We all know the benefits of using compost and worm castings in our gardens and plants, but many people are not aware of another way of using compost that is even more beneficial to your plants.
For those interested in a more natural or organic method of gardening, one of the most important things that you can do to help your plants thrive is to use compost teas and worm teas. In order to do that, you need a way to brew the compost tea or worm tea and that is what we are going to discuss today.
As some of you know, I have a Ph.D. in microbiology, so I understand the complexities of the biological ecosystem at the microbic level that is at work in the soil and interacting with our plants.
Many people think of plants as having roots that are basically one-way highways to deliver nutrients to the plant. The truth is it actually goes much deeper than that and as we are only just beginning to understand in the past few years the plants are actually communicating with the micro-organisms that live in the soil around the roots of the plant.
In exchange for the micro-organisms delivering nutrients to the plant roots to feed the plant with, approximately 40% of the sugars produced through photosynthesis in the plants are sent back down through the roots to feed the micro-organisms in a highly effective symbiotic relationship. The other 60% is used by the plant for growth, fruit production, etc.
The more beneficial micro-organisms living around the plant roots the better able the plant is to have access to the nutrients in the soil, so by using compost and worm casting teas we are adding billions of beneficial micro-organisms to the soil around the plants roots.
So, why would you want to use compost tea? The nutrients in compost tea are more readily available to plants than those found in dry compost. The beneficial organisms -- which include bacteria, yeasts and fungi -- that compost tea provides your plants helps suppress diseases by either creating a physical barrier against disease-causing pathogens or by competing with or attacking them. Adding compost tea to your soil also reduces th