Extension Soilcom starts with online Compost tea meeting

04 April 2022 - Published by Hanne Lakkenborg Kristensen
Written by Esther Hessel.

Last week the beneficiaries of Soilcom started the activities around the development of compost related products, by listening to the introduction of ‘Odla med naturen®’ (‘Growing with Nature®’). This Swedish company, with its roots in the treenursery of Splendor Plant, has now some years of experience with the production and application of compost tea. They see the compost tea as part of a holistic approach of the cultivation. This very interactive meeting gave the input for starting the extension with the compost tea.

Starting point of the compost tea is a high quality compost. Application of water and aeration will help to develop the compost tea under aerobic conditions. At the end of the process the compost tea is examined by microscope to see if all the beneficial groups of micro organisms are present in the tea.  Important in both the compost tea as well as in the soil is the existence of the total food web. A healthy soil needs all the different microbial groups.

The idea of using composts as well as compost tea is that it leads to biodiversity and balance in the soil, to increased nutrient efficiency and a good soil structure because of the development of aggregates by the increasing fungi and bacterial population. Next year the beneficiaries within the Soilcom project will start some trials with the compost tea. PCA will use the compost tea as a leaf application in potato. The treatment is compared with the conventional system. Specifically they will look at the nutrient uptake and the relation with the existence of Alternaria solani. ILVO will use the compost tea in three leaf applications on winter cereals, where they also measure the microbiology and the effect on the growth. The Technical University of Hamburg is applying the compost tea in a design with large boxes with plants (to approach an open field cultivation), were they will measure the microbiology in the plants and boxes. 

The extension with compost tea is interesting because of the direct relation with compost. Developing new, innovative products, with compost as a starting point give more opportunities to use the positive effects of compost. Follow this website and the newsletters for the results in coming years.