Compost tea is a liquid biological amendment containing essential plant nutrients and a complex community of beneficial microorganisms. For centuries, farmers have soaked porous “tea bags” full of compost in tubs of water, and then used the resulting liquid (compost tea) to fertilize and improve the health of their crops. While there are infinite ways to prepare compost teas, most modern methods rely on a mechanical aeration process to extract beneficial organisms from high-quality compost products.
Whether you grow inside, outside or in a greenhouse, choosing the right potting soil can determine the health and productivity of your crop. By evaluating factors such as water-holding capacity, amount of organic material and nutrient content, the informed grower can create an optimal environment for successful plant growth.
The Soil Food Web refers to the network of creatures, including insects, earthworms and microscopic organisms such as bacteria, fungi and nematodes, that inhabit and sustain the living soil beneath our feet. Together, these organisms break down organic matter and release nutrients in plant available forms in exchange for “exudates” (carbohydrates, simple sugars, and proteins) produced by plants. A healthy Soil Food Web can provide plants with all the nutrients they need plus added benefits such as improved soil structure and water-holding capacity resulting in protection from ecological threats such as drought and flooding.
Applying a correctly made compost tea solution can effectively increase soil biology leading to healthier plants, higher yields and decreased insect and disease pressure. This article outlines the two methods of creating compost tea solutions and explains the unique benefits of both. Scroll to the bottom of the article for links to the Biologic Systems’ compost tea recipes and an informational video on our compost tea brewers
It all starts with soil. Whether you’re growing six plants or farming multiple acres, understanding the chemical makeup of your soil provides critical insight into how your nutrients are cycling and the health of your soil from season to season. To be completely informed you need to know two things: what is available to your plants easily and immediately, and what the total nutrient reservoir of the soil is. The first question can be answered with a Saturated Paste Test, the other with a Standard Soil Test. At Biologic we recommend the Complete Soil Analysis which includes both the Saturated Paste and Standard Soil tests. We also offer a third-party custom recommendation service to help you interpret your test results and create a soil fertility plan based on your unique requirements.