Compost or Manure Tea

Compost or manure tea is an effective way to supply sensitive plants with a safe dose of nutrition. The infusion is a convenient way to add nutrients to the soil in planters, as well—growing areas that sometimes lack space for the addition of a solid soil amendment.

To make the tea, fill a sturdy burlap bag with fresh compost or aged manure and tie it at the top so that it resembles a tea bag. Suspend the bag in a tub or a barrel of water for a few days. The water leaches nutrients from the material and dilutes them into a mild tonic the same color as tea. Use this liquid as a soil drench, pouring it directly on the soil at watering time. The same bag can produce several batches of tea.

Some gardeners keep a barrel of tea brewing in their vegetable garden all the time, ready for use when transplanting or to help seedlings along. If you do this, cover it tightly to keep mosquitoes from breeding.