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How to Create Liquid Mycorrhizal Fertilizer

By Ruth de Jauregui ; Updated September 21, 2017
Many gardeners teach their children how to compost kitchen scraps.

Mycorrhizae fungi are an important part of the ecosystem. They assist plant roots in absorbing water and nutrients from the soil. Creating your own fresh, organic mycorrhizal fertilizer is a simple project. Begin by brewing a compost tea with a bucket, aerator, compost and water. When the tea is brewed, dilute it and add the mycorrhizal innoculant. Apply the liquid mycorrhizal fertilizer directly to your plants' roots for the best results.

Making the Compost Tea

Step 1

Attach the plastic tubing to the airstones. Place the airstones into the 5-gallon bucket, extending the tubing up the side and attaching to the gang valve. Extend a length of tubing from the gang valve to the aquarium pump. Place the aquarium pump above and to the side of the bucket.

Step 2

Spread out the cheesecloth in layers, three or four layers thick. Pour 8 cups of compost into the cloth’s center. Fold the sides up and tie with twine making a compost tea bag.

Step 3

Put the compost tea bag into the 5-gallon bucket. Tie the twine to the handle so the tea bag hangs along the bucker’s side. It may sit partially on the bottom of the bucket, but do not cover the airstones. Add 4 gallons of water.

Step 4

Plug the aquarium pump in and turn it on. The airstones agitate the water continuously with a steady stream of bubbles. Brew the compost tea for 24 to 48 hours.

Step 5

Mix one part compost tea with four parts water. Add 1 tsp. mycorrhizal innoculant to the compost tea and stir to mix. Apply to plants immediately.

Applying the Mycorrhizal Compost Tea

Step 1

Lay a 1/2-gallon plastic milk container on its side. Punch 10 to 15 small holes in the sides and bottom with the skewer.

Step 2

Dig a hole next to your plants' rootball with a trowel. Insert the plastic container into the hole and cover it up to the neck with soil.

Step 3

Insert a funnel into the neck and fill the plastic container with the compost tea immediately after mixing it with the mycorrhizal innoculant.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Plastic tubing
  • 3 airstones
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Gang valve
  • Aquarium pump
  • Cheesecloth
  • Measuring cup
  • 8 cups of compost
  • Twine
  • Water
  • Mycorrhizal innoculant
  • Plastic milk containers, 1/2-gallon size
  • Metal skewer
  • Trowel
  • Funnel

About the Author

 

With degrees in fine and commercial art and Spanish, Ruth de Jauregui is an old-school graphic artist, book designer and published author. De Jauregui authored 50 Fabulous Tomatoes for Your Garden, available as an ebook. She enthusiastically pursues creative and community interests, including gardening, home improvement and social issues.