March 24

Compost Tea Recipe & Uses



Many people tend to think that a tree’s root system is what produces the food for the tree – but that isn’t correct. Trees and most other plants get their food from a photosynthetic process that actually happens in the leaves and stem. The roots help with the absorption and transportation of the essential minerals and water that comes from the ground and soil.

These minerals assist with photosynthesis. This is why we remove tree stumps – because they suck up the nutrients and that healthier trees get less and less. It is essential that the soil is healthy because the root system provides a firm base for the tree and allows it to put in work. One of the best ways encourage healthy soil is by using Compost Tea.

Compost Tea for Roots

Compost Tea is a mixture that will help restore minerals to the soil without using any chemicals. Drier weather that we often face in the summer and dry soil can result in soil compaction (among other things like harsh winters) which decreases the availability of water, minerals, and oxygen to the rest of the tree. Without oxygen, the naturally occurring beneficial fungi and bacteria in the soil decrease. This is where the benefits of compost tea come in.

Here is a recipe for Compost Tea from Organic Gardening:

Making compost tea doesn’t require any special equipment. Here’s how to do it:

1. Place compost and water (10 pounds mature compost for each 10 gallons of water) in a 40-gallon barrel. Protect the barrel from cold and heat.

2. Stir with a stick daily for a minimum of 5 days.

3. Strain the liquid from the compost after 5 days, using cheesecloth or burlap. There should be no bubbling or off odors. Use the compost tea immediately, without further dilution.

Compost Tea replenishes the soil, acts as a natural fertilizer, and balances the soil. Instead of providing a large amount of one nutrient, it provides them all equally. Since it is all natural, it works slowly over time, mimicking what the soil naturally does.  Once applied, this soil will help the tree fight off pests and diseases.

Taking care of your trees from root to tips is important for a healthy tree. This is one of the simplest ways to ensure tree health. For a comprehensive exam, give us a call and set up a free estimate so that we can work together to get your tree strong and healthy.

Photo Courtesy of Claran Mooney on Flickr!

Menchhofer Tree Care

About Steve Menchhofer

Steve Menchhofer has been caring for the trees of the Indianapolis, Indiana metro area for over 40 years. Steve and his team of experienced, certified arborists are members of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Indiana Arborist Association.

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