How to Make Aerated Aerobic Compost Tea at Home


Compost tea is a nutrient-rich liquid made by mixing mature organic compost with water. The liquid replaces chemical fertilizers to increase plant growth by adding beneficial aerobic organisms into the soil. Aerated compost tea increases the oxygen levels in the mixture to speed the tea-making process. It is safe to apply compost tea to garden soil or mist onto the plant foliage every two weeks during the growing season.

Step 1

Cut three 12-inch lengths of aquarium hose with sharp scissors. Attach one end of each length to the gang valve. Attach one end of the remaining length of tubing to the single connection valve and the opposite end to the air pump.

Step 2

Hang the valve unit on the side of the bucket so the three lengths hang inside the bucket. Fill the bucket to within 6 inches from the top of the bucket and turn on the pump to make sure it is working.

Step 3

Measure 1 gallon of organic compost and pour it into the bottom of the bucket. Add water to within 6 inches of the top of the bucket.

Step 4

Add 1 oz. of unsulfured molasses as a food source for compost to stimulate beneficial bacteria growth. Stir the contents with a stick or large wooden spoon to combine the ingredients.

Step 5

Start the aquarium pump and let the mixture aerate for two to three days. Stir the mixture twice a day with a stick or large wooden spoon to remove clumps of compost.

Step 6

Strain the aerated compost tea by pouring the mixture through a strainer lined with two to three layers of cheesecloth and placed over a 5-gallon bucket. Retain the compost solids and mix them into a garden bed for fertilizer.

Step 7

Pour the compost tea into a watering can and apply to garden soil immediately to take advantage of the beneficial microbes. Pour compost tea into a garden mister to spray the garden plant foliage.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp scissors
  • 3-foot aquarium tubing
  • Aquarium gang valve
  • 3-watt aquarium pump
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Water
  • Mature compost
  • Unsulfured molasses
  • Strainer
  • Cheesecloth
  • Watering can
  • Plant mister


  • University of Vermont Extension: Compost Tea to Suppress Plant Disease
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection: Compost Tea
Keywords: make compost tea, aerated compost tea, aerobic aerated tea

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.