APPLY COMPOST TEA
Compost tea is a liquid produced by leaching soluble nutrients and extracting bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes from compost. The tea is made in a brewing process that requires care and the right equipment, just as with making homebrew.
We use compost tea for two main reasons:
- To inoculate the soil or foliage of plants with dispersed populations of beneficial microorganisms.
- To feed the organisms and the plants with soluble nutrients.
Doing these two things improves the soil structure and ensures that plants are stronger, healthier, grow faster and need less water…
To experience these benefits, it’s critical that you do the whole process of making a compost tea correctly!
First, you’ll have to make or source a high-quality compost that has the desired microbes as these are the organisms you’ll be growing and multiplying in the brewing process. Then you’ll have to make the compost tea brew by following a compost tea recipe – adding the right type of ingredients and closely monitoring the brewing conditions.
When should you apply compost tea?
- Any time you notice that the organisms in the soil or on the plants are not at optimum levels.
In order to combine a number of the beneficial functions that different populations of organisms provide, apply compost tea seasonally.
Not all organisms are active all the time as their activity differs seasonally and daily. In temperate climates, for example, the greatest activity occurs in late spring when temperature and moisture conditions are optimal for growth.
However, certain species of organisms are more active during winter months, dry periods or flooded conditions.
What you’ll need?
Estimated cost: $50 -$200
- Compost brewer
- Paint strainer bag
- Binder clips to bind the bag to a pole
- A wooden pole to hang the bag onto
- Oxygen indicator strips
- Good compost
- Humic acid
- Soluble seaweed
- Fish hydrolysate, fish amino acids or molasses
- Cleaning materials (e.g. hydrogen peroxide (39%), alcohol (90%) or alcohol vinegar)
- prepping 1h
- brewing – 24h
- application times vary depending on the size of the garden/orchard/food forest.
- Ingham, E.; Soil Biology Primer: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1caBdpLTQGD1TsdAcw6O5YLOBYiSsFu62
- Soil Biology Primer Photo Gallery: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/soils/health/biology/
- Soil Food Web Inc: http://www.soilfoodweb.com
- Elaine Ingham’s Soil Food Web Compost and Compost Tea by Molly Haviland: https://youtu.be/jErga1eP718
- Ridgedale Permaculture; Making Fish Hydrolysate: http://www.ridgedalepermaculture.com/blog/making-fish-hydrolysate
- Fish Amino Acids: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tIi_f6m98Ut7mkg9vCv2-DAlXH0J0kO