Regardless of the type or volume of crops being grown, all plants require nutrition and hydration. Naturally, the latter comes at regular intervals through the normal water procedures of the farm. However, the former is a factor that’s much more difficult to control. Through repeated fertilization, soil nutrients are commonly maintained—but there are many side effects to this practice.
Creating on-site compost removes issues such as the cost of artificial fertilizers and the damage caused by introducing synthetic chemicals. The best of both worlds is to transform compost into a nutrient-rich source of water. For those still on the fence, how to use extracted compost tea couldn’t be easier.
What Is Compost Tea?
As the name suggests, compost tea is a “drink” made especially for your plants. Essentially, it’s an optional final step in the composting process where the finished or mostly finished material is steeped in water. In addition to optional inoculation with specific bacterial species, the idea is to deepen the health of essential microbial colonies before introducing the beneficial liquid to crops. In other words, compost tea doesn’t involve steeping in the traditional tea brewing sense so much as a brief infusion or one to two-day fermentation.
Best Methods for Making Compost Tea
As with anything in commercial farming, a regular supply of high volume makes the difference. In order to apply the benefits of compost tea it must be efficient to create. The five-gallon bucket method of hobbyists naturally won’t do. Instead, most farms achieve enough using specialized brewing equipment. Midwest Bio-System offers both a 500- and 250-gallon compost tea brewer, which creates high-quality compost with minimal effort. Furthermore, our tea brewers extract essential nutrients, enzymes, and bacteria into a shelf-stable tea that lasts up to three months.
Best Ways To Apply Compost Tea
For the most part, how to use extracted compost tea comes down to the setup on a given farm. Depending on the size and layout of a farm, distribution methods range from direct application to areas in need to a field-wide spread, which will benefit all crops. Intentionally brewing compost tea with strong colonies of specific microbes is an easy way to boost the health and nutrients of crops with specialized demands.
Furthermore, compost tea is safe to apply directly to plants and soil regardless of season or stage. Applying a sufficient amount of compost tea regularly as part of a growing crop’s hydration regime is a great way to ensure the plants always have the essentials they need to stay disease-free and in peak shape.