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What is Compost Tea?

I’ve not tried this compost tea and I do hope it is better than the insipid pale brew the Americans call tea in a cafe! It seems to be a pro-biotic for the soil and is the next big thing in the US organic movement.

Compost TeaOrganic 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 shut down the toxins hurting the plants. It will improve the taste/flavour 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 varmints
  • Help produce antibiotics to use against the varmints.
  • They shove the bad varmints out.

Compost tea that is correctly brewed has a wealth of micro-organisms 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 micro-organisms 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 varmints. Also by using harmful insecticides or chemical fertilizers we reduce the number of beneficial micro-organisms 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.

You may find this article of interest as well: Growing Russian Comfrey and Making Comfrey Tea

About the Author

James Ellison is a long time organic gardening enthusiast and writes articles based on intensive research, lectures from professionals, gardening books and just plain common sense.

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