Trees Can Benefit From Adding Biodynamic Compost TeaMar 31, 2023 ● By Tiffany Hinton
Photo credit © Sasi Ponchaisang for Dreamstime.com
Healing Mother Earth is not a one-person job. It will take many to help her heal and create a sustainable planet for our children to live in. The many years of industrial farming, chemical lawn treatments and trying to grow a suburban monoculture yard have harmed the biome of our soil. Earth Day was begun in 1970, and marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. The idea was to create awareness and a voice for emerging environmental consciousness. Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 each year, and this year it will also align with the predicted last frost for our area by The Farmer’s Almanac, although the actual last frost date may vary.
Healing our soil will take many years, although there are simple things you can do at home to help contribute to our soils health and improve the diversity of our plants and trees in your own backyard. One way to take action at home and join the movement is to create a “tea” designed to nourish trees. This concept was given the name biodynamic compost treatments by Rudolph Steiner, who took a key role in healing and improving the soil in Germany in the 1920s following World War I, using ancient medicinal treatments. Steiner’s treatments are now used globally, even at Sissinghurst Castle, in England, by Matt Jackson, the author of Moon Gardening. A few of Steiner’s famous treatments include Prep 502 (Yarrow Blossom), Prep 504 (Stinging Nettle) and Prep 506 (Dandelion Blossom).
Biodynamic compost tea treatments can be purchased online and at garden centers, although they can be made less expensively at home using the same technique as making sun tea in a large glass jar or pitcher. Simply collect rainwater and use the infusion method with the treatment ingredients to make the compost tea to add to the soil around the garden or trees.
These compost tea recipes have been adapted and tested for backyard use by the author. As you water the earth with the compost tea, say a prayer or phase of gratitude for the Earth and her abundance. Send the Earth healing energy and smile. This small step will have great rewards for your harvest, flowers and fruit from the trees this season.
Note: Check with local backyard chicken groups and neighbors to source chicken and cow manure. Organic cow manure is available at some local independent garden centers.
Safety note: These compost teas are strictly for garden use only and are not for human or animal consumption. Wear gloves and wash hands well after applying to the soil.
Compost Tea #1 - Well-Rounded Tea
1 banana peel
½ cup manure (rabbit poop or cow poop)
32 oz rainwater
1 Tbsp used coffee grounds
5 yellow dandelion flowers
Compost Tea #2 -
1 cup chicken poop
Handful of grass or dandelion greens
32 oz rainwater
Compost Tea #3 -
2 banana peels
1 Tbsp coffee grounds
5 egg shells, crushed
32 oz rainwater
Compost Tea #4 – Plant-based Fuel
1 cup stinging nettle leaves
1 cup yarrow flowers
32 oz rain water
Add all ingredients to a large mason jar or upcycled pasta sauce or similarly sized jar. Allow to sit in the sun for seven days, then dilute with additional water. Apply to the soil at the tree driplines with gratitude.
If you are interested in learning more about biodynamic gardening or setting up your own raised bed garden, visit CultivatingGuts.com. Tiffany Hinton has a new free eBook for download, Biodynamic Moon Gardening, helping you build a biodynamic raised bed garden in one moon cycle. Also, join Tiffany on her homestead on April 22 for an all-day garden retreat. Register at CultivatingGuts.com/gardenretreat. Space is limited.