So What is Compost Tea Exactly?
Save your bottle, save a buck, save the earth!
Bring it back for a refill!
Compost tea is made from water and compost. The compost can come from a knowledgeable homemade source or a professionally extracted concentration. Both of which contain beneficial bacteria, fungi, nematodes, and protozoa. The compost is added to unchlorinated water (I prefer using water from my rain barrel) and brewed with a pump and diffuser for at least 18 hours. Diffusing aerates the mixture which multiplies from millions to billions of microbes per milliliter. True compost tea contains all the organisms that were present in the compost before brewing.
The tea I brew comes from a concentrate of Alaskan Humisoil. The microbes are extracted and the spores are inoculated in a carbon base.
Introducing...The Soil Food Web
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.
Beneficial microbes and roots have a symbiotic relationship. They interact with each other. In addition to eating dead root matter and increasing root reach, beneficial microbes are hard at work in the root zone by maintaining the correct pH, making nutrients more available by breaking them into digestible forms, secreting growth and bloom cofactors, boosting its essential oil production.
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.
I often add about a tablespoon of brewed tea to my gallon watering can pour it in the hole I dug for newly planted perennials, shrubs, and trees. Then I pour it all around the soil of the plant when it’s in the ground.
This is also very effective to spot treat vegetable and fruit gardens.
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.
Using a 32oz hose-end sprayer with the dial set to 8oz gives the perfect dilution ratio and allows coverage of 2,000 sq ft if applied to grass. Note: if spraying on plants and trees as well, this ratio will cover about 1,000 sq ft.
“My tomatoes were sweeter than ever before and my homemade tomato sauce was the best I ever made”
What People Are Saying!
“The green apples on my tree had no more black spots and were sweet! Never have I tasted apples like these”
– Brane Petrovic
“I’ve never seen so many worms in my garden!”