Friday, August 07, 2009

Compost Tea

Compost tea is pretty much what it sounds like. You take well-composted compost, put it into a cotton bag, and then dunk it in a load of water letting it steep for 24-48 hours.

Then it’s ready to use!

What I can’t figure out is, what do you do with the stuff left in the “tea bag?” Maybe put it back on the composter or use it as mulch, perhaps.

In books, they talk about mixing tea with water in a watering can, and then watering the plant. I am wondering if I can put it into my old miracle-gro container that I haven’t used in years, and if that would create the right mix, or if it would just shoot out most of the tea at the start. It’s worth playing around with.

I buy the J. S Stone Organic treatments at the Ace down the street. So I’ve got blood meal, cottonseed meal, etc. etc. around the house. In theory, this compost tea supplements everything but the calcium, if I’m reading things correctly. I’m sure there’s some calcium due to the eggshells, but I suspect it’s trace amounts.

The tomatoes definitely need their calcium. Just today, I was out there picking off some small green potatoes that had the tell-tale signs of blossom end rot on the bottom. It looks pretty gross.

I’ve read that you can dissolve Tums or any other generic antacid in water, and pour that on to give a quick shot of calcium. But is it organic? I haven’t finished wrestling with that one yet. And do I want to be pure organic anyway?

The compost is a good start. I’ve almost got dear husband trained to put leftover veg into the bag. Some day, I hope, he’ll buy me one of those composters for the kitchen counter where I can put the scraps in and let them do their work until I feel like taking them outside to the big composter.

When it’s cold or rainy, I do get a bit lazy.

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