What is the difference between the nutrient tea that comes from the Bokashi bin and compost tea?
Nutrient tea from the Bokashi bin has all the nutrients from the food scraps you put in your Bokashi bin and around 30 different species of microbes that break down organic matter. Compost tea has thousands of different species of microbes and fewer nutrients. In compost tea, it is the broad spectrum of microorganisms that are beneficial to your plants. In Bokashi tea, it is the nutrients that are particularly beneficial to your plants.
How to use compost extract during drought periods
During drought periods, plants and the soil can become brittle, especially when temperatures are regularly above 90 F. It is therefore best to be gentle with your plants.
First, we place soaker hoses around the drip line of plants to moisten the soil because microbes travel deeper into the soil via the moisture. If available, use rainwater instead of city water as the buildup of chloramines can negatively effect the reproduction of the microbes. For small to medium size plants, shrubs, forbs etc, we then add 1/4 gallon of compost extract to the soil using a watering can or by pouring the extract directly onto the soil.
During periods where the daily high is below 90F, foliar spraying of compost tea can deliver excellent results to plants that have been damaged by drought. Compost Extract is best viewed, not as a silver bullet like aspirin, but as a therapy that needs to be repeated on a regular basis (during the growing season, monthly applications are best except for when it is really cold). See our Residential Services page for more information.
What is the difference between aerated compost tea and compost tea extract?
Compost tea is generally aerated for 24-48 hours. Microbial Earth makes compost tea extract, which is made from high quality humified compost. We make an extraction from our humified compost and only aerate for 15 minutes. This process allows for a high quality tea that has a much longer shelf life and no issues with biofilm.
What is the shelf life of compost extract both before and after adding the activator?
The shelf life of the tea is dependant on the average temperature of the water. Below 70F and the shelf life before adding the activator is about 3 months. After adding the activator, it becomes active at about 2 hours, most active around 8-12 hours, and should be used within 24 hours.
When the water temperature remains above 80F, the shelf life drops down to about 2 weeks at the peak of summer without the activator. Shelf life can be prolonged by keeping the tea in air-conditioning and/or dark areas. After the activator is added, the response is a bit faster than described above.