In My Mind's Zen Garden
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Compost Tea

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My Basic Recipe

  • 3 gallons – Water (dechlorinated)
  • 2 cups – Compost (in a filtered mesh bag)
  • 1 capful – Fish Emulsion
  • 2 tbsp – Raw Organic Sugar
  • 2 tbsp – Kelp Extract

Brew with a 20 gallon air pump and air stone for 24 hours.

Using Compost Tea for Roses

I’ve been using Compost Tea on my roses again this year. After hard pruning them back in January, I quickly began almost a daily regimen of spraying Compost Tea onto the leaves of the roses.

Some rose gardeners might disagree with spraying the roses in the late afternoon, but I sometimes do that too, although most of my spraying is in the morning before the sunlight gets too intense.

Below are my two 3 gallon buckets purchased from Home Depot. I bought some filtration bags online and simply placed some Organic Compost in two bags, just like making tea bags. I place these Compost Tea Bags into the buckets.

Compost Tea

The Need for Aeration

I use a 20 gallon Aquarium Pump and I split the hose to provide aeration for the two 3 gallon buckets. Each end of the two hoses contains an air stone to properly dispense the air and create smaller bubbles. This provides much needed oxygen for the microorganisms to grow.

At this point I don’t want to go into the pros and cons of aerated vs. non-aerated Compost Teas. I personally use (ACT) Aerated Compost Teas for the following reasons:

  • A greater population of microorganisms (micro herd) can be grown using aeration.
  • The Compost Tea is usually ready in 24 hours, instead of the 48 to 72 hour period for non-aerated Compost Teas.
  • I believe aerated Compost Teas provide the plants with more protection against diseases.
  • Aeration creates more microorganisms to make contact with the foliage and soil for a better impact.

Compost Tea

Using Both the Soil Drench Method and a Sprayer

I either use the soil drench method (I have a small blue watering can for that) or a sprayer. The sprayer is excellent for spraying a fine mist onto the leaves. And the plants seem to really love this, as they thrive and the leaves become larger and healthier, and have deeper greens. Overall, you can tell that the plant looks very healthy.

Compost Tea

Of course, I’m not just using Compost Tea alone. I’m also doing a drip injection of liquid fertilizer through the drip irrigation system every time I water the plants deeply. And sometimes I use fish emulsion. In the near future, I’m going to try Maxsea water soluble fertilizer that contains kelp. I’m just waiting for the Amazon package to arrive any day now. And I’ll keep you posted on the results with pictures of the rose garden when the flowers begin to bloom.



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Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

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