What is a compost tea?
Compost tea is a great way for the organic farmer to love their plants naturally. It is an organic, nutritionally rich; well balanced, fully active microbial life supplement made by steeping a blend of aged compost in water.
Very simply, it is a liquid gold fertilizer for all your vegetables, flowers and house-plants.
Benefits of compost tea;
- An increase in nutrients
- Microbial life booster for the soil
- A decrease in diseases
- Non toxic
- Chemical free
- Made with only Organic ingredients
- Cost effective
Why is our compost tea so good?
Our tea recipes have been well researched, tried, tested and approved by the Organicraft Team. Our compost and additives are carefully sourced, consistent and of course 100% ORGANIC!!!
Our “veg tea” is a nitrogen rich tea and is suited for use on all plants in the vegetative stage of cycle.
Our “flower tea” is a phosphorous rich tea that is best suited to all plants in the flowering stage of cycle.
Assembling your compost tea brewer;
Step 1: Remove the lid of the bucket and place all the contents on a clean surface.
Step 2: Feed the air pipe through the breather pipe, attach the aerator and place at the bottom of the bucket as shown;
Step 3: Attach the other end of the air pipe to the pump as shown;
Step 4: Plug the pump in, (ensure that pump, plug and cables are safe distance from water) turn on to test function and then off again.
Your compost tea brewer is now ready to use!
How to use; (here on out the term“clean water” refers to de-chlorinated water, refer to section “Preparing your water” on the last page of this leaflet for more info!)
Step 1: Fill the bucket with “clean water” to approximately 5cm below the blue breather pipe.
Step 2: Hook the tea bag onto the blue pipe and allow the bag to hang in the water as shown;
Step 3: Turn the pump on. You should notice the bubbles in the water.
Step 4: Add 25mls of life force to the water.
Step 5: Allow to brew for 48 – 72 hours and use when ready!
When is my tea ready you ask?
Well brewing your compost tea is a process and it takes a bit of time for the full nutritional content of the bag to be extracted and the micro-life to form. So here’s a brief timeline of events from start to finish.
0-12Hrs; not much happening, you should observe bubbles in the water from the aerator, the water will turn a slightly brown in colour at this point and odour still very neutral.
12-24Hrs; you will observe a light coloured foamy layer starting to develop on waters surface. This is good indication that there is life, those are your microbes beginning to form. The water colour will be more golden brown in colour with slight earth and ocean odours.
24-48Hrs: you will observe the foamy layer becoming thick and darker in colour the water will become dark golden brown in colour and with noticeable earth and ocean odours but NOT STINKY!
48-72Hrs; Your tea is perfect for use, give it a good stir before you decanter into your watering can and apply.
72Hrs +; you will observe the thick foamy layer begin to diminish until it disappears and the odour of the tea will start to stink of rotten fish at this point your tea is now off, so DO NOT use it.
Your tea is full of living beneficial microbes and due to their short life span wont survive for long so best use your tea as soon as its ready.
*Please note that microbes thrive in warmer conditions and brewing a tea in ambient temperatures lower than 20°C can take an extra 24-48Hrs to brew!
Soil drench: We recommend that the tea be given directly to the soil at the base of the plant, approximately 1L of tea for every 25L of soil or average size plant if in the ground, at 2-3 week intervals. These are our recommendations and guidelines only. The only way you can negatively affect your plant by using the Tea is by flooding and over-drenching the soil but you will not burn your plants. On that note it important to remember that your plant can only take up so much nourishment and will choose when it needs it. So no need to over do it!
Foliar Spray: mix the tea thoroughly and strain it out, if you don’t have a strainer, nylon stockings work well or a handkerchief. Once the tea is strained out it can be added to a spray bottle of sorts and sprayed directly onto the leaves wetting the leaves thoroughly and evenly, repeated every 2-3 weeks.
Cleaning and maintenance
*Important. You must make sure that after each and every brew you thoroughly clean out the bucket and pipes and start your next brew with clean equipment. There’s no need to use any harsh detergents here, just a little warm water with a few drops of dish washing liquid will do. Clean, rinse off with water and leave to dry in the sun.
*Note if you dont clean your equipment properly you run the risk of creating an incubator for pathogens and that you DO NOT want to do.
Preparing your water: “Clean Water”)
*Note; it is crucial that you use “clean water” when making your brew. By “clean water” we mean de-chlorinated water as chlorine will kill your beneficial microbes. Whooa don’t panic you don’t need to rush out and buy fancy bottled water or these expensive filters. So you’ve got two options and they’re both free and super simple.
Option 1; the easiest but not always the most reliable is to catch and use rain water and there’s many ways to do that. I leave it up to you to get creative… just note that you should always run your rainwater through a cloth or strainer to make sure you remove any physical impurities.
Option 2; is to use your normal tap water but this requires a bit of preparation time, however more reliable than the rain in most places. So here’s how its done;
- Fill your a bucket of suitable size for your brew, so at least 20L.
- Leave the bucket with water in the sun for a day with the lid off.
- After a day in the sun introduce air into the water with your pump and aerator for at least 2 hours
- Now your tap water is ready to use to make the perfect brew.
Use “clean water’ only (de-chlorinated)Place tea brewer in a dry place, the warmer the better but not in direct sunlight.Apply the tea as soon as its ready.Thoroughly clean all equipment between each and every brew.Compost the used tea bag, throw the whole thing on the pile, the bag itself is biodegradable.Place pump above water levelKeep out of reach of children.
Use Chlorinated water.Place the tea brewer in the direct sunlight.Use tea after 72 hours, specially if its beginning to stink of rotten fish.Forget to thoroughly clean your equipment before doing your next brew.Spill water on pump and electrical socketPlace pump on the floor or below the water level.
- No Bubbles
- Check that pump is plugged in correctly and power is on.
YES all plugged in and pump is running but still no bubbles
- Check that the air pipe is not being pinched and that there are no knots or blockages
All clear, but still no bubbles
- Check the aerator, a good way to test is to blow through the nozzle and see if the air passes.
All clear, air passes through but still no bubbles…
*Contact one of us at the Green Team for further assistance…..
- 24Hrs Have passed and no sign of any micro-life
- Are you using “clean water” if your answer is NO eish my friend your going to need to start all over again with a fresh tea bag and some “CLEAN WATER”
Yes I’m using “clean water”
- Did you remember to add the life-force to the mix? If your answer is NO don’t worry its not too late, quickly add it in now and leave your tea to carry on brewing.
Yes I’ve done everything according to the guidelines, its been 24hrs and no sign of any micro-life.
- Consider your environment; what are your ambient temperatures? If your ambient temperatures are between 15ºC and 20ºC this is not ideal but still okay and you must allow for at least and extra 24-48Hrs for the process to complete.
*If you are brewing in temperatures below 15ºC then you’ll need to re-asses your environment and see if its not possible to introduce a bit of warmth.
My environment is good, I am brewing in temperatures above 20°C
- is the tea brewer in direct sunlight? If the answer is YES re-position your tea brewer out of the direct sunlight and access the need to start over.
***IF you’ve read this guide and are certain your following it correctly but your not successful with your brew, please contact the Organicraft Team for further assistance…..