Many gardeners are well aware of the benefits of compost as a soil amendment to improve the soil, as a moisture retaining mulch, and for its nutritive value.
You may not be aware that you can make a mild, organic liquid fertilizer from compost called compost tea. It has all the nutritive value and beneficial organisms of the solid version but because it is liquid it is taken up by the plants faster. It is a very simple process that only requires a couple of items.
To make compost tea place the paint strainer in the bucket and place a shovel full of compost in the strainer. Tie it off or let it drape over the side of the bucket. Fill the bucket with water, wait at least 24 hours and you will have compost tea! If you choose to use the air pump place the tube with the aerator into the water and plug the pump in. The extra aeration gives the beneficial organisms more oxygen so they multiply faster.
Use compost tea in place of regular watering once or twice a week. It can be poured over the leaves for improved uptake by the plant as well as into the ground. The used compost can go back into the compost pile or use it to mulch the plants.
Photos below showing 1) Five-gallon bucket 2) bucket with paint strainer 3) adding rich compost to the bucket 4) aerating the tea 5) aeration device