Over the last ten years, significant developments have been made in the production and use of COMPOST TEA. Most importantly, perhaps, is the simple differentiation between what qualifies as COMPOST TEA and what does not. It is now generally accepted that there are significant differences between leachate, extracts, and teas.
Compost leachate is produced when saturated compost slowly leaches its moisture from within. This leachate normally contains only soluble material nutrients and very few microorganisms. If enough soluble sugars leach out, populations of bacteria and fungi can develop and use up oxygen, thus creating an anaerobic environment. This may result in the development of phytotoxic compounds in the leachate.
Compost extract is produced by purposely adding water to compost and collecting the water that passes through the pile. This water contains soluble nutrients but often times very few organisms. Cycling this water through the compost a number of times will increase the resource concentration so as to allow organisms to increase in numbers adequate to protect leaf and root surfaces when applied to plants. However, this is not always the case.
COMPOST TEA is a highly concentrated, nutritionally and microbially rich, well balanced, organic plant food made by aerobically brewing “extraction quality” compost in water. This brewed tea contains soluble nutrients and a diversity of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes, making it an incredible root and/or foliar plant food. COMPOST TEA is most noted for its ability to aid in the control of various plant diseases, such as blights, molds, and wilts. It has also been shown to help repel and control insect pests when used on a regular basis, and to encourage the growth of beneficial soil bacteria which results in healthier, stress-tolerant plants.
Here at Full Circle Compost, we are proud to be actively involved in the art and science of COMPOST TEA and produce over 50,000 gallons annually to support the production of our high-quality HUMIFIED COMPOST products! We create our unique COMPOST TEA using EXTRACTION QUALITY VERMICOMPOST and our high quality thermal compost to take full advantage of their unique biological profile. Additionally, we add a complete nutrient package to the water to stimulate the proliferation of the extracted microlife during the brewing process. As a result of this aerobic brewing process, nearly 1 billion beneficial soil microbes can be transferred from a single gram of compost into a milliliter of COMPOST TEA! Remarkably, we can transfer the benefits of 10-20 pounds of this vermicompost/thermal compost blend into 500 gallons of COMPOST TEA! This wonderful product allows us to convert all of the chelated micronutrients and beneficial microorganisms of our solid media into a liquid form that will adhere to the surface of a plant’s leaf, where plants absorb the majority of their nutrients and where beneficial microbes will crowd out pathogens!
COMPOST TEA functions best when incorporated into a complete, humus-based fertility program. Our greatest results have been obtained when COMPOST TEA is used in direct conjunction with one of our HUMIFIED COMPOST products. We have observed time and again that this combination makes both products work significantly better than when either are used alone!
USAGE: Usable as a soil drench and/or a foliar spray. Also for use as an inoculant in the thermal production of compost.
APPLICATION RATE: As a soil soak, 1 cup of tea per 2 gallons of water or pour tea directly onto ground and water in. As a foliar spray, dilute 1 part tea with 5 parts water and douse plants liberally and thoroughly.
For compost application, apply directly to compost pile with enough water to bring the moisture content of the pile to 40-50%.