DIY Network

How to Brew Compost Tea

Steeping compost in water creates an all natural plant food known as compost tea. This method makes an even better batch.

More in Outdoors

aerate compost tea to make an aerobic brew
  • Time

    Two Days

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Connect Pump

Attach a length of plastic tubing between the aquarium pump and a three-gang valve. Attach three pieces of plastic tubing the other side of the gang valve, making sure they are long enough to reach to the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket. Attach air bubblers to each of the three pieces of tubing.

hook up plastic tubing to gang valve

Step 2: Add Compost

Fill a piece of cheesecloth with enough compost to fill 4" of the bottom of the bucket. Place the compost in the bucket, making sure the three bubblers are underneath. Fill the bucket with dechlorinated water almost to the top. Add 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses, which will feed the bacteria in the compost.

fill cheesecloth with good compost

Step 3: Brew Compost Tea

Plug in the pump and turn it on. The compost tea needs to brew for two or three days and should be stirred occasionally. The tea should have a pleasant, sweet odor. When it is ready, turn off and unplug the pump.

aerate compost tea to make an aerobic brew

Step 4: Feed Plants

To use as a foliar feed, strain compost tea through a coffee filter into a sprayer. Spray directly on plants. To use as a soil drench, place the unstrained tea in a watering can and pour it around the base of plants.

use tea brew as a soil drench