I suppose there is nothing new under the sun, but what I’m sharing with you today was new to me. I’ve heard of “compost tea,” but the tutorials I’ve seen seemed quite complicated or too time-consuming for my taste.
I suppose what I’ve discovered is a form of compost tea, without all the work and headache.
I stumbled upon this natural fertilizer, if you will, by accident. Since I tend to procrastinate and wait until my compost crock is overflowing to empty it, I’m always left with a dirty, smelly, sometimes caked-on mess afterward. I never can seem to get everything out of my compost crock before taking it back inside.
One day, I decided to rinse the crock out with water from the hose before bringing the crock back in, and I noticed the water looking brown, like watered-down coffee. I realized it was similar to weak coffee, as coffee grounds are a big part of my kitchen waste.
I knew coffee grounds are good for the garden, and on a whim, I watered my tomatoes with this liquid, thinking it definitely wouldn’t hurt.
My tomatoes are growing at an incredible rate, one I’ve never seen before. I can’t pinpoint one single cause, as there are many variables new to this particular crop this year, but I have to believe my new “instant fertilizer” has helped.
It’s simple takes less than 5 minutes, and I’m able to water 3-4 plants with each trip. Here’s what I do.
Empty the compost crock.
My crock is usually filled with the previously mentioned coffee grounds, banana peels, and other kitchen waste. I empty it into my compost pile.
(Need a good compost crock? This one is the one I use.)
Fill Crock with Water
Even after I dump the contents of the crock into the compost pile, the crock is full of caked-on coffee grounds and the remains of what vegetable scraps have begun to break down. By filling the crock with water, the remains of kitchen scraps and coffee grounds mix, forming a type of compost tea. At the same time, my crock gets a good rinse before it returns to my kitchen!
Pour water around plants
The plants closest to my water hose are also the ones needing water the most since they are in my raised beds and are not served by my drip irrigation I have in my in-ground garden.
In the picture above I watered my young peppers, but as mentioned, tomatoes love the added nutrient boost as well. Other heavy feeders such as cabbage and squash would be great options, too.
Now that I’ve discovered I can rinse my compost crock and nourish my plants at the same time, I do this every time I have to take my kitchen scraps to the compost pile.
Don’t have a compost pile?
Well, you and I need to have a talk about that. 🙂
But until you get one, you might consider this similar option. I have a friend who places his kitchen scraps directly in earmarked corners of his raised beds. Through the rainwater and the breakdown of these scraps, he claims the nourishment his crops receive this way has made a huge difference in his garden’s growth.
I can definitely see how it would work. Just be sure and cover fresh scraps with some type of soil or mulch so you won’t have rot in your garden and invite unwanted pests and critters. And don’t put it too close to your plants. Again, I’ve never tried this, but if it works for you, I’d love to know about it!
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