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What are compost teas?
Compost teas, often shortened to just “tea,” are part of a new approach to plant nutrition and soil inoculation, where, rather than letting the microbial community develop by chance, growers deliberately inject preferred microbes and nutrients into their grow medium. As the name suggests, compost teas start with compost, which is an excellent source of nutrition for plants. However, the nutrition in compost is typically locked away inside large, complex organic molecules. Microbes inside compost break down the complex molecules into simpler molecules that plants can easily absorb.
Compost teas take plant nutrition a step further by nurturing microbial growth, improving the effectiveness of traditional compost. When compost teas are “brewed,” microbes are cultured in warm water with plenty of air: ideal conditions for growth and propagation. These microbes form symbioses with the plants, making them more vigorous, healthy, and resilient to stress, resulting in bigger, better yields.
Growing with Teas
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About the Author
Hunter Wilson is a community builder with Growers Network. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 2011 with a Masters in Teaching and in 2007 with a Bachelors in Biology.