In Brief: Compost Tea – What it is and Does it Really Work?
Microorganic nutrients are great for activating and revitalizing sterile or poor soil. And recently, soil revitalization with compost tea is increasingly coming to the fore! It is filled with rich nutrients and minerals which helps your soil and plants thrive. But how do you make it and does it REALLY work? Here we take a look.
In recent years, in addition to traditional fertilization, soil revitalization with microorganisms is increasingly coming to the fore. A wide range of microorganisms is suitable for activating and revitalizing sterile or poor soil.
The primary goal is not only to supply the plants with nutrients.
But it also helps to promote plant growth and development through the activity of the microorganisms. It increases stress tolerance and thereby increases the yield.
These are what compost tea can help with, and we will look at these possibilities in detail.
- In Brief: Compost Tea – What it is and Does it Really Work?
- What is Compost Tea?
- Benefits of Using a Compost Tea
- Limitations of Using a Compost Tea
What is Compost Tea?
Tea time for your plants!
Compost tea is a dried organic fertilizer in an infusion bag that your plants can enjoy after a steeping time of 24 hours. Expert composter, Professor Rot, succinctly describes it as “liquid gold.”
Your vegetables and herbs will always love the aroma of earthworm humus, nettle, and comfrey.
They will reward you with strong leaves and a plentiful harvest. The fertilizers, usually in a teabag, offer a good alternative to chemical-synthetic fertilizers. It’s a creative solution from nature – for nature!
The “sleeping” microorganisms in the dry compost tea bag are activated in the water. They then form a natural bio-barrier around the plant roots and awaken the earth to new life.
Thanks to special drying processes, the compost tea has a long shelf life and is immediately ready to use.
Does compost tea really work? Stephen from Alberta Urban Garden sheds more light in the video:
Benefits of Using a Compost Tea
Compost tea is one of the best homemade fertilizers. Compost tea can be a great environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional fertilizers. The main benefits of compost tea include:
Improvement in plant growth
During the compost extraction process, microorganisms, nutrients, and plant-strengthening substances are brought into a liquid form.
With regular watering treatments, the use of compost tea can invigorate the soil in the long-term and sustainably.
It strengthens the roots from the ground up and optimally supplies the plants with nutrients
Spraying compost tea directly on the leaf also has disease-suppressing effects. This is due to the colonization of the leaf surface with microorganisms. This is recommended as a preventive measure and as foliar fertilization.
Some microorganisms act as opponents of the harmful organisms.
They form a protective film around the roots in the area of the rhizosphere. Others are in such large numbers in the substrate after application that harmful species and root pathogens simply cannot find a place to spread (suppression).
Diversity of micro-organic nutrients
The most astonishing diversity is contained in compost. There are billions of organisms of the most diverse species in compost tea. According to the DIY Network, a spoon of compost tea contains up to 4 billion good bacteria!
Many of them have biocontrol properties against pests and diseases.
Some have the ability to mobilize ions and nutrients. There are also those that have secondary metabolites with effects against harmful fungi. Some have plant hormone-like substances with plant-strengthening and growth-promoting properties
Adaptation to nature
These microorganisms in compost tea maintain a balance in the soil. They can optimally adapt to the conditions on-site and changes in nature (soil, weather, seasons, planting, soil cultivation, etc.).
Compost and compost tea are always suitable to keep the soil and thus the plant healthy
Eliminates the need for chemicals
If there is any environmental benefit of compost tea, it is the elimination of the need for synthetic fertilizers, most of which are not ecologically-friendly.
It makes sense that instead of applying fabricated chemicals and herbicides, you can apply microbes, which will assist your soil in becoming more productive.
Healthy microbiology is like assisting the natural immunity of the soil and the plant.
Limitations of Using a Compost Tea
“Liquid Gold” isn’t all golden after all. Like every type of soil fertilization method, it contains a few disadvantages, some of which are explained below:
The conservation time
One of the main problems with this method is its short duration to be used. It only retains its properties in the following 24 hours after it is processed.
Clogging of irrigation equipment
Sometimes if we use the irrigation equipment to apply the tea, they can become clogged due to some residue that we have not eliminated from our solution.
May contain pathogens
If it has not been processed correctly, respecting the different temperatures. It may contain pathogens that will end up contaminating your crops. It should be applied mainly in the growth stage of plants.
Either way, these downsides can be controlled.
John Kohler from the GrowingYourGreens.com and Josh from the Boogie Brew company explain some challenges of using compost tea and how we can make it work:
To make compost tea, small amounts of mature compost are added to unheated water and then steeped for two to three days. The amount of compost that is infused should be inside a cloth, preferably made of cotton or some non-toxic permeable fabric that does not let the compost escape from inside the bag.
The water you use should be as clean as possible or from the rain. Never use water that has been puddled and smells bad. During the two or three days that the infusion is being carried out, it will have to be stirred to ensure the aeration of the infusion. You will need buckets where you can make the infusion.
The tea can be applied either by watering the soil or by spraying the leaves of the plants. Applying the compost to the soil will provide the plant with nutrients, and it will grow better. But if the leaves are sprayed, it will perform a natural pesticide function.
To apply compost tea, it is good to do it immediately after it is produced. This ensures that it retains as many of its nutrients, organisms, and initial benefits as possible. In the event that it cannot be applied yet, it can be stored in closed bottles and protected from the sun. But, ideally, they should be there for the shortest time possible.
Compost tea is a great environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional synthetic fertilizers. It is easy to use, organic, yet odor-free. It contains billions of natural microorganisms.
The compost tea only contains microorganisms from nature that have been adapted to the ecosystem. It’s a great way to ensure your plants have the right nutrients while warding off pests and diseases.