Sunday, July 6, 2014

Compost Tea for the Pumpkin Plants

This evening I gave both pumpkin plants about four gallons of aerated compost tea (2 gallons per plant).  As noted before, compost tea typically doesn't have much in the way of NPK or nutrients.  The reason you apply compost tea is for the biology.

I'll use different things for my compost tea.  Today, in a paint strainer's bag, I put in about a half a cup of earthworm castings, about a quarter a cup of alfalfa pellets and one old, dried leaf.  That was put into a 4 gallon container that had water in it that had sat for about 24 hours so the chlorine from the tap water could evaporate.

I then had air from a fish tank pump bubble through the water to aerate the compost which will help keep harmful organisms from developing in the water.  At about the 24 hour mark I added about 1 1/2 tablespoons of un-sulfered molasses to the water.  That will allow the bacteria a food source in the water.  I then brewed it for an additional 8 hours.

After that I pour the compost tea on the leaves and ground.  I usually put the compost tea in a watering can then swing my arm in a sideways motion so that the compost tea will splash across the leaves.  Often I'll pour a little near the stump and on the area of the main vine as well.  The friendly bacteria and fungus from the compost tea should help protect the plant and help the plant get at nutrients in the soil.

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