What are Compost and Microbial Teas?
Compost Tea is exactly what it sounds like - a tea brewed from compost. Microbial teas encourage the development of healthy, productive, living soils. Additionally, they help flush out and digest remnant nutrients and dead root matter that can build up over time in potted soils and hydroponic root systems. Some teas include nutrient rich ingredients as well that are heavily digested by microbes so that they are readily available to the plants in a form that is easily absorbed.
How is it made?
You can make compost tea easily by placing compost in a fine mesh and brewing it in a heavily aerated solution. Microbial Teas are much the same but offer a greater variety of organic nutrients and specified microbes for ingredients.
How Gardin does it:
Here at Gardin, we make our own teas using air powered brewers! For small batches (5 gallon), we like to use the Nute Brewer by Nute Tools. This nifty device is designed to work with your 5 gallon bucket. The Brewer brings your ingredients and solids from the bottom of the bucket, and circulates them to the top, creating an evenly distributed solution, all while aerating the mixture. See the video above for one of our favorite recipes and a 20 gallon Nute Brewer in action.
For our other recipes, we add a variety of ingredients including earthworm castings, organic granular ingredients and humus. For a heavier nutrient charge, we add in various Down to Earth products.
If you'd prefer a more traditional way of brewing, simply add an air stone thats rigged to an air pump, and add your ingredients. The solution will always need oxygen to feed the aerobic bacteria, so the more stones the better. You can never overdo oxygen! Brewer the tea for 24-48 hours, then its ready for your plants.
Another great new option that has become a go-to product for many of us on the team are the Instant Tea’s offered by Cultured Biologix. Their veg and bloom microbial teas are just-add-water products with light nutrient loads and heavy microbial populations. We love using them in between feedings to help break down nutrients and keep the soil ecosystems healthy.