What is Compost Tea?
Organic gardeners all know compost is fantastic stuff. But now, there’s something even better and that’s compost tea. If you start with a good compost you’ll have a versatile elixir for all your garden needs. Compost tea helps prevent foliage diseases and at the same time increase the nutrients to the plant and shutdown the toxins hurting the plants. It will improve the taste/flavor of your vegetables. So why not give this tea a try either by buying it or brewing it yourself. You won’t believe the results!
Four ways that good bacteria work:
Help compete for the nutrients
Dine on the bad varmits
Help produce antibiotics to use against the varmits.
They shove the bad varmits out.
Compost tea that is correctly brewed has a wealth of microorganisms that will benefit your plants’ growth and health as well as the soil that they live in. Compost tea can be considered yogurt for the soil. The microorganisms living there are both good and bad. What the tea does is make sure the good guys win by introducing helpful bacteria, fungi, protozoa and beneficial nematodes.
Harmful bacteria lives best in soil that does not have good air circulation. Good bacteria lives best and will thrive in soil that is well ventilated with oxygen. This is where a good compost tea, made the right way, comes in. When you have well oxygenated compost you automatically get rid of 3/4 of the bad varmits. Also by using harmful insecticides or chemical fertilizers we reduce the number of beneficial microorganisms in the soil.
Plants produce their own energy and food and half of that goes to the roots and some of that goes into the surrounding soil and guess who gets that? Correct, the good guys, and then it turns into a beneficial cycle.
The following is taken from the internet and shows compost tea is becoming a force in gardening.
National Organic Standards Board Compost Tea Task Force Report April 6, 2004 Introduction In 2003, the National Organic Standards Board convened a Compost Tea Task Force to review the relevant scientific data and report their recommendations on ‘What constitutes a reasonable use of compost tea?’ The Task Force was composed of 13 individuals with knowledge and expertise in organic farming practices, organic certification, EPA pathogen regulations, compost, compost tea production and analysis, plant pathology, food safety and environmental microbiology.
Throughout their discussions, members consistently acknowledged the growing interest among certified organic and conventional growers to use compost teas, and the need to develop effective biologically-based tools to manage plant fertility, pests, and diseases.
A primary reason for producing compost tea is to transfer microbial biomass, fine particulate organic matter, and soluble chemical components of compost into an aqueous phase that can be applied to plant surfaces and soils in ways not possible or economically feasible with solid compost.