Make Compost Tea

Making compost tea for your garden plants is easy to do, if you have been making compost. You can even use the storebought stuff to get going with this black gold that your plants love.

I make mine in a 5 gallon bucket that is made just for compost tea. Make your own! Below is a list of the few things you will need.

  • One 5 gallon bucket and 2 Lids (Use a Home Depot paint bucket)
  • Drill or dremel with drill bit
  • Chopsaw or hand saw (chopsaw is better)
  • One dowel, 1/2 inch diameter, at least 48 inches long.
  • Aquarium style silicone glue
  • Spigot
  • Black indelible marker
  • Ammonia, or Window cleaner and some papaer towels

Place one of the lids right side up on the bucket. Using your drill (or dremel) drill some small holes (1/4 inch) all over the lid. You should have them spread out, and about 50 or so holes should do.

Now turn the lid upside down over the top of the bucket. Underneath, and around the bucket, trace a black line with the marker. Using the drill again, cut just inside the line, removing the part of the lid that snapped it into place. What you are trying to accomplish is a plastic circle that will fit almost perfectly down into the bucket.

Now, check the lid to make sure it will fit inside the bucket smoothly. A few small gaps are OK.

Use the indelible marker and mark, then cut the dowel into 8 inch lengths. You need at least 4, but 6 is fine too. Make sure they have flat surfaces on both ends.

Cut a hole, just a tad smaller, than the diameter of your spigot thread∼end, about 3 inches up from the bottom of the bucket. Use your drill or dremel. You can find a small circle, such as a quarter of 50 cent piece, to use as a template and draw the circle out with your marker. You want to cut a perfect circle, this is where the spigot goes.

Check the size by trying to place the spigot in, but don't force. Just make sure the hole is the right size before doing the next step.

Spray your finger with the Window cleaner. Now place a dab of silicone on finger, and run it along the inside of the hole for the spigot. Screw the spigot into the hole, making sure it is tight, and turned to the proper downward position. Use some more window cleaner or ammonia to remove the remaining silicone from your finger.

Let it sit about an hour, to begin to dry.

Now stagger the cut dowel pieces along the edge of the inside bottom of bucket. Glue them into place with the silicone. This will be the support for the cut lid.

Let them rest about an hour, to allow the glue to set up.

Now place lid inside, making it flush and level with the dowels. Mark the entire ring of the lid with the marker. Remove the lid.

Run a bead of silicone just under the marking you just created. Replace the lid, making sure it gets into the silicone. Place another bead of silicone on the top of the lid. Be sure the lid is sitting firmly on all of the dowels.

Let the entire project dry overnight.

Compost Tea

Easy peesy! The rest is just as simple. Just place a load of well rotted compost into bucket, and run water through it. (Make sure the spigot is closed) About a gallon of water is fine. Place the remaining lid over it, and let it steep for 3 days to a week. (Steep time depends on outside temps) Just place a container under the spigot and open it when you want some compost tea. This black tea is fantastic for starting seedlings that are too delicate for fertilizers, and will perk up all kinds of plants areund your garden. Best part is, this is organic! Awesome on all of your veggies and those prized brugmansia!

Note: Reuse the compost one or two more times, then spread it out in a garden spot where needed.

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