This ultimate guide on tea leaf compost will help you to understand how to use tea leaves as compost. Tea leaves are wonderful source of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These three are essential elements for growth of plants.
According to o-cha.net, globally we consume around 3,000,000 tones of tea leaves in year. But we are not using this potential source of organic fertilizers. We are in a habit disposing tea leaves along with the waste material.
But what if we start using them?
Preparing tea leaf compost is very easy as compared to organic compost such as vermicompost. Tea leaves also enhance soil quality and is completely organic. So if we start making tea leaf compost then we will be able to reuse useful waste material. This will also help gardeners as well as small scale farmers to save a lot of money.
Dried Tea leaves are great source of nitrogen rich organic fertilizer. Tea leaves contains 4% nitrogen. Moreover it also contains 0.25% potassium , 0.24% phosphorus, tannic acid and other useful elements. This helps to increase the fertility of the soil.
You can use the tea leaves in dried form or you can also add them in the compost bin. You can use this organic manure during the vegetative growth of the plant. But I will not promote you to add them during flowering season.
As tea leaf compost is high in nitrogen so it will promote rapid vegetative growth of the plant. However, this is also connected with yield. The more number of branches result in increased flower production.
But to get heavy bloom you need to add phosphorus and potassium rich fertilizers. Therefore if you are growing flowers, vegetables, and fruits then you can add during vegetative growth of the plant. It will help to increase the plant size.
How To Make Tea Leaf Compost?
We use tea leaves for preparing tea. Either we put tea leaves directly in the boiling water or we use tea bags for preparing tea. In both condition, strain out tea leaves with the help of a fine strainer. Wash tea leaves properly in the strainer.
Take out any other used ingredients such as basil leaves, ginger, or cardamom. If you are using milk to prepare tea then you need to wash the used tea leaves properly. At last remove the excess water by pressing tea leaves against the strainer.
You can either take a medium sized earthen pot or plastic container. Make 2 to 4 holes at the top. This will help to ensure good aeration. Diameter of the hole should be one to two centimetres.
Add used tea leaves in the pot daily. Keep adding once the pot is full. Keep this pot under shade. After 60 to 90 days it will be ready to be used. When you notice that the quantity of dried tea leaves is half of the initial quantity then take them out.
Dry them under direct sun for 2 to 4 days and then it is ready to use. However these is another very simple method that you can try.
Tea Leaves As Compost
The process is nearly similar in the beginning. But after washing, straining, and collecting tea leaves you can also try this fast and easy method. Dry the tea leaves under direct sun for 24 hours. You can add garden soil + dried tea leaf compost + organic compost. Sprinkle water and mix them properly.
Cover this mixture with plastic sheet and keep it under shade for 4 to 5 days. After 5th day you can start using this tea leaf manure just like you add any other bulky organic manure. However, I will suggest you to use waste decomposer or sanjeevak along with tea leaf compost.