Soil Soup is a liquid fertilizer and is easy to make. The “passive” method is free and cheap. There are many variations to making the soup, but this will be the easiest to do. It is made out of mature compost, turned into a soup. Don’t spend money on liquid fertilizers when you can make your own. Well-steeped soil soup is rich in microorganisms that are highly beneficial to your plants’ growth and health. Nutrients and minerals are readily absorbed by your herbs, plants, flowers or vegetable gardens. It is a mild, organic liquid fertilizer that provides live organisms that improve the soil and does not burn your plants like store bought fertilizers.
It is a very simple process that dates back to ancient Europe. All you have to do is soak compost in water for a few days and the compost will give off nutrients and minerals to the water, which is then drained off for use in feeding all of your garden plants. This is a passive soup recipe. An “active” soup recipe uses an aerated method.
Things You Will Need:
· Mature compost ready for use
· Cheese cloth or an other tightly porous fabric for straining
· 2 metal buckets or containers with lids
Making Soil Soup:
· Fill a metal bucket one-third full of finished, mature compost.
· Add purified water to near top of the bucket. Cool, non-chlorinated, and highly oxygenated water is used. Chlorine kills microorganisms and is commonly used in municipal water systems.
· Let this “soup” mixture steep for three to four days to a week or 10 days, stirring each day.
· Strain the soup through old pantyhose, socks, cheesecloth or other tightly porous fabric into another bucket.
· Take remaining compost solids and return them to the compost bucket.
· Dilute the remaining liquid with water so it’s the color of a watered down soup or weak tea.
Feed your indoor plants soil soup according to each plant’s requirements (check seed packets and gardening books for details).
· You may also buy a compost tea bag; fill the bag with mature compost and steep bag in bucket of pure water.
· If used for foliar application (sprayed on the leaves) you need to strain the soup through fine cheesecloth to remove small particles that can clog the sprayer.
· Do NOT use a sprayer that has been used for chemical sprays. It will kill the bacteria and fungi. Even if you rinse it out, there is generally a residue left that makes it useless for organic spraying.
· If going organic, then only use organic materials, avoiding all that contain chemicals.
· Use soil soup to replace chemical-based fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides to be more protective of the environment by going “green”.
· Pure compost tea is often too strong for your plants. Before applying the tea to your plants, mix 10 parts water with one part compost tea. This 10:1 ratio dilutes the nutrient levels, so the tea can be safely applied.
· To speed up the process, you can simulate the aeration method by shaking the container enough to produce froth on the surface.
Important Note: The liquid nutrients in the soup are used immediately by your plants. Because it is in liquid form, it can wash out of your soil quickly. Frequent applications are recommended.