How To Use Compost Tea
Compost tea is not a defined substance. Sort of like a compost pile - every recipe is different. The only way we can make advisement on proper usage is to assume you are using our recipe. It is forgiving by design, intended not to burn your plants regardless of the concetration used.
In fact, the best approach is to use it as concentrated as the application allows. For example, if you brew 5 gallons of compost tea and you want to apply it to your landscape, first determine how you are going to distribute the solution. Let's say you have a watering can and you want to approach a 250 sqft garden. The first time you water determine how many gallons it takes to reach the area of application, then dilute your 5 gallons into enough water to satisfy the endeavor and apply compost tea to the target area.
We realize that directions are useful, so here goes. Just remember, be creative.
General Use: A gallon of our compost tea concentrate can be applied on 250 - 500 square feet as a soil conditioner and plant tonic, regardless of the dilution.
A gallon of our compost tea concentrate should be diluted no more than 1:16 (or 1 cup per gallon) for all applications.
One of the main reasons compost tea is so important is that microbes are not mobile, they do not jump over the fence ;) For this reason it is very important to apply compost tea to the entire soil area. You may apply fertilizer products as a top dress to the plant, but make sure to "paint the soil" with compost tea. Microbes move as little as a micrometer in their lifetime!
Use compost tea weekly for maximum results, or at least monthly.
Poor soils, or soils that have been treated chemically (artificial fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, etc.) should be treated more intensively to start than land not treated synthetically.
Here are some further ideas for using compost tea in different applications:
• Compost Pile Inoculant: Dilute 1 gallon of concentrate into enough water to saturate the pile completely, repeat monthly.
• Hose End Sprayers: Fill with concentrate and set sprayer to the highest dilution and apply weekly.
• Foliar Feeding: Mix 1 gallon concentrate to 4 gallons of water and apply weekly
• Seed Soak: Soak seeds in compost tea concentrate for at least 1 hour, but no longer than 12 hours. For smaller seeds a paper towel moistened with compost tea concentrate can be used.
• Plant Cuttings: Dip cuttings into full strength compost tea.
• Diseased Plants: Spray plant with undiluted compost tea until healed.
• Tree Root Soak: Mix 1 gallon of concentrate to 2 gallons of water and apply weekly.
• Transplanting: Mix 1 gallon concentrate to 2 gallons of water and spray planting hole. Water the rest into the soil after planting. Dip roots directly into solution if possible.
• Houseplants: Mix 1 gallon concentrate to 8 gallons of water and apply monthly.
• Raised Beds: Mix 1 gallon concentrate to 8 gallons of water and apply weekly. For overwintering, apply full strength concentration to recycle dead roots into fertilizer for next season.
NOTE: Ultraviolet light and dehydration kill microbes. Do not apply compost tea in direct sun or during the heat of the day.