Would your plants fancy a cup of tea?
Composts and compost extracts have been in common use over hundreds of years to promote plant and soil health.
But aerobic compost teas such as GreenTeaTM are different. They use aeration technology to create optimum levels of oxygen for growth and reproduction of beneficial aerobic microorganisms. Many of our customers are already brewing teas to complement their fertilizer regimens in large-scale agriculture, viticulture, horticulture, nurseries, lawn care, and residential gardens.
And they’re seeing benefits, including:
- Improved plant growth.
- Better chemical, physical or biological properties in soil such as structure, pH, or reduction of deleterious (nonpathogenic) microorganisms’ effects.
- Decrease of the incidence and severity of foliar and root rot diseases.
In hydroponic culture the benefits may be even greater. Maintaining a healthy root system is crucial to the performance of a hydroponic crop. Hyroponic growers are familiar with the challenges of ensuring that the root system is maintained aerobically.
After it’s taken from the brewer, compost tea can’t sit on the shelf. Compost tea is alive, teeming with beneficial microorganisms, and they die off after about 48 hours if they’re left in a jug, so don’t believe claims on other products saying they’re a compost tea if they aren’t fresh! We purchased a state-of-the-art Vortex BrewerTM to brew our own quality GreenTeaTM in the store. Our perpetual brew system means we’ll always have a fresh brew in store.
We’ll be testing GreenTeaTM wherever we can and invite you to stop by, chat with us about our experiences, and pick up a gallon for your own plants.
Frequently Asked Questions about GreenTeaTM
How do I use GreenTeaTM in my hydroponic growing? You can use the GreenTea TM both as an additive to your reservoir, where it will help maintain a healthy root system, and as a foliar application.
How much GreenTeaTM should I add to my reservoir? We recommend a maximum dilution with water of 1:8 and a minimum of 1:50. This should be added every 1-2 weeks and when you refill the system.
What is the dilution rate for foliar applications? For preventive applications, use a 1:1 ratio of water and tea and spray the leaves top and bottom every two weeks during the spring and fall. If disease is observed, spray undiluted once a week until the disease is controlled.
How should I apply GreenTeaTM to my lawn and garden? A simple hose-end sprayer works well, as does a pump sprayer. The water dilute the tea to disperse the microbes.
What is rate and dilution when applying GreenTeaTM in my garden? Really you can’t apply too much. We recommend 1 gallon per 500 sq. ft. Use a dilution rate somewhere between 1: 1 and 1:16 (tea and water). The dilution ratio is not important as long as the gallon of tea is spread over 500 sq. ft.
Why are your application rates different from others? Our rates were developed over many years. We’ve seen others recommend using as little as 1 gallon per 5,000 sq. ft. There’s scope for debate and experimentation!
My hose-end sprayer clogs when using GreenTeaTM. What can I do? Most hose-end sprayers have a filter screen. Remove this as the mesh is too small for the microbes and particulates to pass through.
Can I use the sprayer I used for spraying RoundupTM on my driveway? No, if the sprayer has been used for fungicides or herbicides, set it aside (out of reach of children and pets) and use a different sprayer.
How frequently should I apply GreenTeaTM to my garden soil? Typically, once a month during the growing season, bi-weekly on lawns. During times of plant stress (known disease, drought, etc.) increase application to as frequently as every week.
How quickly should I use GreenTeaTM? Ideally within 24 hours. The microorganisms will remain alive for 12 to 48 hours in reduced quantities.
Can I use Ithaca city water? Ithaca city water, in common with many other municipal water systems, uses chlorine to ensure a bacteria-free water supply. The chlorine can be removed by aeration or standing overnight. We also sell a range of water purification systems. Unpurified water may kill many of the microbes in the tea.
Are there any risks using compost teas? We use only the best and safest ingredients. In aerobic brewing systems there is a risk of multiplying harmful bacteria such as E. Coli. and Salmonella if present in the ingredients used. This has only been reported when using ingredients that were contaminated. The National Organic Standards Board recommends that if compost tea is made with additives but is not tested, food crops may not be harvested until 90 to 120 days after the compost tea has been applied.
Can I make my own tea at home? Yes! You can make your own system or buy a kit. This video is a handy primer: