Compost tea is a liquid produced by extracting beneficial microorganisms (microbes) from compost using a brewing process. It is an all natural, organic material that will supercharge your plants unlike anything else.
Here, Justin Cooper, from Growing Exposed shares his recommended recipe on how to make a high quality compost tea that will give your garden immediate results and improve the overall health of your plants.
Our recipe is based on a 100 gallon reservoir. Here’s what you’ll need:
Two Filtered Bags
1 L Kelp Meal
1L Alfalfa Meal
1.5 kg bag Bokashi Pro-Gro
500 ml Premium Fish Hydrolysate
2L Worm Castings
2L Forest Humus
1L Dry Unsulfured Molasses
It is not recommended to make this product directly in your reservoir as it could clog your pump. So we mix our tea using filtered bags. Let’s break down the ingredients.
Kelp is known for its cytokine hormone content. These growth hormones can help regulate the growth of cannabis, and give it a huge boost. It is full of micronutrients.
Alfalfa Meal is used to extract Triacontanol. Triacontanol enhances the enzymatic activity in the roots and hormone functionality, increasing the overall performance of the plant. Triacontanol also enhances the basic functionality of the plant, increasing the rate of photosynthesis and producing more sugar or glucose.
Bokashi Pro-Gro is a fermented fertilizer that is super food for soil. It increases color, flavor and yield.
Fish hydrolysate, in its simplest form, is ground up fish transformed into a liquid.
Worm Castings are the unprocessed manure of earthworms. High in organic matter, they add essential nutrients, encouraging strong plant growth.
Forest Humus refers to the top layers in forest soils that are rich in humus, and formed from plant and animal matter decay over hundreds of years.
Dry Unsulfured Molasses. It’s important to make sure your molasses is unsulfured because sulfur can be used as a preservative to kill microbes, and of course, compost tea is designed to encourage microbes.
100 gallons of rain water. This is important because rain water has no chlorine. If this isn’t possible, you can use a reverse osmosis system, or a filter called a KDF85 which will remove all chlorine from your water.
Begin by mixing together the Kelp Meal and Alfalfa Meal and put into your filtered bag.
Then add the entire bag of Bokashi Pro-Gro into the bag.
Tie the bag so it doesn’t clog your pump and add it to the reservoir. Justin recommends an eco-jet pump and a full air stone to create as much healthy bacteria as possible.
Next, add the fish hydrolysate directly to the reservoir.
Mix together Worm Castings and Forest Humus and put in your second filtered bag. Tie and add to reservoir.
Finally, add the dry unsulfured molasses to reservoir. This will be the food source for all the microbes we are trying to colonize. The goal is to colonize all the microbes in these products, resulting in the healthiest possible nutrients for your plants.
Let the tea bubble and mix for 36-48 hours. When there is a two to three inch of foam on top, you’ll see there is a lot of microbiology going on, and you’ll know it’s time to supercharge your plants.
You can buy teas commercially instead of making your own. However, pre-made teas in a bottle have been pickled which means while you might get all the essential elements of compost tea, you are missing the crucial microbiology that is created when you naturally brew your own. For passionate growers, brewing your own tea should be an essential part of your grow.
Compost Tea is not recommended for going through irrigation lines because the microbes might clog your pipes. It is designed to be sprayed directly onto plants, and watered at the root. You should apply your tea these ways about once a week, and then during the last month of flowering, only use tea to water the roots.
Ideally, tea should be used immediately after brewing but it can be stored in the fridge for about a week.
Done correctly, you will see results within 24 hours of giving your plants freshly brewed tea. You will maximize your yield and increase the size, aroma, and trichome production. Overall, your plants will be healthier as the microbes will make them able to absorb more nutrients.
Get ready for your plants to explode! Keep it green and happy growing!!