Compost Tea: A Magic Elixir

By Mary H. Dyer | August 16, 2016
Image by Katarzyna Antosz
by Mary H. Dyer
August 16, 2016

As gardeners, we already know that compost is wonderful stuff for all types of plants, but compost tea provides even more benefits. This magic elixir contains a tremendous number of beneficial organisms that keep plants healthy and more disease resistant, while increasing the number of beneficial microorganisms in the soil. Although compost tea isn’t a substitute for fertilizer, it may, when combined with other good gardening practices, reduce the amount of fertilizer needed in the garden.

Processing Methods for Compost Tea

As the name suggests, compost tea involves steeping high quality, well-aged compost in water.

Compost tea is made using various processing methods. Many gardeners continue to rely on a simple, tried and true method that requires little more than a bucket, stirrer and cheesecloth strainer. Others use more sophisticated methods to aerate and mix the tea.

Aeration is a relatively new technique that uses newer technologies to introduce oxygen for optimum growth of beneficial organisms. Without proper aeration, the organisms quickly use the nutrients and oxygen, which can result in a smelly, anaerobic tea that is detrimental to plants.

Rogue Hydro offers a Flo-n-Gro Flo-n-Brew compost tea brewing system. The compact system is easy to set up and contains everything you need to brew high quality compost tea, including a submersible pump, two 3-gallon Xtreme compost tea brew kits, and a convenient drip-free tap.

Although many brewers continue to make compost without nutrients, the addition of “food” allows for speedy multiplication of beneficial fungi and bacteria. Rogue Hydro recommends Organic Bountea Bioactivator, a natural compost tea food source that boosts the growth of billions of beneficial microorganisms, creating a well-balanced tea consisting of healthy bacteria and fungi.

Using Compost Tea

Compost tea should be used immediately, preferably within four to six hours. Place the tea in a cool area, out of direct sunlight. Continue to aerate the mixture frequently to prolong the life of the compost.

There are several ways you can deliver compost tea to your plants – primarily spraying the tea on the foliage, pouring it directly on the soil around the plant as a soil drench for the roots, or spraying directly onto the soil. Although compost tea is frequently used for woody plants, ornamentals and vegetables, you can also use it as a lawn spray for healthy turfgrass.

If you choose to apply compost tea as a foliar spray, use a fine mist sprayer such as Rogue Hydro’s Sunleaves Select Sprayer, constructed of heavy-duty plastic with brass components. For a large garden, the Flo-Master automated sprayer simplifies the job and ensures that spray reaches all parts of the leaves. For small applications, a versatile Chameleon sprayer may be just the ticket.

Frequency depends on the health of your garden. If things are looking good, a single application in spring may be all your garden needs. However, if your garden has been deprived of nutrients, if the landscape has been exposed to pesticides, or if you don’t notice a lot of beneficial insects, you may need to spray every two to four weeks until health is restored.

The above article was paid for and sponsored by Rogue Hydro. The information contained in this article may contain ads or advertorial opinions.
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  • rexgarden
    Comment added August 19, 2016Reply

    Every man have Many hobby in their life.My best hobby is gardening.You talk about best gardening.I am waiting for your next post.
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