeding schedule described above. If the condition is worse, you may even add it once after every three days.
During Blooming period Special:
You can also add compost tea during flowering. Use it once every 14 days for better flower and fruit quality.
Want to know how much compost tea per plant? Well if you are foliar spraying, then moist the leaves till the drops start falling off from them. if you are soil drenching, then add water that will fit the pot.
All in all, Compost Tea is an excellent way to improve plant yield and quality. It increases beneficial microorganisms in the soil, adds nutrients, improves soil structure, and provides plants with the ability to fight off pathogens. On top of that, compost tea is easy and inexpensive to make. You can prepare it without any laborious activity in no time. But you must take care of the Compost Tea Feeding Schedule. Follow the application measures we have described in this article. Only by following the recommendations, you can get the desired outcome!
How often do you feed compost tea?
A general recommendation is that you should apply compost tea after every two weeks. There is also a stage-by-stage guide provided above in the article. You should apply tea compost before the formation of buds, during the formation of buds, during the opening of flowers, and when petals fall off.
Can you over-fertilize with compost tea?
Yes, overfertilization of tea compost can lead to complications that growers don’t want to face. Adding compost tea more than the requirement can lead to nutrient burn. Nute burn causes a decline in photosynthesis and plants will exhibit poor growth and overall ugly appearance. These are the compost tea dangers.
How do you feed compost tea to plants?
You can opt for foliar spraying or the soil drench method for compost tea application. Foliar spraying will protect plants from the pathogens present on the leaves. If you do root drenching, then this will improve the microorganisms count in the soil which will improve the soil health. The increase of the microorganisms in the soil is super beneficial for growers. How?
These microorganisms then decompose the organic matter present in the soil. This decomposition leads to the release of nutrients which makes the soil nutrient-rich. Moreover, follow the compost tea feeding schedule to make the application more effective.
Can you use compost tea during flowering?
Yes, you can use compost tea during flowering. There is a blooming period special recipe we have provided above in the article. Go up there and follow the steps for better flower and fruit yield.