Make Oak Leaf Tea to Feed Plants
If you have acid loving plants, you can feed them by making tea from an oak leaf tree. The tea is generally cheap and easy to make, and will work as a fertilizer to bring up the soil acidity around your plants. By using leaves that you have in your lawn and garden, you can make mulch costs less and help re-use your garden waste.
Sun Brewing Your Oak Leaf Tea
Find a waterproof bucket in which you will be able to place your leaves. Since you will be filling it with water, make sure you select a bucket you can easily pick up and carry, but one that will also have enough water that it will not evaporate quickly.
Fill the bucket between a third full and half full of leaves, and then fill it to the top with water. Let the bucket stay in the sun for several days until the water is the pale brown color of the tea that you drink.
Express Brewing Your Oak Leaf Tea
If you need to make your oak tea right away and can not wait a few days for it to sun brew, you can speed up the process by pouring boiling water over the oak leaves instead of cold. If you do this, you should make sure that your bucket is either metal or a strong enough material that it will be able to withstand the heat without cracking or melting.
Drain the Tea from the Leaves
However you decide to make your tea, you must strain the leaves out of the liquid after it has finished brewing. You can do this by reaching in and grabbing the leaves one at a time or by dumping the water into another bucket through a strainer. If you use a strainer you can make sure that nothing besides the tea will end up on your flower beds, keeping them looking nice and neat.
The used leaves also work as a good mulch. If you have a compost pile, you can deposit them there, or else discard them completely.
Water Your Plants
Once the tea has been created, water your acid loving plants with it instead of water. Over-watering your plants, either with tea or water could be damaging, and they could drown. Since the tea is made up of mostly water, it is ok to only use tea, though it is important to make sure that the water has cooled before distributing it to your plants.
Storing Your Tea
Your tea will expire about two weeks after it is done brewing, so you should use it up before then. Estimate how much tea you will need for your plants with each brewing. It may take a little practice to know how much to make, but you can always save your extra leaves to make more in the future if needed.
The tea should be stored in a container that can be properly sealed to keep the tea fresh and bacteria free.