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Compost tea is a liquid extract taken from stable, mature compost. Typically, the brewing process includes oxygenating the tea to maximize the microbial communities and shorten the brewing time.
The tea can be fortified with supplements either during production or as a post-production addition. Compost tea is a readily available form of compost that will affect the plant more quickly than compost mixed with soil.
Warning: Compost tea does not mean leachate. Leachate is the liquid that drains from composting materials and if allowed to run off-site, would be a pollutant. The leachate may contain pathogens, especially from materials in the early stages of composting.
Compost Tea Services
Arbor Plant Health Care provides compost tea services and compost tea consulting in Halifax Nova Scotia and surrounding communities like Bedford, Fall River, St. Margaret’s Bay, and Hammonds Plains.
Compost Tea Brewers in Halifax Nova Scotia
Arbor Plant Health Care is one of only a few compost tea companies in Halifax Nova Scotia and its surrounding communities. Our team of certified arborists and plant care specialists can provide compost tea application services. We also specialize in custom compost teas to suit particular conditions.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Compost Teas
Compost tea can enhance disease suppression, reduce fungicide and fertilizer requirements, improve plant growth, improve uptake of plant nutrients, increase plant nutritional quality and lower production costs.
However, compost quality issues, including maturity and micro-organism content, become very important when making effective compost tea. Good compost has the potential to make good tea. Poor compost always makes poor tea; the compost may have high salt concentrations and high levels of anaerobic micro-organisms. In addition, the presence of pathogens may be amplified in the tea.
What is in Compost Tea?
The beneficial micro-organisms include aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, pseudomonads and nitrogen-fixing bacteria. The number and diversity of micro-organisms in compost tea are different than the original compost. Some micro-organisms prefer to live attached to particulate matter, so not many of those would be present in compost tea that has been finely strained. Keep in mind that long storage times negatively affect the micro-organisms and nutrients; use the tea as soon as possible (within 18 hours) and store in a shaded area with agitation and ventilation.
It is impossible to generally predict the nutrient content of compost tea. The content depends on many factors including the nutrient content of the compost, style of tea brewer used, length of storage, degree of straining, application timing, etc.
Compost Tea Application in Halifax – How do Compost Teas Work?
Compost teas can be applied either to the soil or to the plant foliate. When applied to the soil, the nutrients and micro-organisms will move into the root zone and affect the rhizosphere of the plant. This action adds good micro-organisms to the soil and allows them to become part of the soil.
When the tea is applied to the plant, it will affect the plant immediately, and there is little room for forgiveness from the plant if a tea with toxic qualities is used. The compost tea delivers beneficial micro-organisms and nutrients to the plant surface to assist in disease suppression and nutrient availability.
Published in: Tree Services in Halifax Nova Scotia
Written on: May 6th, 2006
Authored by: Arbor Plant Health Care
Tags: Commercial Tree Services in Halifax, Compost Tea, Residential Tree Services in Halifax, Shrub Fertilizer, Soil Food Web, Tree Fertilization