Compost Tea For Healthy Lawns, Trees, Shrubs, Gardens & Crops
What Is Compost Tea?
Compost tea is a liquid extract of compost that contains plant growth compounds and beneficial microorganisms. It’s called “compost tea” because it’s created by “brewing” compost in water until it looks very much like tea. The compost is then strained out of the water and the resulting “tea” is used to water plants of all kinds to provide nutrients and support healthy growth.
Aerated Compost Tea (which is what we use here at Organic Plant Care LLC) is a relatively recent concept that incorporates aeration technology to create optimum levels of oxygen for growth and reproduction of beneficial aerobic microorganisms.
Compost teas are now being produced and used in large-scale agriculture, viticulture, horticulture, nurseries, lawn care, and residential gardens.
Why Use Compost Tea?
Compost tea provides nutrients that are missing from many urban and suburban yards, especially in lawns that are transitioning from synthetic/chemical treatments to an organic approach.
Compost tea helps build necessary bacteria, fungi and protozoa populations in the soil. These aren’t “bad” bacteria and fungi (like the kind that can make you sick). They’re organisms that are part of a healthy, microscopic soil food chain in which the bacteria break down organic matter and nutrients, protozoa consume the bacteria (which are very high in nitrogen), and in the process nitrogen is released into the soil for plants to consume.
By using compost tea to create an active, diverse soil biology with the proper balance of organic nutrients, water and oxygen, we’re able to establish nutrient cycling. This helps to reduce the need for fertilizers and, therefore, lowers the cost of maintaining a beautiful, healthy lawn and garden.
If you’d like to move toward an organic approach to maintaining your yard, call us today at 908-309-6611 to find out how compost tea can help make the transition as smooth and successful as possible.
Compost Tea for Lawns
When you use our Compost Tea Service, each application of granular fertilizer is “watered in” with an application of actively aerated compost tea. Over time, we’re able to reduce the use of granular fertilizer while keeping your lawn green and healthy.
We brew our compost tea for lawns to be more bacterially dominant (versus fungally dominant compost tea for trees and shrubs) to provide the biology that’s most conducive for growing grass. It’s definitely not a case of “one size fits all” when it comes to using compost tea.
Call us at 908-309-6611 for a free estimate on using our Compost Tea Service for your lawn.
Compost Tea for Trees & Shrubs
Trees, shrubs and perennials prefer more fungally dominated soils. Forest floors are naturally higher in organic matter composed of decades of decaying leaves and fallen limbs.
The trick to helping trees and shrubs thrive in cultivated landscapes is to create that fungal environment.
Brewing compost tea to be fungally dominant requires a different approach than what we use for our compost tea that’s applied to lawns. At OPC, we increase the fungal content of our compost by pre-activating it. Several days before brewing, we mix fungal foods like oatmeal, rock powders, fish hydrolysate, humic acid and kelp into our high quality compost.
After applying compost tea to your trees, shrubs and/or perennials, we also recommend applying mulch made with untreated, aged, brown organic materials, to promote the growth of beneficial fungi. Besides looking attractive, mulch supports fungi, suppresses weed growth and minimizes soil compaction.
Call us at 908-309-6611 for a free estimate on using our specially-formulated compost tea for your trees and shrubs.
Compost Tea for Gardens & Crops
Annuals and vegetables are usually heavy feeders and prefer the nitrate form of nitrogen that’s provided by more bacterially dominant soils.
Compost tea applied in your garden not only builds soil life and suppresses disease below ground, it also helps suppress fungal diseases on leaf surfaces, like powdery mildew and black spot.
We recommend conducting a Soil Food Web test before applying compost tea to your garden. This allows us to specifically tailor our compost tea to the specific needs of your garden crops.
A minimum of 2-3 applications per year helps improve overall plant health and vigor.