All Compost Teas are not created equal. Non-aerated Teas (or aerated teas sitting on a store shelf) contain NO beneficial organisms, since these organisms need oxygen to live and reproduce.
Our Compost Tea is made from mature, hot-composted (140f+) organic material, then brewed (with oxygen!) and delivered immediately upon completion of brewing, to ensure a high concentration of these beneficial organisms. For this reason, we do not ship our Compost Tea. It is available for local delivery, and from select retail locations in the Rogue Valley. It is recommended that you use the tea at full strength within 24 hours, for maximum efficacy.
Frequently Asked Questions:
A. Compost Tea is literally a liquid made from steeping compost in fresh, non-chlorinated water in order to extract a high concentration of the beneficial microorganisms found in compost. Primarily, Compost Tea is a soil amendment, and healthy soil is the foundation of healthy plants. It is also very beneficial as a foliar spray.
A. You can, and you should! Compost Tea, however, because it is in a concentrated and soluble form, makes the benefits of compost quickly and more readily available to your soil and plants. What's more, when sprayed on the leaves, Compost Tea helps suppress foliar diseases, increases the amount of nutrients available to the plant, and speeds the breakdown of toxins. Using compost tea has even been shown to increase the nutritional quality and improve the flavor of vegetables.
A. Aerated Compost Tea has been aerated (using aquatic bubblers) to create aerobic (vs. anaerobic) conditions, which support microbial growth and reproduction. Anaerobic tea can harm your plants.
A. Their numbers (and thus the benefits to your plants and soil) begin to decrease after about 24 hours without oxygen. Therefore, Compost Teas sitting on retail shelves have no beneficial micro-organisms. Our Aerated Compost Tea completes the brewing process just hours before a market, or individual sale. Look for the “Brewed on” date on each container. That is why we recommend using the tea within 24 hours.
A. No. Our Aerated Compost Tea is made from managed, mature “hot-pile” compost, meaning that it maintains a temperature of at least 140f for at least 3 days, to kill harmful pathogens. It can be used full strength or diluted without harming plants or soil.
A. Compost Tea can be applied as a foliar spray or soil drench. While a garden sprayer, or spray bottle is preferred (particularly for foliar application), the Tea can be poured directly in the soil. Click here for detailed instructions.
A. How often to apply Compost Tea depends on how healthy your soil is. If you don't have good levels of beneficial insects in your garden, or your plants are showing signs of stress, then apply once every 1 to 2 weeks. Healthy soils can benefit from a monthly application.
A. Similar to the frequency of application, the quantity also depends on your particular needs, and the current condition of your soil. To simplify this, we offer the following coverage guidelines:
|New Bulk Soil Deliveries
(topsoils, composts, blends)
|Amount of Material Delivered||Amount of Tea to Apply|
|1 Cubic yard||5 Gallons|
|10 Cubic Yards||50 Gallons|
|20 Cubic Yards||100 Gallons|
|Existing Soil and Garden Beds|
|Soil Condition||Gallons/Sq. Ft.||Example|
|Stressed / Unproductive Soil||1:10||5 Gallons per 50 Sq. Ft.|
|Healthy / Maintenance||1:20||5 Gallons per 100 Sq. Ft.|
For example, the 4 x 10 raised bed below would need 4 Gallons if it were stressed or unproductive soil, and 2 Gallons for maintenance of healthy soil.
New Soil, or Bulk Soil Delivery - Bulk soil deliveries, even those with names like " Garden Blend", or "Garden Compost" have very little live microbial activity, and are therefore lacking in critical nutrients for your plants, specifically during transplant, when your plants will be experiencing stress. Landscapers, gardeners and homeowners would benefit greatly by inoculating their new soil with an application of Aerated Compost Tea, at a rate of 5 Gallons per Cubic Yard of material, or roughly 1 Gallon for each 10 square feet of material.
Stressed - Stressed soil is simply soil that cannot provide the nutrients that it is being asked to provide by the plants utilizing it. Stressed soil leads to stressed plants, which will manifest in the form of yellowing or browning leaves, increased susceptibility to disease or pest attack, high plant failure rates, or simply a lack of expected growth. When people are under stress, they need additional nutrients and rest, and so do your plants. Stressed soil can be treated with a 1:10 application of Aerated Compost Tea, that is, 1 Gallon for each 10 square feet of soil.
Healthy - Healthy soil will fend off diseases, ward off pest attacks, and produce healthier, more nutrient dense plants and vegetables. Plants, however, are constantly pulling nutrients from the soil with which to grow and produce flowers and fruits. To replenish those nutrients on a regular basis, we recommend treating healthy soils with a 1:20 application of Aerated Compost Tea. That is, 1 Gallon per 20 square feet of soil. During growing season, this should be applied monthly, as part of a maintenance program.
A. Your soil is alive, and just because you haven't planted anything, doesn't mean that the soil activity has stopped. Healthy soil, like a healthy body, requires maintenance. Off-season applications can serve to kick-start your growing season by adding beneficial organisms during non-growing periods. Your direct-seeding and transplant success rates will increase with one or two off-season applications of Aerated Compost Tea. Southern Oregon Winters experience several freezes and thaws throughout the season. Beneficial organisms in the soil become dormant during a freeze, but instantly go to work improving your soil upon warming. Don't wait until Spring to start making your soil healthy.