The reason behind compost tea is that we want to grow nutritious vegetables and fruit that are full of valuable trace minerals.
What makes homemade compost tea so special? To understand this, you need to know a little about compost.
Compost is nearly 100% organic matter that has been broken down by microbes through the composting process.
Compost contains three things that are helpful to both soil and plant.
When you brew compost tea, the enzymes, organic matter and microbes are released into the water.
When you add a bubbler for oxygen, plus a food source such as molasses, it causes the microbes to multiply rapidly, so that within 2 or 3 days of brewing, each one becomes a billion.
Because compost tea is a liquid, its nutrients are immediately available to the plant, either through the leaf, or applied to the root zone.
Homemade compost tea is especially beneficial if you are working with less than optimal soil. If that is the case, it isn't a bad idea to apply your compost tea as often as once a week.
In the picture, last year I added compost to the ground on the right. The ground on the left is new ground where I am expanding out my garden.
The light colored land desperately needs some compost tea, some sea minerals, and some organic matter. The fastest way to increase organic matter is through carbon sequestration. This builds organic matter much faster than applying compost, tilling in organic matter, using mulch or planting a cover crop.
Chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and fumigants all are lethal to certain beneficial microbes. Compost tea helps to replenish these microbes. Humic acids work together with compost tea to bring the soil back to life. Humic acids may be added as a tea ingredient, or applied separately.
There is a constant battle taking place in the soil and on the surface of the plant between pathogens and beneficial microbes.
When you inoculate your plants and soil with homemade compost tea, the good aerobic (oxygen loving) microbes in the tea can displace anaerobic pathogens and fungus.
There are excellent soil conditioners that even work faster to restore the Soil Food Web of living organisms in the soil.
To have a healthy garden you must have a live, biologically active soil. Good microbes in the soil can do the following:
Tiny worms called nematodes live in your compost. Harmful nematodes are not able to survive in your tea brewer. On the other hand, the good nematodes multiply greatly. When you spray your tea on the soil, these good nematodes are like a natural pesticide.
Good nematodes gobble up termites, fleas, beetle grubs, and close to 200 other pests. They also compete with and can overwhelm harmful nematodes, the ones that eat at the roots of your plant. Homemade compost tea is one of the best things you can do to grow a healthy vegetable garden.
After extensive research, the items in this right column are ones that my family and I have found useful, and I trust
that they may be helpful to you as well.
Concentrated sea minerals,
blended with herbs,
and olive oils.