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Compost tea is a biological fertilizer for the garden. Gardeners all around the world are screaming about the top benefits of compost tea. So, what is compost tea? Compost tea is a liquid fertilizer otherwise known as liquid gold or black gold.
The basic form of compost tea
In its basic form compost tea is steeping biologically rich and aged compost with water. Most importantly, over the years gardeners have further enhanced this with various additions, including worm castings. Known for their biological activity. And replacing a percentage of the water with other forms of tea. Such as nettle tea or comfrey tea.
This adds further nutrients to the compost tea. As biology are alive they need a food source and for that most people use molasses.
There are two methods for brewing compost tea. Those methods both have scientific research behind them and each has its merits. Furthermore, the two processes of brewing compost tea are aerobic and anaerobic. Let’s talk about the latter first. Anaerobic is a compost tea that is as you can see in the above photo.
By brewing the tea and placing a lid on the bucket, you will omit all air and the resulting liquid will turn anaerobic. By far the most used method and the one I use is the aerobic method. This is where you add a mechanical air pump that was designed for the aquatic industry, to pump air into the compost tea.
The Principle Of Compost tea
The whole principle behind compost tea is to increase the amount of biological life within the soil. Because we all know about the soil web life helps plants grow and fend off disease. That’s the benefit of compost tea. I will do another blog on that at a later date. But to increase the quality and yields of our fruits and vegetables we need to increase fertility. This will help us to get a better-looking garden. We need to look after the soil web life. Furthermore, what compost tea does is increase the bacteria and microbes that we would be adding when mulching with compost.
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I thought I knew a thing or two about composting organic materials to use back in my garden as “black gold” but Tony’s breaking down (pun intended) of composting principles and methods has given me a better understanding of the whole process.
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Soil food web
It is important to understand the soil food web. Because of the way we are trying to increase that very nature, by adding compost tea. What does all this have to do with better plants? By introducing a highly beneficial group of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes we are increasing the amount of good life within the soil.
This, in turn, breaks down within the cycle which provides natural nutrients which can be readily taken up by the plants. Because this is what compost tea is all about, We are literally just giving the microbes everything it needs to reproduce their numbers by the billions. furthermore, this, in turn, will feed your soil. Ever heard of the saying ‘feed your soil not your plants’‘? This is exactly what is meant behind that saying.
How Long Should You Brew?
How Long should you leave the brew? This really depends on the amount you are brewing and the quantity of molasses you used. However, three or four days should be an ideal amount of time. Once the compost tea is ready it should be used immediately as it doesn’t really store. The microbes start to die without the oxygen and food that is required. It is possible to add additional water, compost, and molasses to continue the brewing process.
Compost tea can be used to water your plants. You can not overuse the compost tea so there is no real danger of using too much. Use as much fluid as the plant needs. It can also be used as a drench and this can aid plants to fend of fungal and blight attacks
Benefits of using compost tea
- Improvement in plant size and quality. Compost teas are jam-packed with nutrients and trace minerals which aid in plant growth and strengthening the plant’s immune system.
Soil Web Life
- Increases the soil food web life. The larger the community building the structure of the soil the better, This adds fertilisers which are also available to the plants and can change a soils makeup.
- Is totally organic. Making your own compost tea allows you to control the soil and plant life within your garden. Instead of killing your soil life with chemicals. You are creating a thriving environment which is self-sustaining
- Helps to suppress disease and pest damage. Compost tea helps to build the plants immune system. Which, in turn, allows the plant to fend off attacks from pests or diseases such as blight.
- Breaks gardeners reliance on toxic chemicals. Returning your garden to a more natural balance where mother nature shows you how it’s done.
- Makes you feel warm inside :). You know you’re doing your little bit to look after the earth. The animals that use your garden, and your family. By providing nutrient-dense organic great tasting food.
Both of these products are available to make this whole process easier for you. If you want to brew your own compost tea, you can just purchase these and start your journey into improving your soil for high-quality plants.
I really hope you will give your garden some help. Increase that soil life and feed the soil by making your very own compost tea. Once you do this you will see the benefits of compost tea in your garden.
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