Learn how to make the best compost tea recipe for your organic garden, orchard, and house plants. Using organic permaculture methods, you will help create an abundant environment for your plants and animals to thrive! With this simple recipe, you can make gallons of this living probiotic fertilizer for your plants and will see fast acting results within a matter of days. It’s always recommended to test a small amount of this first, to make sure it doesn’t burn your specific plants. If in doubt, dilute this recipe with water.
What you’ll need to make the best compost tea!
- Large drum container (a 10 or 50 gallon works great, but you can also do this in smaller batches in a 5 gallon bucket.
- Aerator pump (you can either purchase one online or use a fish tank bubbler with a large soapstone).
- Probiotic for the soil (I highly recommend using a concentrated living product called BioAg, which was created by SCD Probiotics).
- Fish Emulsion (preferably organic. I use one from GS Plant Foods or Neptune’s Harvest)
- Neam oil (or leaves)
- Cured animal poop (Rabbit is best for manure, but worm castings are my fav overall)
- Comfrey leaves (4-5 large leaves)
- Molasses or cane sugar (1/4 cup for a 5 gallon 2 cups for a 50 gallon drum)
- Pond sludge, lake or stream water for local beneficial microorganisms (1 gallon)
- A few banana peels (for potassium)
- Dried kelp meal (optional, but sometimes sea weed is included in the fish emulsion)
How to make the best compost tea
- Put all liquid ingredients into the bottom of the water container using the recommended dosage for your specific product. The reason there are not any quantities above is because it may vary from company to company (product to product), so the rule of thumb is to use LESS of their recommended dilution. For example, I often only use 50-60% potency of any given product.
- Put solid ingredients in an old t-shirt (with ends tied shut) to create a make-shift “tea bag”.
- Lower the bubbler / aerator into the bottom of the container. This helps create an oxygen rich environment for the microorganisms to multiply in. Do not skip this step, or you will risk an anaerobic liquid, which may harm your plants and soil.
- Fill the container with water and let bubble for 24-36 hours.
- Apply as a foliar spray or to the soil around your plants. This mixture needs to be applied / used within 4-6 hours, so the microorganisms stay alive and healthy.
- You may use to water OR dilute for a foliar spray in a backpack style sprayer.
- This solution can also be used as a spring foliar spray (click here for additional recipe)
- TIP: Apply this recipe in the evening or before a rain, so the water flushes it deeper into your soil. Avoid any foliar spraying in the heat of the day or during full sun hours.
Videos that might be helpful
- Basic Foliar Spray
- Ninja Master Foliar Spray (and probiotic info)
- Organic Fertilizers You Don’t Have to Buy from a Box Store