What is compost tea?

Compost tea is a liquid extract of compost that contains micronutrients, organic compounds and beneficial microorganisms. These extracts have historically been derived from a wide range of plant materials and animal manures, using a variety of processing methods. Aerated compost tea is more recent concept that incorporates aeration technology to improve extraction and to accelerate the process by creating optimum level of oxygen for growth and reproduction of beneficial aerobic microorganisms.

How is compost tea made?

Compost tea is produced by steeping finished compost in water in order to extract beneficial microorganisms and compounds into a liquid solution. It can be made with or without aeration and with or without adding supplemental nutrient sources.

The Growing Solutions' Systems use fine bubble diffusion technology to supply aeration and mixing the solution, a supplemental nutrient source (catalyst) to feed the microorganisms, and a 24-hour brewing cycle to produce biologically active, aerated compost tea. The right compost is critical to the quality and sometimes worm castings are used alone or blended with compost because of their highly diverse microbial composition.

How do I use compost tea?

Compost tea should be used within 24-48 hours after decanting from the brewer. You can use a watering can, agricultural spray, overhead and drip irrigation and horticultural injection systems. DO NOT use any type of sprayer that had previously been used with chemical fertilizers, any traces of chemicals will destroy the microorganisms.

Compost tea should be applied throughout the growing season every 14 to 30 days. This rotation may be increased to every week during times of plant stress (known disease, environmental stress, etc). Allow 7 days after your last application before harvest. The microbes in compost tea are sensitive to UV light and should therefore be applied before 10 AM or after 4 PM. During precipitation, applications to the soil should be made during light rains only. Foliar applications should be avoided during any type of precipitation.

What can I apply compost tea to?

Compost tea can be applied to the soil or directly to the plant as a foliar spray. When it is used as a foliar application, it is best to strive for though leaf coverage using a fine mist. When used as a soil drench the tea should be applied so that it moves into the root zone and can be diluted with water.

What are the benefits of compost tea?

Compost tea stimulates overall plant health. And healthy plants are better able to resist pests and diseases! Compost tea is used for one or more of the following reasons: