compost tea in drip irrigation
Last year we installed drip irrigation into our garden rows. After years of watering by hand, or just plain not watering, we knew we needed something better. Our goal is to eventually build up enough top soil that we can wait out the dry months without the need for added irrigation. But, we are only in year two of a brand new garden spot so we definitely still need extra water, things just aren’t established yet. By adding compost tea in drip irrigation we are making things easier and better all at once.
A drip system makes watering much more effective and saves a lot on water (we use Drip Works). Drip waters the soil at a rate that the soil can absorb, right where the plants drink it. We have also mulched over top of our drip so there is little evaporation. An other great benefit is the weeds in pathways and such don’t get watered as much as when you use a sprinkler or hand water.
One of our new favorite reasons to use drip irrigation the is that we can add inputs into the drip and it’s delivered to the plants. It’s automatically highly diluted as it mixes with the water so you don’t have to worry about over doing it. In this bucket #grim2 made me a compost tea of Comfrey and kelp that she let bubble with a fish tank aerator for 48hours. Comfrey is an amazing plant that is rich in all kinds of micro-nutrients. It enhances the decomposition of organic matter which releases more nutrition in the soil as well. Next we’ll make a tea with stinging nettles because they add a ton of goodness like Silica, to the soil too. In our orchard we grow these all around our fruit trees so we have plenty when its time to make a tea.
Then, as if it wasn’t good enough already, we added in 10 drops of doTERRA peppermint essential oil to help add insect deterring properties to the plants. Peppermint is also really good at repelling rodents. Since we have a bit of a problem with voles eating our root crops, sending peppermint into the soil will help a bunch. Using peppermint this way is nearly as good as having peppermint planted all through the garden, with out needing to actually grow it, or try to keep it from overtaking everything as it can take over rapidly.
The key to healthy plants is healthy soil. To get healthy soil you need healthy bacterial and fungal activity. to get healthy fungal and bacterial activity you need to feed them, AND you need to avoid inputs that destroy them. Thanks to the drip and the organic inputs we’re using our soil is even happier and doing better than it has yet!
Have you ever made your own compost tea?
Want to try some Peppermint Essential Oil? Request a sample!