Here’s the tea

Some gardeners swear by it. Others are not so sure. Heba A K Ibrahim from the Desert Research Center in Egypt argues that compost tea is a crop’s best friend.

Compost tea is defined as filtered product of compost (Litterick et al. 2004) steeped in any solvent, usually water, for more than an hour (NOSB 2004).

The two basic methods for production are anaerobic, or aerobic, and there’s research to support  both approaches. The aerobic method ‘brews’ beneficial bacteria with added oxygen, introduced by something like an aquarium pump. This creates an environment that favours bacteria that require oxygen (aerated compost tea, ACT). Anaerobic is the opposite – you put the lid on, and keep the air out.

View to a brew

It can be made with or without additives, some of which may stimulate microbial biomass during the brewing time (Lanthier 2007 and Naidu et al. 2010).

Due to the aqueous nature of compost tea, microbial biomass, soluble nutrient components and fine particulate organic matter can be applied to soils and plant surfaces in ways not possible with solid compost (Hargreaves et al. 2009).


Farmer’s friend?

Compost tea is an agricultural tool, when produced with microbiological quality, and integrated into managed biological farming systems. It can be used as a carrier to deliver plant nutrients and manage plant diseases (Scheuerell 2004)

Rich in soluble mineral nutrients, compost tea delivers beneficial organic compounds and contains a high population of microorganisms.  It can be used to fertilize crops, helps a plant’s leaves to absorb nutrients and assists a plant’s root system to extract nutrients from the soil.

Another benefit of compost tea is that it can also inoculate crop residue, which facilitates decomposition, resulting in improved nutrient cycling in soil by increasing microorganism activity.

It can help manage certain plant pathogens through microbial competition and build soil structure when applied as a drench (Shrestha et al., 2011a, b and Pane et al. 2012).


Grow up

Air-and soil-borne plant pathogens can be suppressed by the plant growth promoting rhizosphere (PGPR) microorganisms found in compost tea.

Suppression effects work in a several ways; compost tea competes with pathogens for nutrients, covers surface area (which prevents pathogen gaining access) and it secretes secondary metabolites (antibiotics) against plant pathogens (Scheuerell and Mahaffee 2004)

The presence of beneficial microorganisms and chemical inhibitors such as phenols and amino acids in compost teas make it a natural diseases inhibitor (Siddiqui et al. 2008).

In addition, antibiotics that can accumulate in compost teas during production enhance plant defense responses (Scheuerell 2003).


 Ha K V, Marschner P and Bünemann E K (2008). Dynamics of C, N, P and microbial community composition in particulate soil organic matter during residue decomposition. Plant and Soil. 303: 253–264

Hargreaves J C, Adl M S and Warman P R (2009). Are compost teas an effective nutrient amendment in the cultivation of strawberries? Soil and plant tissue effects. J. Sci. Food Agric., 89: 390-397

Lanthier M (2007). Compost tea and its impact on plant diseases. BC Org. Grower. 10: 7-11

Litterick AM, Harrier L, Wallace P, Watson CA, Wood M (2004) The role of uncomposted materials, composts, manures, and compost extracts in reducing pest and disease incidence and severity in sustainable temperate agricultural and horticultural crop production—a review. Crit Rev Plant Sci 23(6):453–479.

Naidu Y, Meon S, Kadir J and Siddiqui Y (2010). Microbial starter for the enhancement of biological activity of compost tea. Int. J. Agric. Biol., 12: 51–5 NOSB (2004) Compost tea task force report. National Organic Standards Board, Washington, D.

Pane C, Celano G, Villecco D and Zaccardelli M (2012). Control of Botrytis cinerea, Alternaria alternata and Pyrenochaeta lycopersici on tomato with whey compost- tea applications. Crop Protection. 38: 80- 86.

Scheuerell, S.J. (2003). Understanding how compost tea can control disease. Biocycle, 44 (2): 20-25

Scheuerell S J (2004). Compost tea production practices, microbial properties, and plant disease suppression. 1st International Conf. on Soil and Compost Eco-Biology, Spain, pp. 41-51.

Scheuerell S J and Mahaffee W F (2004). Compost tea as a container medium drench for suppressing seedling damping-off caused by Pythium ultimum. Phytopathology, 94:1156-1163

Shrestha K, Adetutu E M, Shrestha P, Walsh K B, Harrower K M, Ball A S and Midmore D J (2011a). Comparison of microbially enhanced compost extracts produced from composted cattle rumen content material and from commercially available inocula. Bioresource Technol., 102: 7994–8002.

Shrestha K; Shrestha P; Walsh K B, Harrower KM and Midmore D J (2011 b). Microbial enhancement of compost extracts based on cattle rumen content compost–characterisation of a system. Bioresource Technol., 102: 8027–8034.

Siddiqui Y, Meon S, Ismail R, Rahmani M, Ali A (2008). Bio-efficiency of compost extracts on the wet rot incidence, morphological and physiological growth of okra Abelmoschus esculentus [(L.) Moench]). Sci Hortic 117(1):9–14.


Source link

WordPress database error: [Error writing file '/tmp/MYlzcKnc' (Errcode: 28 - No space left on device)]
SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS wp_posts.ID FROM wp_posts LEFT JOIN wp_term_relationships ON (wp_posts.ID = wp_term_relationships.object_id) WHERE 1=1 AND wp_posts.ID NOT IN (83919) AND ( wp_term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id IN (32) ) AND wp_posts.post_type = 'post' AND (wp_posts.post_status = 'publish') GROUP BY wp_posts.ID ORDER BY RAND() LIMIT 0, 3

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy