Compost tea has been brewed at Cleeve Nursery since the early noughties. Cleeve Nursery is believed to be the first retail outlet in the UK to supply amateur gardeners with freshly brewed Compost Tea.
This new-but-old technique, for maintaining a natural balance in the garden, has already reaped substantial rewards for commercial growers in USA, Holland and many go-ahead growers in Britain.
Since 2002, Cleeve Nursery has brewed a mixture of herbs, well composted plant prunings, dried kelp seaweed, sugar, fish meal and other ingredients to make their very special aerobic compost tea brew. When diluted and applied to the leaves of plants, compost tea is having a remarkable effect on plant growth and plant health. The ingredients are carefully compiled by a large Dutch composting company and brewed with special equipment at Cleeve Nursery’s own plant production unit.
The Compost Tea brew is used on all plants in the Nursery, Garden Centre and in Alan and Felicity Down’s own garden. Application of the diluted live brew is carried out fortnightly and plants show improved health and vigour.
The brew acts as a micro-feed and has dramatically cut the need for fungicide applications to control diseases. This has had tremendous benefits and compliments the extensive use of natural predators already used to control plant pests. Spray costs have been slashed and plant growth has improved. There have been substantial benefits to the environment too.
The fresh brew is available from the Garden Centre at Cleeve on the day of brewing.
The live brew of Compost Tea needs to be applied as a foliar feed within 12 hours for maximum effect. The first brew [2 litres is enough for the average garden] is free of charge. Subsequent supplies are available at the discounted price of £3 a litre but, if £25 is spent on plants that day, the charge is waived.
Compost Tea is harmless to pets and children. It is believed to be beneficial to all plants but it is advisable to wash and/or peel fruits and vegetables in the normal way before consumption.
Thanks to Cleeve Nursery, UK gardeners can now join numerous American gardeners [who call compost tea ‘soil soup’] in growing healthy and strong plants the natural way. Compost Tea is no “silver bullet” but it is certainly a more pleasant way to keep garden plants healthy than by using manmade sprays.