Monday, 1 April 2013

How to make compost tea

Gee I was battling with the light to get these photos tonight! But there I was, the day nearly over and I remembered I hadn't made a new batch of comfrey tea. I want a to share it because it's so easy to make.

Absolute first is to plant comfrey!
When it grows (and it grows like a weed) get a bucket, cut some comfrey leaves.....
shred it and put it in the bucket. (I got a bit fancy this time and put it in a stocking first.) Usually I just put the leaves straight in the bucket but floaty bits clog up the watering can when I do it this way!
At this point of the proceedings I remembered I was running the kids a bath and had to run back into the house but I imagine you will be able to skip this step!

Then I placed the stocking filled with shredded leaves in the bucket and filled it with water. Now place a lid on the bucket and wait for two weeks.  I had a couple of nappy buckets left over from our baby days so I always have one of these on the go.  They are good and sturdy and have good lids.
To use, just put about a litre of the tea into a ten litre watering can and fill with water. Water the garden with it. The soil should already be moist before you water so that the plants take up the fertiliser and it isn't just soaked away into parched soil.

And there you have it! Free fertiliser!!!
Be warned.  It stinks when it's ready.  So when you smell it, don't think something's gone awfully wrong.  The garden will love it.  Below is a picture of the bucket I am currently using.  You can see how sludgy it gets.
Have you made comfrey tea before?  How about weed tea?  It's just the same but you make it with weeds.

14 comments:

Liz Beavis said...

Yes, love the weed tea! Actually we have a drum full of water and I chuck in any weeds that I don't want in the compost (esp thistles) and comfrey and occasionally some manure too. And we have a tap on the side where we can drain off a little into a bucket. It does clog the watering can, so I just use a bucket (always seem to have frogs in my watering can as well). I love the bath step as well, gave me a little giggle to start the day.

purplepear said...

Yes we make weed tea and comfrey tea. We have a little solar pump that aerates the tea as its brewing and which eliminates the strong smell.We sometimes add worm casting tea to the mix before using it on the plants. Hope you got to the bath in time!

africanaussie said...

Yes I make weed tea and comfrey tea, and seaweed tea...I am actually thinking of using an old beer brewing bottle to brew it in, and then I can just open the tap to get some out... the garden loves it, but hubby always complains about the smell.

Lynda D said...

No i dont, but youve made it sound easy so im looking for a comfrey plant right away.

Robyn said...

I always have a weed tea bucket as some of the weeds here seem impossible to compost as they won't die, even when it seems I could bake bread in the compost pile, so I've found drowning them works well. I need to protect my russian comfrey or the goose and the hens graze on it! Think it's time to replant some to a fowl free zone :).

veggiegobbler said...

I intend to but haven't yet. I have five comfrey plants and I know you say they grow like weeds but mine haven't. I think I have planted them in a silly spot where they don't get enough sun. But I can't wait to make this stinky, sludgy stuff. And I have exactly the same nappy bucket just waiting.

Linda said...

Liz, I love your setup with the tap. What a good idea! And I think I might give the bucket method a go if the stocking fails.

Kate, What a sophisticated system you have! We're not well enough organised for that yet but maybe one day? Thank goodness the bath was fine.

African Aussie, that's a great idea. It's almost purpose made! (unless you want beer)

Lynda, It IS that easy! Let me know if you can't get comfrey. Sadly I can't access the email that shows on my page at the moment and need to ring Telstra about it. But if you're comfortable leaving me an email address in the comments I would be happy to organise to send you some comfrey root. Just plant the root and it will grow.

Hello there Robyn! Your're right. It's a great way to turn a problem into an advantage. And as for chookies, do you know I haven't even planted any in their area. I must get onto that.

Veggiegobbler, I am so glad you made that comment about your comfrey not growing well. I had forgotten that the first lot I planted did terribly. I checked it after reading your comment and there are only two minature leaves! We ended up planted comfrey against the compost bin and it goes nuts. Plus the bin is down a slope so it probably gets more moisture than the rest of our dry garden. Good luck and let me know how you go.

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

At the moment I cannot even find my comfrey as it is burried beneath a Jap pumpkin vine that has gone rogue and looks like it has plans for world domination.

Otto Weaver said...


Composting is a great way to recycling your current biodegradable waste materials. Rather than losing your current kitchen waste in addition to backyard waste materials for being sent to the landfill exactly where it will advantage nobody, you may input it in the can that you just designed with
Compost tea recipe in addition to make it possible for our mother earth be able to work on creating your personal free of charge fertilizer. Obviously, this is often a good big bucks saver for the devoted garden enthusiast.

Anonymous said...

I use a black rubbish bin with lid and chucked in a heap of darned wandering jew-filled it with water-left it for about 12 months stirring occassionally and now have wonderful liquid compost. Dilute it at about 1-10 or put a dollop in watering can with water and if it looks like mid-brown tea then thats ok for my garden.

Anonymous said...

I chucked a heap of dreaded wandering jew into a black rubbish bin with lid-added water-left for about 12 months-diluted it with water til it looked like mid-brown tea and our veges now look great. Stirred this when I remembered to.

Tom Cruise said...
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Tom Cruise said...
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Tom Cruise said...

admin am really inspire from your posting method your step by step method/ i read many other How to Make Weed Tea article but i like your post. hats off to you keep it up.