Garden Tip: Making Tea for Transplants

By Holly Mackay. Posted on August 3, 2019 in Stories + Recipes

A healthy start is paramount to success, this rule rings true when starting your day with breakfast and meditation, and when developing sprouting seedlings with wonderful compost tea!

In the Hollyhock garden, we add compost tea to newly transplanted seedlings that we start inside the greenhouse. The recipe to our tea is simple to make and our plants love it!

Though you can use many different types of plants to make compost tea, we like to use comfrey, a extremely fast-growing, hardy, and nutrient dense plant that can be found wild or for sale throughout North America. To make the tea, we chop up comfrey and fill a barrel with it. We then add water until the barrel is full, and cover with a lid. It’s important to make sure that the comfrey leaves used aren’t flowering. If it is, comfrey seeds would be spread throughout the garden resulting in undesirable growth.

It takes about a month before the tea is ready to use (variable on temperature), and can be kept for several months. This tea is super stinky at first, but mellows with age. There will also be left over organic matter from the comfrey leaves; place these bits and pieces into the standard compost bin. We don’t waste a thing in our garden!

When using this tea to water your transplants, dilute it to roughly 5 parts water to 1 part tea. This will prevent “nitrogen burn” that can come as a result from an overly high concentration of minerals.

And there you have it! A simple way to ensure a fresh and healthy start to each growth cycle for your organic garden. Let us know if you’ve used compost tea in the past or have any other tips in the comments below.

Showing 2 comments
  • JoAnne

    Thank you for this informative article. I was curious if seaweed can be using in the same manner for the garden.

  • Shelley

    Ugg. Thanks for the tip… unfortunately I just added flowering comfrey to a brew. But it will be fermenting in EM.. I hope the fermenting will kill the comfrey seeds.. and I will strain out all plant matter too

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