Year of the Garden
Is it me or does this year seem like an amazing garden year?
I hope yours is doing really well too. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that our lives have slowed down a lot. And I get my therapy by being in the garden, there’s nothing like having your hands in the dirt and sun on your back.
I’m trying to look at the slow down as a good thing.
Slowing down and having more time to focus on the homestead has allowed me to bring out a few of my old friends. I wanted to share one of those with you.
I want you to meet compost tea again! And I want to encourage you to try making some of this.
You can add everything into a 5-gallon bucket and stir daily. Or better yet get a little aquarium bubbler with a bubble stone and let it sit for a few days bubbling. I spent about $8 getting the bubbler and bubble stones.
First I want you to realize you can’t really go wrong with compost tea. Don’t be afraid to experiment and definitely listen to your intuition.
So, what is a Compost Tea?
No, you don’t drink it, your plants do.
Think about a really powerful cup of herbal tea that you would make up for yourself to help get over a cold or to just stay healthy. This is what we are doing but for our plants. My favorite way to make it is to look around for what’s growing in the yard that has benefits and then mixes it with a few items I know the plants need.
Here’s what I put in my compost tea:
- Molasses – To feed beneficial bacteria in the tea, this makes it “active” and more bioavailable. You could also add sugar but you need to feed them something sweet.
- Fish Emulsion – It has so many trace minerals that its great for everyone. It’s the fish oil for the plants, just like you need fish oil.
- Kelp Meal – Our area and most pastures are deficient in selenium and iodine (kelp is high in these along with lots of other minerals our land doesn’t have).
- Comfrey – This plant is known as a dynamic accumulator, it has roots that can go over six feet into the ground to mine minerals that most plants can’t get to. It stores those in its leaves and then we use them in our tea.
- Nettles – This plant is very high in silica. Silica is one of those minerals that we all need to be healthy both plants and humans. Its also missing in a lot of soil. Giving it plants makes them stronger and healthier. Rudolph Steiner has some really cool ideas around silica if you ever want to learn more.
- Plantain – Is a very strong medicinal plant. It is most known to help with inflammation and digestion. Helping plants have a strong immune system will help them fight off pests… like those horrible Japanese beetles.
- Mint – I use it because it repels lots of pests like rodents and deer. If you spray the trunk of the tree the tree will soak it up and store it in its leaves.
- Coffee Grinds – The strong smell helps repel deer, also good quality organic grounds have lots of trace minerals.
- Basil Essential Oil – Mostly, I’m putting it in there to help my tomato plants be even healthier. Just like you can grow basil next to tomatoes you can also use the oil and give the plants lots of help. Make them even healthier AND improve the taste of your tomatoes.
- Cedarwood Essential Oil – This helps repel slugs and snails. Since I have this compost tea going through our drip system I include it because our drip runs very early in the morning, when all the little slimy pests are out.
Make your own Garden Tea now!
I do nerd out a lot when it comes to plants and plant medicine. But here’s the thing, we can do so much with the plants growing in our yards or just in the parking lot. We don’t need to kill “weeds” we can use them to help make other plants even healthier.
Of course, if you have questions or need help I’m here for you.
You can also join our Facebook community to see what other people like me are doing with their gardens. Or listen to our podcasts for more ideas like these!