Last fall we found the time to add quite a bit of compost to the the flower bed where our New Dawn climbing rose lives (as well as an Oak Leaf Hydrangea and our Peony.) The results have been spectacular: Glossy green leaves and a constellation of pale pink blooms.
We top-dressed with even more compost early this spring and applied a little compost tea. While I’m sure some of the amazing growth has been due to location, weather, and fish fertilizer, we believe most of the magic is due to the compost. At least confident enough to keep up the treatment and give all the other flowers an equal allotment.
The downside of all this beauty and growth? The bed is getting a bit crowded–some rearranging will probably be in the near future.
Compost Tea Recipe
Football-sized scoop of compost in an old pillowcase.
5-gallon bucket of water (rainwater, if you have it.)
Put the pillowcase full of compost in the water. Steep for 24 hours stirring vigorously occasionally to oxygenate. You can pour the tea back and forth into another bucket to add O2 as well. (The organisms in the tea can use up all the oxygen and it will get stinky in addition to not being good for your plants.)
Pour into a pump-sprayer and spray away. Easy-Peasy.
I know some folks who add other ingredients like molasses and seaweed, and use an aquarium bubbler to oxygenate but we keep it simple and it works well for us.
Do you have a special recipe for compost tea? Or any other handy uses for compost ? We’d love to hear your compost stories!