Garden News Blog

Tea Time

Healthy soil is essential to a thriving garden, and with the growing season fast approaching, now is the time to think about improving yours by adding compost. It’s rich in nutrients, improves water retention capacity, and reduces organic waste. Most gardeners know this in theory, but even the most experienced horticulturists have nagging questions about how exactly to use it. Will there be enough room to work it into the soil in established container plantings? Can rooftop gardens handle any more weight? How can it be applied to hard to reach spaces where the soil is already covered by mulch? Won’t it make a lawn messy? And sometimes there just isn’t enough solid compost to go around. Compost tea is a simple, easy solution that addresses all of these concerns. BBG’s own gardeners use it for the Garden’s trees, shrubs, and lawns, in the Children’s Garden, in the Warm Temperate and Tropical Pavilions, as well as in the Discovery Garden Greenhouses and have see fantastic results.

Compost tea is brewed from fully decomposed organic materials. A well-made batch contains all the beneficial microorganisms and nutrients of solid compost but takes up less space. It’s teeming with beneficial bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes, and a little bit can go a long way. One five-gallon bucket of a finished brew can feed up to 10,000 square feet of turf grass. Moreover, studies show that, when sprayed on the leaves, compost tea helps suppress pests and diseases.

Compost expert Peter Schmidt can tell gardeners everything thing they need to know to make high-quality compost and compost tea, and he’ll be teaching a workshop for professionals on March 15th. Read the workshop description to learn more.

BBG Staff

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Compost expert Peter Schmidt explains how to brew compost tea.