Tag Archives: making compost tea

broad beans & compost tea


Our little broad beans are well on their way!  Next steps:  regular weeding and the addition of compost tea to the soil around them.  Thanks to my friend Guy (a hobby farmer in Quebec) for these compost tea instructions:

You need a bucket, a stick and a square piece of (~3X3′) burlap. Put a bunch of manure or compost into the burlap and hold and lift it from the four corners. Then tie the corners around the middle of a stick. You will then put the manure / burlap into the bucket with the stick resting on top of the bucket (you want to be able to lift the whole thing out without the manure coming out). Then, fill the bucket with water to the top. After a few days lift the stick out along with the burlap and manure so that only a dark liquid remains – the tea. Sprinkle this around the plants every couple weeks (or as directed) while plants in vegetative phase. You can make 2-3 teas from a bag of manure. The left overs can go in the compost! Good luck!

Compost should be relatively well decomposed (no smell, dark etc) so that the nutrients are easily liberated and so that pathogens / diseases aren’t passed on to veggies (of course never compost diseased plants!). Manure should generally be moderately composted as well (e.g. a few months). Try to use manure from grass-fed organically grown cattle – less chances of E.coli contamination resulting from feeding with corn and medicating with antibiotics.

Also be sure to avoid getting the tea on the leaves of the plants to avoid contamination and in some cases, burning (though unlikely with tea).