How to Make Compost Tea at Home


Many gardeners consider their homemade compost to be one of the most valuable tools for gardening success. Compost improves the quality of soil, helps it to drain more effectively, adds nutrients to the soil, and helps to make the soil more tillable. Another valuable tool available for gardening use is compost tea. Homemade compost tea is beneficial for a growing area in many of the same ways that compost is, except compost tea's liquid form is easier to transport and apply to a growing area.

Step 1

Purchase mature compost or use your own homemade compost.

Step 2

Place 1 gallon of compost into one of the buckets.

Step 3

Place the air tubes onto the aquarium pump. Place the pump on the ground outside the bucket with the air tubes running into the bucket

Step 4

Measure and add 1 oz. of molasses into the compost in the bucket. Add water to fill the bucket and stir the contents with the large stick.

Step 5

Turn the pump on and allow the compost tea mixture to percolate for two days.

Step 6

Turn off the pump after two days and disconnect it. Remove the air tubes.

Step 7

Place the cheesecloth over the top of the second bucket. To strain, pour the compost tea through the cheesecloth into the second bucket.

Step 8

Use the compost tea on your plants within 12 hours for best results. After 12 hours, valuable microbes will perish.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you use your own compost, ensure that at some point during the composting process the compost materials heated to at least 140 degrees. This is important because if compost does not get this warm, dangerous pathogens and undesired weed seeds may still be active in the compost To be sure your tea is free from pathogens, have it tested at a national lab that does such tests.

Things You'll Need

  • Mature compost
  • Two 5-gallon buckets
  • Aquarium pump
  • Air tubes
  • 1 oz. molasses
  • Water
  • Large stick
  • Cheesecloth


  • Compost Tea
Keywords: homemade compost tea, mature compost, use the compost tea

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator and regular contributor to "Natural News." She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, crocheter, painter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. Hatter's Internet publications specialize in natural health and she plans to continue her formal education in the health field, focusing on nursing.