Compost tea is a popular fertilizer that provides many benefits for cannabis plants. It helps to enhance soil health and the rhizosphere, in particular the microbial communities and beneficial fungi. Through this, it increases nutrient availability and uptake, as well as helping to suppress pests and diseases. In this article, I’m going to look at what compost tea is, how it works, and the potential benefits it can bring to cannabis cultivation.
Compost tea is a mixture of compost and water that is soaked, aerated and mixed together. This produces a nutrient-rich liquid that can be added to the soil or foliar-sprayed directly onto the leaves. As part of the fermentation process, beneficial bacteria and microorganisms are released into the tea making it invaluable as a natural fertilizer.
The power of compost tea primarily lies in its ability to increase microbial life in the soil, making it much more biologically active and increasing nutrient availability. This is because microbial life acts as a bridge between organic material and the roots of the plants, unlocking otherwise unavailable nutrients in the soil.
Compost tea also helps to suppress diseases and pests. This is due to the fact that the beneficial microbes in the tea compete with harmful pathogens for food and moisture, significantly reducing their impact on the plant.
Aside from its disease-fighting properties, compost tea helps to reduce stress and increase plant vigor. The beneficial microbes in compost tea fix atmospheric nitrogen, increase water retention in the soil, and convert minerals into more easily absorbed forms.
It’s also important to note that compost tea is highly economical and easily accessible for cultivators of all sizes and budgets. With a little compost and some water, it’s possible to create a nutrient-rich liquid that’s capable of providing a plethora of benefits to both the soil and the plants.
As such, compost tea has become a key tool in the cultivation of cannabis, and one that is highly recommended for anyone looking to use organic products.
Compost tea contains a wide range of beneficial microbes, which are essential for the health and growth of cannabis plants. These microbes help to break down organic matter, fix atmospheric nitrogen, and convert minerals into more readily available forms.
Microbes also help to bring beneficial fungi and bacteria into balance, enabling better nutrient uptake and disease suppression. These beneficial microbes produce organic acids and metabolites which suppress pathogenic organisms and provide a healthy environment for the plant to grow in.
In addition, compost tea can also act as a catalyst for plant growth hormone production. The microbes in compost tea act as a source of food and nutrition, stimulating the production of hormones which increase growth and development in plants.
Finally, compost tea can also help to create a laboratory for mycorrhizal fungi, which link the roots of plants to soil particles, forming an enhanced network to increase nutrient uptake and water conservation.
Enhanced Nutrient Uptake
The beneficial microbes in compost tea help to unlock otherwise unavailable minerals and nutrients in the soil, resulting in increased nutrient availability for the plants.
This is achieved through the microbial activity which breaks down existing organic matter and minerals, making them more readily available for exchange with the roots. This activity also increases the water-holding capacity of the soil, allowing the plant to absorb more water and utilize it more efficiently.
In addition, the increased microbial activity helps to boost metabolic processes, further increasing nutrient uptake in the plant and improving overall health.
Compost tea is also beneficial for increasing beneficial bacteria in the soil, which form an important part of the ecosystem. These beneficial bacteria help to recycle organic material, fix protein and nitrogen, and break down toxins that can harm plants.
By creating a healthy and balanced ecosystem in the soil, compost tea can drastically increase nutrient availability, leading to healthy and vigorous plant growth.
Pest & Disease Suppression
Compost tea is highly effective at suppressing pests and diseases that can damage cannabis crops. This is because the beneficial microbes in the tea compete with pathogens for food, moisture, space and oxygen, resulting in a decrease in their impact on the plant.
In addition, the organic acids and metabolites produced by the beneficial microbes act as natural repellents, helping to reduce the presence of insects and disease-causing organisms.
Finally, compost tea can increase the production of plant hormones, which can help to strengthen plant cell walls and make them more resistant to pests and diseases.
This is why it is important to ensure that your compost tea is composed of quality organic materials, as the beneficial microbes will be more effective at combating pests and diseases.
Compost tea is a powerful tool for cultivators looking to increase their yields while using natural and organic methods. By increasing nutrient availability and suppressing pests and diseases, compost tea can provide many benefits to the health of cannabis plants.
Application & Materials
In order to maximize the benefits of compost tea, it is important to choose the right materials and apply it properly. When choosing compost materials, ensure that it is of high quality and contains beneficial microbes.
In terms of application, the tea can be applied directly to the soil or foliar-sprayed onto the leaves. When applying to the soil, the tea should be applied at a depth of approximately 1 to 2 inches and should be incorporated into the soils with a tiller.
When foliar-spraying, make sure that the tea is not too strong and is diluted properly. Additionally, the tea should be applied in early morning or late evening when the sun is not too strong.
Regardless of the application method, it is important to remember that the tea should not be applied to plants that are stressed or dehydrated, as this could lead to further damage.
Finally, when preparing compost tea, it is important to aerate it to ensure that the beneficial microbes are released properly. This can be done by using aquarium pumps or air stones.
Storage & Timing
Compost tea should be stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. The tea should also be used within 24 hours of preparation, as the beneficial microbes start to die after this time.
In terms of timings, it is best to apply compost tea early in the life cycles of plants, as this will provide the most benefits. Once the plants enter the flowering stage, it is usually best to switch to a different type of fertilizer.
Compost tea is often applied at regular intervals, such as every two weeks or once per month. It is important to ensure that the tea is applied regularly, as the beneficial microbes need to be replenished in order to remain effective.
Finally, it is important to remember to clean any equipment used to prepare or apply compost tea, as this will reduce the risk of introducing pathogens into the environment.
Compost tea is an invaluable tool for cannabis cultivation, providing a wide range of benefits for soil and plant health. Its ability to increase beneficial microbes in the soil, boost nutrient uptake, and suppress pests and diseases make it an essential part of the organic grower’s arsenal.
It is important to note, however, that compost tea should be applied properly, using quality materials and stored correctly in order to maximize its benefits. By understanding how compost tea works and applying it correctly, cultivators can see a dramatic increase in yields and quality.