Tea leaves are made from the leaves of an evergreen shrub named Camellia Sinensis. Tea leaves are usually known for the infusion it creates with warm water, tea, a celebrated beverage across the globe. But tea leaves are much more than just an ingredient for a beverage.
The tea leaves are often discarded after the process of infusion. Have you ever wondered if these can be used for other purposes besides being used for brewing the beverage?
Can tea grounds be used as a fertilizer? Yea, tea grounds can be used as an excellent organic fertilizer. Tea leaves are loaded with adequate quantities of essential nutrients, along with polyphenols. Tea grounds are incredibly beneficial for plants as it also helps in aeration of the soil and strengthening of roots.
Tea leaves have been traditionally used for infusing tea. Tea, as widely known, is the second most-consumed drink, right after water. Tea is brewed by dipping tea leaves in warm water. Usually, once this process is done, everyone tends to discard the tea leaves used during the process. Instead of discarding the already used tea leaves, it can actually be used for various purposes.
Tea leaves can be used for serving a variety of other purposes besides being used for brewing the infusion. Tea leaves can be reused again and again in some form or the other. Instead of discarding away the used tea leaves, you can certainly put it into a variety of uses.
Tea leaves have been extensively reused in the farming and agriculture sector. To people associated with these lines or botanical enthusiasts, it should not come as a surprise at all. Grounds of used tea leaves or tea bags can be used as an excellent option of organic fertilizer. It can be used for the proper growth of plants in your garden!
Tea Grounds As Fertilizer
What are fertilizers anyway? Fertilizers, as you know, are chemical or natural substances added to soil and land for increasing fertility. Fertilizers are used extensively for producing better quality plants and in turn, better crops. Chemical fertilizers, as the name suggests, are synthetic products used by crop yielders for nourishing their plants. Although effective, people often tend not to use chemical products for their plants.
Organic fertilizers are the most effective option in most cases. Several commercial organic fertilizers are available in the market, which ensures safe and sustainable growth for their crops. Most of these come with hefty price tags.
Tea grounds, on the other hand, provides an alternative to the expensive organic fertilizers. Tea grounds provide nutrients like Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium (abbreviated as N.P.K fertilizer) in technically no expense. Tea grounds which would otherwise be discarded is reused and made into an excellent fertilizer. Tea grounds act as a fertilizer and help to improve the plant’s growth, overall health and vitality.
Tea grounds and fresh tea leaves contain nutrients and tannic acid that, when added to the soil, create a more fertile environment for a garden. Tea grounds being natural and organic matter, increase nutrient levels and improve soil quality as they decompose. This increases the level of activity by earthworms and other beneficial microorganisms.
Tea grounds also provide benefits, such as improved rate of oxygenation, that in turn, create a healthier root system for your plants. The overall quality of your plants improves with better root system supported by healthier soil.
Tea grounds are thus very beneficial for your garden. The best part remains the cost-effectiveness of the entire process. You are technically creating fertilizers with components you would otherwise discard as waste. This has two-fold benefits as it not only replenishes your soil and improves the overall quality of crops, you also reduce the wastage and avoid littering.
How To Use Tea Grounds As Organic Fertilizer
Tea grounds can come handy as a cheaper alternative to otherwise expensive organic fertilizers available in the market. But you need to know how best to use it for a better-optimized result from the tea grounds.
I. Dry up your used tea grounds or tea bags: Rinse up your used tea grounds with adequate water more than twice and leave it to dry. Once appropriately dried, transfer the tea grounds to a clean container.
In the case of tea bags, make sure you do not directly use tea bags made of synthetic materials. These will not decompose during the process. In such cases, cut the tea bags open and use only the contents. Paper tea bags can be directly used as paper decomposes quickly, and the process proceeds accordingly.
Careful: In case of tea bags, make sure you remove any metallic nail used to tie up the bag. Remove these nails before using the material as fertilizer.
II. Choose plants you wish to feed tea grounds with: Remember, not all your plants will be a big fan of your self-made fertilizer. Tea leaves are in general acidic due to the presence of tannic acids. The natural tannic acid inside the tea leaves seeps into the soil with rainwater as tea they decompose, thereby lowering the soil’s overall pH value and thus increasing acidity.
Therefore be careful while selecting the plant where you want to apply the tea grounds. Acid loving plants such as beech, willow oak, rhododendrons, caladium etc. will be hugely benefited because of tea grounds.
III. Carefully place the tea grounds on the plants: Take two teaspoons of the tea grounds. Situate the tea grounds near the plants. You may dump the tea grounds on little trenches you make near the plants. Water over the channels and that’s it!
The tea grounds will decompose gradually replenishing the soil with needed nutrients. Water the plants when needed. Tea grounds also speeds up the process of decomposition of other compounds. This implies that any other organic compound that you use as fertilizer for your plant also decomposes quickly and releases helpful compounds which again help your plants grow faster and healthier.
The benefits from the composting process of tea grounds are two-fold. Tea grounds replenishes the soil and provide necessary compounds helping improve the overall quality. It also supports other compounds decompose faster. This is particularly good for plants in more than one ways.
Tea grounds can similarly be useful for landscapes and container plants besides helping gardens. The quantity to be used varies with different areas applied upon. Two teaspoons of tea grounds will be enough in any case. Although exceeding the amount will not cause any harm, but you can restrict yourself to two teaspoons.
Always be careful while choosing tea bags as an alternative. Try to cut open the tea bag and dry the contents inside it and use it as a fertilizer. Nails or any metallic pins attached to the packs will cause trouble during decomposition.
Used tea leaves can be used as an excellent organic fertilizer for your plants. Tea grounds are packed with nutrients which help soil replenish the needed amounts. It also helps in aerating the soil and therefore strengthening the roots. Tea grounds also attract earthworms and other vital microorganisms during the process of decomposition. Used a small number of dried tea grounds for your plants and that’s it!