How Often Should You Use Compost Tea?
Have you ever bought a bag of organic Compost from your local garden centre and noticed it was damp, or dusty and the smell was pretty bad? You may have thought that you were buying good Compost to use in your garden, but chances are that it has been sitting around for a while and has gone mouldy. What causes this? The answer is compost tea.
Compost tea is a liquid produced by brewing organic materials such as manure, sawdust, or shredded leaves in water (water is usually added with some sugar; usually one cup of sugar per five gallons of water). Compost tea can be used as an active ingredient in growing media to improve drainage and soil aeration, increase oxygen levels and reduce weed growth.
Compost tea can also be used as an insecticide against crop-damaging insects such as grubs and leaf spot fungus. Compost tea can also be used for surface watering. It is best mixed with water before adding it to the soil so that it will warm up a little before being watered into the ground.
- 1 What is compost tea?
- 2 When To Use Compost Tea?
- 3 Is Compost Tea organic?
- 4 Benefits of compost tea
- 5 Overuse compost tea?
- 6 Frequency of compost tea usage
- 7 Benefits of regular application of compost tea
- 8 Steps to follow while using compost tea
- 9 Best time to apply compost tea
- 10 How to store compost tea
- 11 Conclusion
What is compost tea?
Compost tea is a fantastic product that can be used in various ways. Compost tea is a diluted form of Compost is applied as a foliar spray to plant leaves to increase microbial activity, plant growth, beneficial bacteria, and nutrient availability. This is a compost tea recipe that is brewed anaerobically or aerobically. Many people have used compost tea to increase the amount of microbial activity in their soil.
When microbes are present, they break down the proteins, tannins, amino acids, and various other compounds that plants require to grow.
When To Use Compost Tea?
Compost tea is applied during the plant’s growth stage, so do not use it during the winter months. Use compost tea in the spring and summer to get your plants off to a great start. Remember, any time you want to see some results, brew anaerobic for at least ten days. Aerated compost tea will last for several weeks in your garden or pots.
Tea is sprayed onto plants as a foliar fertilizer. Leaves absorb nutrients directly from the stomata rather than through the roots.
Is Compost Tea organic?
Compost tea is a great organic solution to your gardening problems. It is simply far more effective and faster than chemical fertilizers. Also, it is a perfect organic replacement for chemical fertilizer if you’re into that whole organic, natural thing. However, compost tea is not considered a 100% organic solution for your gardening problems. It is a mixture of organic and non-organic ingredients, including microorganisms.
So the success of your plant depends on the levels of nutrients in the Tea – the more there is, the better you will get results from your compost tea. If you are interested in making compost tea with higher concentrations of necessary ingredients such as nitrogen, add more fish meal and avoid using other additives in your Tea such as liquid fish.
Benefits of compost tea
The most apparent benefit of compost tea is that it brings you more convenience. You will agree that adding Compost directly to the garden soil, mainly a lawn, is sometimes quite troublesome. But, with compost tea, things get much easier because you can apply this nutritious liquid using many horticultural applications. Compost tea can be applied to home gardens, lawns, and commercial properties.
1. Improve nutrients uptake by plants
For gardeners concerned about their plants’ health, compost tea is an attractive solution to enhance the fertility of their newly planted seeds. Compost tea works well with flowers, vegetables, and fruits, especially in hotter seasons.
2. Keeps your Garden Weed-Free
Weeds are a nuisance to most gardeners, and many even resort to pesticides to control weeds. However, compost tea is a great alternative and is a more eco-friendly solution to eliminate those pesky plants.
3. Keeps your lawn healthy
Lawns are very important in the ecosystem of urban gardens and provide many environmental benefits. Like vegetables, grass also requires nutrients to grow and plays an essential role in recycling organic material. Therefore, as a gardener, it’s also important that you maintain your lawn correctly every year. With compost tea in use, it will boost the health of your turf significantly compared with other control measures such as pesticides or chemical treatments.
Further reading: How Much Does a Yard of Compost Weigh?
Overuse compost tea?
You can easily overuse compost tea, especially in the immediate initial stage of soil prep. Broccoli, cauliflower, and other cruciferous plants sensitive to specific soil conditions can succumb to a drastic loss of nutrients, especially when constantly exposed to high levels of compost tea. Therefore, it’s best to use compost tea as a supplement, not a replacement for a balanced ecosystem of soil microorganisms.
Frequency of compost tea usage
Compost tea is not recommended for use in the soil. Use a frequency depending on the state of the soil, crop, rootzone, and planting season. When plants become established, apply compost tea twice a week after producing flowers. This ensures that the plants can absorb all the nutrients in compost tea and recolonize the soil with healthy microorganisms. You can use compost tea at least once a week during the initial stages of a new garden. As time progresses, you can go down to every 2 weeks for about four weeks and then every three weeks for about 6 weeks.
Over-application of compost tea will lead to the death of beneficial soil microorganisms. Therefore, it’s important to replenish the soil with your microbial friends. After all, you want to keep the beneficial effects of compost tea manageable by overfeeding your plants with it!
The rate at which you feed your plants is also significant. Feeding at the root zone will increase the concentration of compost tea at these spots. This results in faster uptake by the roots, hence quicker growth and increased yields. However, feeding too often will kill beneficial soil microorganisms, as mentioned earlier.
Benefits of regular application of compost tea
- Increases nutrient intake by consuming Tea on plant leaves.
- Increased uptake of nutrients through the roots
- More disease is prevented through beneficial microbe activity on plant surfaces.
- Compost tea has many benefits in improving plants’ growth speed, yield, and quality. However, there are also adverse effects that come with using compost tea, like with all other fertilizers. These generally are related to the use of artificial chemical fertilizers. In that sense, compost teas have their own set of adverse effects too.
Steps to follow while using compost tea
1. Foliar spraying
Spray the Tea on plant leaves. Spray more heavily if you want to get better growth.
2. Root Zone
Make a compost tea on top of the soil and use it as a spreader between the roots and the soil. Apply it like fertilizer to your plants.
3. Transplant Solution
If you need to transplant your plants, using something like compost tea instead of chemical fertilizers is better. It will allow you to get the best growth rate with minor damage to the plant.
4. Compost Pile
If you have a compost pile, add compost tea to it. You can also put compost tea into the soil around your plants. It aids the microbial activity of the pile, making Compost quicker.
Best time to apply compost tea
Compost tea works best in the morning when the sun isn’t hot. That improves the activity of microbes, which helps decomposition. It can be applied in the afternoon as a spray. Some growers use it at night to encourage more microbial activity.
How to store compost tea
You can store composted Tea in plastic bags. It lasts a long time when held this way, but there is a limit on how much you can store. When you put it away, make sure you keep the bags sealed. That protects it from bugs and pests. You only want to add fresh Tea to your supply if it’s time to use it.
This article will give you a deeper insight into compost tea. It is a very effective organic fertilizer. You can make excellent compost tea with suitable organic materials such as food waste or spent coffee grounds. You can also use compost tea and other organic fertilizers to get pH-balanced soil. The best source of compost tea is natural sources. I hope you like the article. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.