Healthy soil contains an incredibly diverse group of organisms: bacteria, algae, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, micro-arthropods, earthworms, insects, small vertebrates, and plants. Microorganisms eat, grow, and move through the soil, adjusting the pH as they multiply. Bacteria adhere to organic matter and soil particles making micro-aggregates. Fungal hyphae wrap themselves around the smaller aggregates to form the larger aggregates. Highly mobile protozoa and nematodes plow through the soil looking for prey. This, in turn, creates passages for air and water, loosens compacted soil and makes nutrients more available to plant life.
When applying Compost Tea as a foliar spray, the beneficial bacteria and fungi out-compete disease organisms for food and surface area on the plant’s leaves. Many beneficial microbes create inhibitory compounds and antibiotics that are antagonistic toward disease.
When applied as a soil drench, bacteria and fungi break down organic matter and retain the nutrients. Protozoa and nematodes feed on bacteria, fungi, and other nematodes and recycle the nutrients into plant available forms creating fertile soil. Also, incorrect pH ties up many elements that have been applied over the years. The microbes will actually adjust the pH as they multiply and make existing nutrients plant available.
The pesticide qualities of compost tea are due to fungal-feeding nematodes, predatory nematodes, entomopathogenic nematodes, bacteria, and fungi . Additionally, mycorrhizal fungi, beneficial fungi that live in and around the roots of 95% of the earth’s plant species, serve as a secondary root system by extending themselves deep into the soil. Mycorrhizae extract mineral elements and water from the soil for their host plant, and live off the plant’s sugars. Mycorrhizal fungi are much more prone to colonize the roots of plants when fertilized with organic materials and existing populations will increase on their own as soil conditions improve. Trees and plants with thriving “mycorrhizal root” systems are better able to survive and thrive in stressful environments.
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What People Say
“My tomatoes were sweeter than ever before and my homemade tomato sauce was the best I ever had”Chris Abery
“The green apples on my tree were sweet! Never have I tasted apples like these”Brane Petrovic
“I’ve never seen so many worms in my garden!”Mrs. Zollar