Making Compost Tea

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Photo by pilotL39 (iStock)
Compost tea can work wonders for the health of your soil!


  • One pair of old/cheap women’s hosiery
  • Weed of your choice
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Distilled water
  • Small fish tank bubbler (available for around 10 dollars on Amazon)


  • Fill one leg of a pair of old hosiery with the weed of your choice and add this to a 5-gallon bucket. Cover with distilled water. Be sure water does not contain chlorine or fluoride (don’t use city water in this application).
  • Let sit for 3 to 9 days in a spot out of direct sunlight or intense heat or cold.
  • Remove hosiery and add fish tank bubbler. Leave brew to bubble for another 24 hours.
  • When it’s ready to use, simply pull out the bubbler and dilute 1 part tea to 20 parts water. This can then be drenched directly on the soil. Save the remainder in empty milk jugs or other lidded containers.

    For more information about weeds and their surprisingly beneficial properties, see Know Your Garden Weeds.

    Dawn Combs is an ethnobotanist and the co-owner of Mockingbird Meadows Farm, which has applied biodynamic principles for more than a decade. She is a frequent speaker at organic and biodynamic farming conferences and Mother Earth News Fairs around the country. Dawn is the author of Heal Local, 20 Essential Herbs for Do-it-Yourself Home Healthcare.

A compost tea made from weeds from your yard is a simple and relatively quick way (compared with finished compost) to deliver the nutrients of your yard’s weeds back into your soil.

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