Biotech Articles
Publish Your Research Online
Get Recognition - International Audience

Request for an Author Account   |   Login   |   Submit Article

Compost Tea: An Organic Additive For Plant Health

BY: Sunita Gaind | Category: Agriculture | Submitted: 2012-03-01 09:01:03
       No Photo
Article Summary: "Compost tea is a liquid compost prepared by brewing the 'compost extract' (made by suspending stable and mature compost in water) with some microbial nutrient source such as sugars, proteins, oat meal, soybean meal, and/or humic acids at a constant temperature.."

Share with Facebook Share with Linkedin Share with Twitter Share with Pinterest Email this article

Compost Tea: An organic additive for plant health

Compost tea is a liquid compost prepared by brewing the 'compost extract' (made by suspending stable and mature compost in water at a ratio of 5:1) with some microbial nutrient source such as sugars, proteins, oat meal, soybean meal, and/or humic acids at a constant temperature. The aim of brewing is to extract beneficial microorganisms from the compost, followed by growing this microbial population during the brew period. The dark-colour solution that leaks out of the bottom of the compost pile is not compost tea. These are the leachates that may contain some pathogenic organisms in addition to the presence of soluble nutrients. Therefore, they are not considered suitable for foliar spray. Compost tea can be aerated and non-aerated. Non-aerated teas are made by simply mixing the compost, water, and other ingredients and allowing them to ferment with little or no disturbance, whereas the mixture is mechanically aerated to create aerobic conditions in the solution for preparing aerobic tea. Anaerobes produce metabolites that can harm the plant tissues very rapidly. Putrefying organic matter contains organisms that are not beneficial for plants. Under aerobic condition, there is little possibility of growth of human pathogens. The more diverse the community of microorganisms extracted and grown under aerobic conditions better will be nutrient retention by the tea. Compost tea has been reported to offer more measurable benefits in stimulating crop growth, yield and quality and disease suppression.

Precautions for compost tea preparation
• Only potable water needs to be used to make compost tea or to dilute it.
• All the equipments used to prepare compost tea should be properly sanitized
• Composts to be used should be mature and stable.
• The foods added to the brew vary with type of tea required: bacterial or fungal tea. If a fungal brew is desired, complex material as oatmeal, soybean meal, flour, humic acids, fulvic acids (which will release bacterial foods after fungi begin the process of decomposition) are added.
• Avoid adding molasses, when fermenting compost tea, as these can promote the growth of harmful organisms
• Temperature of brewing should be related to soil temperature
• Oxygen in the tea should not fall below 5.5 to 6 ppm dissolved oxygen, which is typically about 70% dissolved oxygen.
• The tea needs to be analyzed for toxicity, absence of pathogens (Clostridium, Listeria, Streptococcus and Enterococcus) and adequate population of beneficial organisms (Bacillus, Fluorescent Pseudomonads offer disease resistance to plants) before its application.
• The time length, the tea is brewed is approximately 18-24 hrs.
• Compost tea should be applied to the soil within 5-7 hours of its preparation. As the solution is rich in microbes, nutrients may get depleted on prolonged storage and on finished brewing.

Plant benefits
If done properly, compost tea is a concentrate of activated microorganisms, more concentrated than compost itself. It is easy to use liquid and can be convenient for any horticulture application
 Provides nutrients to plants and soil and adds beneficial organisms
 Adds soluble nutrients to soil or on to foliage of plants
 Application of fungicides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers reduce the population of agriculturally important microorganisms. The application of compost tea to soil fills the gap by building the population of beneficial microorganisms
 Improves nutrient availability in root system
 Results in nutrient retention in soil
 Reduces the use of chemical fertilizers and loss of nutrients into ground water
 Helps to suppress plant diseases

Compost tea and its role in disease suppression
A mixed response of compost tea on disease suppression has been reported. It may be due to variation in microbial population as well as the severity of disease. Effective bio control potential of compost tea against fungal damping off in tomato has been observed. Approximately 50% suppression in powdery mildew disease has been reported in grapes due to application of compost tea during first year of its application. Its failure to suppress powdery mildew on Howden pumpkins in first year, but reduction in the number and size of pathogen colonies in the succeeding year has also been observed. A slight reduction of gray mold, along with an increase in the level of downy mildew, has been recorded in the compost tea treated plot during the first year at vineyards. Compost tea did not reduce severity of late blight on Superior potatoes when disease was present in second year.
The efficacy, consistency, and practicality of using compost tea for disease suppression needs to be evaluated considerably before being recommended for application.

About Author / Additional Info:

Search this site & forums
Share this article with friends:

Share with Facebook Share with Linkedin Share with Twitter Share with Pinterest Email this article

More Social Bookmarks (Digg etc..)

Comments on this article: (0 comments so far)

Comment By Comment

Leave a Comment   |   Article Views: 4012

Additional Articles:

•   Environmental Biotechnology: Role and Scope

•   GM Crops and Agro-Biodiversity

•   Simarouba Glauca DC: A potential edible oilseed tree species

•   Doors Effects of Clenbuterol

Latest Articles in "Agriculture" category:
•   Use of Biotechnology in Agriculture

•   Plant Based Edible Vaccine

•   Genetically Modified Food - Yes or No?

•   Agricultural Biotechnology - Definition and Various Products

•   Career Opportunities in Agriculture Science

•   Synthetic Seed Production and Application

•   Role of Biotechnology in Agriculture | Various Agricultural Technologies

•   Biofortification - A Technique Used in Agriculture

•   Biotechnology in Agriculture Development

•   Biotechnology in Animal Feed and Feeding

•   Biofertilizers: Types, Benefits and Applications

•   Genetically Modified Food - Advantages and Disadvantages

•   Genetically Modified Crops as Medicine

•   Cryopreservation and Conservation of Plant Genetic Material

•   Biotechnology and the Coconut

•   Biotechnology in Rice Farming

•   Bt Corn: Method, Mode of Action and Benefits

•   Safe Insecticides For the Environment

•   Plant Growth Promoting Substances

Important Disclaimer: All articles on this website are for general information only and is not a professional or experts advice. We do not own any responsibility for correctness or authenticity of the information presented in this article, or any loss or injury resulting from it. We do not endorse these articles, we are neither affiliated with the authors of these articles nor responsible for their content. Please see our disclaimer section for complete terms.
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape
Copyright © 2010 - Do not copy articles from this website.

Agriculture Bioinformatics Applications Biotech Products Biotech Research
Biology Careers College/Edu DNA Environmental Biotech
Genetics Healthcare Industry News Issues Nanotechnology
Others Stem Cells Press Release Toxicology  

  |   Disclaimer/Privacy/TOS   |   Submission Guidelines   |   Contact Us