Organic gardening has been on the rise in recent years, and for good reason. More and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of using organic methods to grow their own fruits and vegetables. One of the most effective ways to grow organically is by using compost tea. In this article, we will explore what compost tea is, how it works, and the benefits it provides for organic plant growth.
What is Compost Tea?
Compost tea is a liquid solution made by steeping compost in water. The compost is allowed to steep for a period of time, typically 24-48 hours, during which the nutrients and beneficial microorganisms are extracted from the compost into the water. The resulting liquid is then used as a fertilizer to feed plants, improve soil structure, and promote plant growth .
How Does Compost Tea Work?
Compost tea works by adding beneficial microorganisms and nutrients to the soil. These microorganisms help break down organic matter in the soil, making it more available to plants. Additionally, the microorganisms help to suppress harmful pathogens that can harm plants .
Benefits of Compost Tea for Organic Plant Growth
Compost tea offers several benefits for organic plant growth. One of the most significant benefits is that it promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the soil. These microorganisms help to create a healthy soil ecosystem, which is essential for healthy plant growth. Additionally, compost tea helps to improve soil structure, making it easier for plants to access nutrients and water. Compost tea can also reduce the amount of water needed for plant growth, while providing multiple benefits to the soil and plant .
Making Compost Tea: Common Methods
There are several methods for making compost tea, including bucket-bubbler, brewer, and passive compost tea. The bucket-bubbler method is the most common and involves a bucket of compost tea with an air pump and an air stone to provide aeration . The brewer method is more complex and involves specialized equipment for a larger quantity of compost tea. The passive compost tea method involves steeping compost in water for a period of time without any added aeration .
Applying Compost Tea to Plants
Compost tea can be applied to plants in several ways, including foliar spraying, drenching, and irrigation. Foliar spraying involves applying the compost tea to the leaves of the plant using a spray bottle. Drenching involves pouring the compost tea around the base of the plant, allowing it to soak into the soil. Irrigation involves using the compost tea in a watering can to water the plants. It is important to note that compost tea should be used within a few hours of brewing to ensure maximum benefits .
Using Compost Tea for Cannabis Growth
Compost tea is an excellent addition to organic cannabis growth. By adding compost tea to the soil, cannabis growers can create a healthy soil ecosystem that promotes healthy plant growth. Compost tea can also help to suppress harmful pathogens that can harm cannabis plants, such as powdery mildew and spider mites .
Compost Tea for Containers and Hanging Basket Plants
Compost tea is also useful for containers and hanging basket plants. By watering these plants with compost tea every 5 to 7 days, growers can provide a small boost to plants all summer long. Compost tea is not only great for powering hanging baskets but container plants as well .
Composting with Tea Leaves
Tea leaves can also be used in composting. Tannin is found in all tea leaves, so it is best to scatter them around plants with good soil acidity. Mint tea, calendula petals, raspberry leaf tea, and a variety of other teas can also be used in place of chamomile .
In conclusion, compost tea is an excellent addition to organic plant growth. It offers multiple benefits, including promoting the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the soil, improving soil structure, and reducing the amount of water needed for plant growth. Compost tea can be made using several methods and can be applied to plants in various ways. Additionally, compost tea is useful for organic cannabis growth, container and hanging basket plants, and can be composted with tea leaves.