If you are new to the cannabis cultivation scene, then you probably have no idea of what compost tea is! We’re not talking about a beverage for your growers to drink. Instead, this is something that you give to your cannabis plants in order to help their growth and nutrition intake. The richness and abundance of various microorganisms make compost tea a great additive to your potting mixtures and rotation of amendments!
The active nutrients found in compost tea are all taken from organic matter. This, along with the ease and convenience of making it, give every kind of grower an opportunity to use compost tea! Now, let’s discuss what all the hype is about.
What is Compost Tea?
Compost tea is basically a mixture of various composts that are all brewed and aged altogether. This process extracts the different vitamins and minerals that the compost contains, making a very healthy concentrate that is full of necessary nutrients for health cannabis plants.
It goes without saying that the fresher the ingredients are, the higher quality it turns out! Every part of the cannabis plant can fully benefit from compost tea. The branches, leaves, buds, and especially the roots all get a powerful kick out of this brew.
Now, one other characteristic about it is that it is fully organic! That’s right, green is always better! Growers who advocate for a clean and waste-free growing experience should always consider making some. Additionally, it isn’t supposed to be anything fancy or complex. It is a simple and straightforward recipe which can make use of any compost that you may have from your everyday activities!
What are the Kinds of Compost Tea?
Compost tea can all play various roles and purposes in your garden. As such, growers usually separate them into different kinds! The two main classifications of compost tea are fungal compost tea and bacterial compost tea.
You are probably thinking of unhealthy bacteria and fungus, but no! It actually brews fungal and bacterial communities into the tea! These beneficial kinds of fungus and bacteria actually repel any viruses and diseases from contaminating the plants.
How are they different from one another?
Fungal compost tea is generally made from humus-based acids and hydrolysis products like yucca and insect frays. Since fungal communities tend to take longer to develop, growers should age and brew them for longer periods.
Bacterial compost tea, on the other hand, mainly makes use of molasses in order to stimulate bacteria buildup. Substances rich in sugar are the main ingredients of bacterial compost tea.
Are there any other kinds of compost tea?
When mixing both fungal and bacterial compost, you will get an even wider range of compost teas. They are generally classified into six (6) kinds: fermented plant, anaerobic tea, manure tea, aerated tea, compost leachate, and non-aerated tea.
While all of these are pretty simple and straight-forward, the aerated compost tea is probably the most famous and colloquially most effective type.
The Different Benefits of Compost Tea
With the presence of more than a million microorganisms of healthy fungus and bacteria in the solution, the development of your cannabis plants is sure to improve! But how exactly does compost tea help your gardens thrive? What impact does it have on how your weed buds develop?
Here, we have some of the most useful and attractive benefits that you can get from compost tea!
An Overall Healthier and Stronger Garden
Just like how the different vitamins that we take for our bodies strengthens our systems, so too does compost tea with cannabis plants! If you try comparing the looks and textures in a cannabis garden that does not make use of compost tea to one that does, then you will be able to clearly see the difference!
The presence of bacteria and fungal communities that growers spray to the cannabis plants actually help increase the immunity and resiliency against diseases and contaminations. It suppresses any spread of unhealthy organisms and subsequently kills it off through the rich nutrient makeup.
Faster Growth for Bigger Plants
The main idea for using compost tea is to get a better overall output from your cannabis plants. This can be measured by the amount of yield that your gardens come up with along with the health of the said buds. Not only will you have more weed nugs to harvest during the harvesting period, you will also end up with some very frosty and trichome-filled buds that slightly increase in size!
Of course, this all comes with a faster flowering period. The additional energy that the cannabis plants come with due to the abundance of minerals gives your garden a significant boost. With your plants now having more power to direct towards the development of buds, the flowering period of your strains can be cut down by a pretty useful portion.
It is Purely Organic and Environment-Friendly
A lot of growers tend to use some store-bought additives and solutions for enhancing the performance of their weed crops. While these are proven to be effective in attaining that goal, there are many substances out there that contain harmful toxins and dangerous chemicals that can affect your plants in the long run! Compost tea, on the other hand, makes use of all-organic ingredients that contain no harmful toxins at all!
Not only does this keep your plants free from store-bought chemicals and poisons, it also provides growers with a more environment-friendly alternative. Any leftovers or compounds that you would normally throw away can be used for making compost tea! This ensures a waste-free system of coming up with beneficial soil solutions.
Various Fungi and Bacteria that are Healthy
There are certain microorganisms and compounds that you find in compost tea that you can’t get anywhere else! The extensive range of nutrients present in these compost teas build a solid wall of protection around your gardens. This gives them a much needed advantage, most especially for outdoor growers whose gardens are more susceptible to health hazards.
The presence of fungi and bacteria in addition to other nematodes and protozoa also help kill and fend off any potential insects and pests. When sprayed onto the soil and leaves, these microorganisms also help keep the plant hydrated. This reduces the amount of times you will typically water your plants.
How to Make Compost Tea: A Quick and Easy Way!
If you decide to make your own but fear you might screw up, then you still don’t have a full understanding of how easy it is! Literally any grower out there will be fully capable of making this brew. It doesn’t take a lot to make compost tea. However, there are some specific ingredients that you will want to get your hands on!
In this guide, we are going to show you how to make the best and simplest recipe you can find! Despite the cheap cost that this comes with, it is surely going to be an effective enhancer for your crops!
How long does it take to make your compost tea?
From start to finish, around a day or a day and a half is pretty much all the time you will need to make the solution. But most of that time will practically be spent waiting for it to brine and extract all those valuable nematodes and protozoa.
While you can leave it to brew and settle for a longer period, it is recommended to not leave it for more than 72 hours! This might cause it to get overly potent. Additionally, the nematodes and protozoa are essentially living organisms. Leaving them to age for too long will eventually cause them to die due to lack of activity.
A fresh and healthy supply of compost tea can usually last for 1 month. As long as you are still getting that musky and robust scent from the brew, then it is still fresh and viable for use.
The Best Ingredients for Compost Tea:
There are five (5) main ingredients that you will need to secure when you make a fresh batch of compost tea. These are:
- Compost – Well, you will naturally need compost to make some compost tea. While all forms of compost will generally contain abundant amounts of nutrients and minerals, having a fresher batch will definitely make for a stronger solution. Make sure that your compost consists of only organic items! Having some harmful compounds mixed into the fray can surely hinder the effectiveness of the tea.
- Molasses – Here we have the main driver for the buildup of healthy bacteria in your brew. Like in bread or any other baked product, molasses has the effect of feeding bacteria communities and stimulating their feeding. This keeps them active and well-nurtured while the compost tea begins to brew.
- Worm Castings – This is also something quite familiar to any other grower out there. As is it normally used as a soil amendment, it makes sense to include it into your compost tea. Because worm castings are basically deteriorated castings left off by worms, they are easily broken down into rich patches of nutrients. This makes it easy for the roots to absorb its minerals.
- Kelp – Kelp has more to do with the housing and stimulation of fungal communities in the tea solution. This serves as the food sources of fungal communities as it slowly develops in the compost tea.
- Fish Hydrolysate – Fish hydrolysate is another source of food for fungi. But unlike kelp, it contains large doses of nitrogen. This helps it breed multiple times, allowing the increase in the concentration of fungi. Also, fish hydrolysate contains chitin, a rich substance that primarily enhances the immune system of the cannabis plants.
Furthermore, you will need pure and clean water kept at room temperature. For the best results, rain water will contain some added microorganisms as well. As we said, an aerated compost tea is the most famous kind of solution. For this, you can make use of an air pump to supply the oxygen levels in your compost tea.
Brewing the Compost Tea:
- First off, you will have to construct your brewing device. This isn’t as complicated as it sounds. You will literally only need to take a bucket or tub (wherever you wish to make your tea) and fill it to the brim with clean water. For aerated tea, simply install the air pump beside the bucket, placing the bubbler at the bottom of the barrel/container once it is filled with water.
- In order to have a much tidier and less intimidating compost tea solution, we recommend making a tea bag. This allows the bag to hold in all the ingredients instead of just dumping them all into the water. With a mesh bag or a simple blanket of thin cloth, place all the ingredients inside and carefully tie a tight knot above.
- Now, all you have to do is simply dunk the tea bag into the water and wait. It is literally that easy. If you have an air pump, keep in running all throughout the brewing process. You can leave it there for anywhere between 1 to 3 days.
The only thing left to do is apply it to your gardens after brewing. With a pitcher or more preferably a sprayer, apply it to the soils and leaves of your gardens. Because this is a concentrate, you can always dilute it with water. But in any case, it is safe to apply it purely in slightly smaller doses.
And there you have it! Compost tea isn’t really an essential for cannabis growing but it definitely serves a lot of purposes. As a grower, you should take the leap and make you own every now and then. The benefits come with almost no drawbacks and it is extremely easy to make!
Follow this guide for the best and most effective compost tea recipe you can find out there. Good luck!