Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

A Cuppa for Your Plants

août 5

A great way to fertilize plants, whether indoors or out, it is with compost tea. To make it, fill a cloth bag with mature compost. This could be commercial compost, composted manure, or, even better, compost from your home composter. Now immerse it in a bucket or barrel of water, about one part compost to five parts water. Let it infuse for a week, stirring and kneading the bag occasionally. Then remove the bag, wringing it to get the maximum amount of liquid. Use the resulting compost as a foliar fertilizer or simply water it in at the base of plants. And the compost in the bag is not lost: you can use it as mulch or apply it to the soil like you would any other compost.

Do wear waterproof gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after handling compost tea. It may be great for plants, but it could contain some microbes that are harmful to people.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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