Compost Tea vs. Compost Extract

I mailed out some flyers to my clients this week introducing our new product. Compost Extract is what we will now be spraying, whereas we were spraying Compost Tea previously. Both products are derivatives of Compost (broken down organic matter). Compost Tea is very labor intensive and has about a 24 hour shelf life which means it must be sprayed as soon as it is ready. Tea also is brewed and aerated 24 hours prior to spraying. As I said, very labor intense.

Compost Extract is produced by putting Compost and Water into a machine (the extractor). The hydrolic machine presses the Compost into a liquid form. The main difference between the two products is that in extract the nutrients are readily available for plant consumption whereas the tea takes time for the nutrients to become available for the plants. We are excited about this product and the potential for what it will do for your lawn.

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4 Responses to “Compost Tea vs. Compost Extract”

  1. Cheryl Jazzar August 16, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    What is the difference in terms of nitrogen content? A soil test revealed that I need more nitrogen. Also, do we need to water both kinds in?


    • Willie August 16, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

      Cheryl- What you had sprayed needs several applications in order to amend your soil. Nature does not provide a quick fix for changing the soil. By adding microbes (compost tea) to the soil over time the residual affects provide nitrogen at a rate your plants can absorb, as opposed to spraying nitrogen based chemical fertilizers on your lawn. The new Compost Extract is full of nutrients, including nitrogen, that your lawn needs to grow naturally. And yes, both should be watered in, before or after. Hope this helps.

      • Dave March 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

        This is really exciting guys. I’m interested to follow your story and here how this switch effects your lawns. I also understand where you’re coming from regarding the compost tea being a labor intensive process. Were you aerating it from your truck(s) as you drove around and applied it?

        My friend Peter, at Compostwerks, builds various application equipment for companies like yours; however, the equipment does come at a price.

        Where did you get your extractor? Can you talk a little more about it?

        Re Cheryl’s comments, it’s very important that you balance your soil minerals (i.e. Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, etc.) if you want to have a beautiful, pest-free, organic lawn. Once you balance the minerals and get the microbes and organic matter back into the system, your lawn will explode with life!

        • Willie March 1, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

          Dave- Thanks for the comment. I will definitely keep the community informed about the results of the switch. I believe the Extract wins because the nutrients are readily available, whereas the microbes in the tea take time to create plant ready nutrients. Plus, the compost has microbes as well. We did not aerate in the truck, you get aeration from the sloshing around of normal driving. Temperature was the biggest setback as we had record breaking highs last summer with 60+ days over 100 degrees. We are purchasing the extract from a local compost facility.

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