Compost Tea Recipes
Chemical and organic fertilizers can be costly considering the time and money taken to obtain, create and ship products that come in a container with an unfinished life cycle. On a larger scale, the over use of nitrogen fertilizers leads to coastal dead zones, areas in which nitrogen run-off creates anaerobic algae blooms, removing the majority of oxygen from the water while disrupting productive habitants. View, fertilizer use impacts on coastal dead zones.
Getting the right fertilizer amounts can be complicated. To much fertilizer can lead to nutrient lock-out from fertilizer salt build-ups, as well as, root burn. Not enough fertilizer may yield poor growth.
Research by doctor Elaine Ingham shows how the simple and productive effects of "biologic" growing techniques, utilizing the natural diversity of micro-organisms found throughout healthy eco-systems. Soil and plant studies are showing how aerobic microbes and fungi provide a self balancing, symbiotic relationship with plant leaves, shoots, roots and soil. Just add sunlight and water, meanwhile the fungi are digesting rock, minerals, metals and lots of wood. Next aerobic microbes digest the fungi, excreting waste used as food for the plants. This microbial waste consists of highly bio-available nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, (N, P, K) along with a host of other micro-nutrients like calcium, magnesium, sulfur. boron, etc. Fungi are the first group of organisms to feed on barren rock.
Diversity appears to be the survival strategy of nature. Healthy biologic soil analysis reveals a large number of beneficial aerobic organisms, consisting of many undiscovered species.
According to Elaine Ingham, PhD a soil microbiologist, "High quality composts, containing billions of microorganisms per gram, are essential for making effective compost teas."
Feeding Soil Microbes = Feeding the Plants
Many aerobic microbes feed on carbon sources in the form of decaying plant material called humus. Aerobic compost, worm castings, peat moss and coconut fiber are rich sources of humus, providing a well draining soil media in which to grow indoor plants. Well draining soil allows for plenty of oxygen favorable to these healthy aerobic organisms. Perilite is often added to increase air and water holding capacity.
Instant Compost Tea Recipes, Encouraging Healthy Soil
Apply to roots and foliage weekly during vegetative and flowering growth.
- Annual fruit & flowering plants
Thermal Compost - 40 ml/gal
Worm Castings - 80 ml/gal
Seaweed Powder - 1 tsp/gal
Liquid Fish - 15 ml/gal
EndoMycorrhizal Fungi - 1/2 tsp/gal
Humic Acid - 1 tsp/gal
Perennial fruit and flowering plants
Thermal Compost - 80 ml/gal
Worm Castings - 40 ml/gal
Seaweed Powder - 1 tsp/gal
Liquid Fish - 30 ml/gal
Endo Mycorrhizal Fungi - 1/2 tsp/gal
Humic Acid - 2 tsp/gal
How to Make Instant Compost Tea
- Fill - Using a clean bucket or barrel with water,* combine measured soil amendments into a srceened straining bag. Roll bag top three times to secure contents, and then fasten the buckle closed.
- Extract - Knead amendments by hand in water for 2-5 minutes.
- Feed - Apply immediately as a foliar spray and/or root drench.
*If water contains chlorine or chloramines, neutralize with humic acid prior to use.
Special thanks to doctor Elaine Ingham for helping to develop and test these compost tea recipes.
Heartspring Staff are assistants of board reviewed doctors that are medical editors, authors, and reviewers, providing oversight for Heartspring.net. This article is currently undergoing doctor reveiw.
Soil topics explores how microbes like aerobic fungi can affect food nutritents.