Did you know that we brew our very own brand of compost tea here at Plants For All Seasons? We have our own Master Brewers on staff that take great pride in crafting this nutritionally rich and extremely beneficial drink for your plants. Not familiar with compost tea? Well then, let’s take a moment to explore what it is, why it’s so good, and how to use it.
Most gardeners know that compost alone does wonders in the garden by aiding in improving soil structure and quality. You can stretch the benefits of compost through a process of steeping the compost in aerated water over a period of time. In our two part process we first steep a blend of compost/humus/vermicompost for 24 hours to extract the microbes. We then aerate and feed the microbes with a blend of fish emulsion and kelp meal for the next 24 hours. This process yields a biologically rich, thick, frothy brew that contains loads of nutrients, bacteria, fungi nematodes and protozoan’s for your plants. This brew can now be applied as a soil drench as well as a foliar spray increasing the amount of nutrients and benefits made available to the plant.
To follow are some of the benefits of using our compost tea.
- Protects plant surfaces with beneficial organisms which occupy infection sites and prevent disease causing organisms from finding the plant.
- Improves nutrient retention in the soil, and therefore reduces fertilizer use, and loss of nutrients into ground and surface waters.
- Increases nutrient availability in the root system as predator-prey interactions increase plant available nutrients in exactly the right place, time and amounts that the plant needs.
- Reduces the negative impacts of chemical-based pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers on beneficial microorganisms in the ecosystem.
- Improves uptake of nutrients by increasing foliar uptake as beneficial microorganisms increase the time stomates (cup shaped cell structures on the leaf) stay open, while at the same time reducing evaporative loss from the leaf surface.
- Reduces water loss, improves water-holding in the soil, and thus reduces water use in your lawn and landscape.
- Improves tillage by building better soil structure. Only the biology builds soil structure, and ALL the biological groups in the soil food-web are required to be successful. You can’t have just bacteria, you must have fungi, protozoa, nematodes and micro-arthropods as well.
To experience these benefits in your home lawns and gardens swing by and pick up your refillable bucket. We serve our brew up Thursday – Monday, in 1 gallon, 2 gallon, and 5 gallon servings. Just note, compost tea must be used within 8 hours of purchase in order to take advantage of all the amazing benefits listed above. So plan your visit to pick up your tea when you are ready to use it.
Application is easy. Dilute the compost tea based on the application method (drench or foliar) and then apply with a water can or pump up sprayer. You can even use a hook to hose end sprayer, simply fill the reservoir with concentrated compost tea set the dial and spray. Below are recommended application rates.
Dilute 1 part compost tea to 10 parts water
Dilute 1 part compost tea to 2 parts water
After you have finished applying your compost tea, clean your bucket thoroughly with oxiclean, rinse well, and air dry. When it’s time for the next application bring the bucket back for a discounted refill.