What is a Compost Tea? Where do you use it and how to use it?
By self definition based from my own understanding, compost tea is a brew made out of combining compost either from a vermicast or kitchen waste composted material and dechlorinated water or natural water, less chlorine and ammonia or any other treatment. The combination is achieved and final product which is compost tea is had with the use of basic materials such as a pail and aeration tool (in most cases – aquarium pump).
By online research, I found out that compost tea definition is technically a pure and natural organic liquid fertilizer with disease control qualities for plants and may act as a soil conditioner. It is a brownish-translucent extract of macro and micro-elements coming from combining compost and water. The elements are then made readily available for plant absorption, blended with the complex set of beneficial micro-organisms from composts. The mixture is strained and kept for future use.
Effects of Continuous and Regular Application of Compost Tea
- Improves soil aeration and begets high moisture retention of your potting or planting soil medium
- Gives a higher income for large scale farmers
- Helps the farmer achieve a vigorous and healthy plant growth and development
- Shortens cropping time, fruit production and harvest due to acceleration of plant growth
- Helps farmers achieve a higher rate of harvest
- Promotes not just regular but healthy and strong flower and fruit production
- Gives the farmer a higher market value for quality produce
- Gives a higher yield and quality seeds in return from aged fruits
5 Advantages of Using Compost Tea
- Compost tea contains extract more potent than the compost itself with the process of aeration or aerobic system (diverse beneficial microbes’ population present in the compost itself is multiplied 100-500 times when brewed as tea).
- Less amount is needed for application to planting area because coverage of compost tea application is wider than that of compost application alone which can take you a ton to cover a whole planting field.
- There is literally no overdose in using the compost tea.
- No side effects of any sort is introduced with its use.
- The brew is absolutely and 100% non-toxic to use for farmers and gardeners as well as consumers with respect to eating the harvest
5 Basic Uses of Compost Tea
- Production enhancer for plants and crops
- Bio-fertilizer and bio-pesticide for plant spray and soil drench
- Bio-enhancer as a bio-mix to organic fertilizers and as a catalyst for faster composting of kitchen scraps as well as for vermicomposting
- Ideal for use as odor neutralizer of farm agri-waste and landfills
- For additional information about compost tea, please check this website: www.microbeorganics.com
Why do We Use Compost Tea?
Why do we really use compost tea?
If farmers and planting buffs would just learn to realize the uses of compost tea, I’m pretty sure that time will come that even home gardens will use them to grow plants safely and grown vegetables that are healthier and cleaner than pesticide-grown crops and vegetables. Realizing the benefits of using it here is a shortlist our family made based from our own experience.
Safe to use for all sorts of plants, crops and vegetable farming.
Provides a safer, healthier environment to grow greens by giving back what came from the soil and the plants themselves – essential microbes and beneficial and indigenous microorganisms.
It recreates the natural environment ideal for plants and conditions the soil medium used for planting which has been destroyed by pollution and careless use of chemicals and harmful pesticides.
How to Make Vermi Tea or Compost Tea?
“Fill the agitator barrels with 2 kilos of Vermicast then pour untreated water up to the level as marked on the bucket. After 24 hours of brewing add 1 kilo brown sugar or muscovado or molasses to the water in the bucket (not inside agitator barrels) This will serve as food for the microbes.” – emixfactory.weebly.com
When is it best to apply compost tea?
Basically, the brewed tea must be used within 8 hours after turning off the motor used to brew the soil conditioning liquid and has finished brewing. If you ask what is the best time to apply it, I would like to personally suggest to use it very early in the morning – not later than 9am. Another ideal option is during the late afternoon – ideal is later than 4pm. All these is because hot temperatures will biologically kill all or some of the useful microbes and indigenous microorganisms.
Dosage for Using Compost Tea
Dilute 1 liter concentrated compost tea with 15 liters untreated water (de-chlorinated water) (this can be rain water or deep well water). This will give you a total volume of 16 liters brew.
Ratio of dilution can be adjusted from 1:15 to 1:10, 1:5. This will actually depend on the condition of the plant. Diseased plant may need higher concentration. Remember though that there is no overdose in using compost tea.
How Often do You Use Compost Tea in Plants?
Using compost tea in plants is actually just common sense. This is because as I’ve said, again, there is absolutely no overdose using it. By common sense, you can use it as often as you want while considering practicality and not wasting extra liquid because the process of making it is really very long. With our case, we use it regularly 2-3 times a week only in our tomatoes, pechay, labuyo pepper, sigarilyas, alugbati, mani or peanut, talong or eggplant and string beans or sitaw.
On the other hand, if you have a diseased plant or crop, please use more often than how we do it above. If your plants or crops are already in its fruiting stage or flowering stage, please also use more often. This will help your plant get better quality harvest and strength on your fruits.
Environmental and soil condition is also of big consideration. For depleted soil, you can double it up with your dosage but please avoid planting on these kinds of soil. Treat it first for at least 1 month with compost tea.
How do I know if I have applied enough?
You can’t apply too much, although normally you would try to spray both sides of the leaf with the liquid dripping off the leaf. Total coverage is very important. Whatever drips off the leaves will actually help the soil.
How do I apply the compost tea to plants\soil.
You can use a sprinkler can for applying to the soil or use a backpack sprayer (16 liters capacity) to do a foliar spray.
What happens if the tea isn’t used within 8 hours?
The population of microbes decreases and it becomes less effective.
What happens if the brewing process is interrupted?
It really depends on how long the process has been interrupted. Generally, you would just start the process again.
What equipment do I use to apply the compost tea?
You may use a watering can or a backpack sprayer with 16 liters capacity.
Why do I have to use a backpack sprayer?
The backpack sprayers have a different type of nozzle that will not clog when applying compost tea and the pressure is not more than 20 psi.
Can I spray this through a hose canister sprayer?
Generally, no. If you have untreated water then you can. It has to do with the chlorine in the water that will kill all the microbes.
What time of year is best to use the compost tea?
During the growing season or anytime when night time temperatures are above 40 degrees.
How long do the microbes live after I apply them?
If the living conditions are right, the microbes will continue to live and reproduce.
Can I apply too much tea and do damage to my soil or plants?
Can it hurt my pets?
No. In fact it can removed and suppressed bad odors if sprayed over pets manure.
Does it make a difference of what kind of water I use? (tap, bottled, pond, etc.)
Yes, it needs to be water that doesn’t have chemicals in it. If you are using treated water, you need to stock in a container for 1 day. This will degas (remove the chlorine from) the water.
Does the machine have other uses?
Why should I buy your machine over other models available in the marketplace?
Our machines are not only efficient in increasing microbe populations from 100-500% but also is a minimum of parts, very easy to clean, the prices are very competitive and we have good customer support.
How do I take care of my machine?
After each brewing remove the entire agitator unit out of the bucket. This keeps the tea out of the pipes, so biofilm does not buildup. With biofilm buildup, the next time a brew is made, it would contaminate the integrity of the tea. Gently scrub and wash the entire agitator unit and bucket with a fine scrubbing pad. Avoid using soaps and detergents. Wash only with clean water. Wash oll the filters gently. Rinse the inside of the bucket and the barrels and dry thoroughly. When not in use, always empty, clean and dry the unit. Keep and store in a cool dry place.
Can I use my own vermicompost or vermicast?
Yes, you can use your own vermicompost or vermicast, but because we haven’t test the quality of your compost, we don’t know the biology that you have. The machines replicate only the biology they start with which can be beneficial or not. The quality of compost tea produced will largely depend on the quality of compost material and the brewing equipment.