Taking the Mystery Out of FertileTea: What is It and What’s In It?
If you’ve enrolled in the Earthdance Organics Organic Lawn and Plant Care Program, then you’ve likely heard that organics are additive. Each application builds on the next and is feeding a living system in the soil. We make this specification because synthetic lawn amendments are different. They are essentially spoon feeding your plants – if you miss an application, you’ll notice. With an organic, additive system, our applications are restoring a regenerative, thriving system according to Nature that, depending on your maintenance methods, can be self-sustaining.
How do we support thriving, living soils? We rely on our proprietary FertileTea to deliver a full range of nutrients and soil microorganisms. These microorganisms are the critical, smallest organisms, that we mentioned in an earlier blog post, that are food for the soil food web.
Fungi, acids, and organic matter work together to provide ideal growing conditions for plants
**What’s** in the magic brew we keep talking about? We’d like to mention that from year-to-year and season-to-season, the brew tends to vary. Core components are the same, but our philosophy is that if we vary the sources of our inputs, we’re diversifying the organisms in your soils. Our yards have a wide variety of plants, some native to this region, others adapted to regions around the world. We’re making sure we’re giving each plant what it needs. FertileTea is an actively aerated compost tea (AACT) brewed for 24 hours in dechlorinated water, in a sanitized brew tank. This is what we’re feeding soils:
Worm castings – Worm castings are often referred to as “black gold” because they contain nutrients that are so perfectly available to plants, always a perfect neutral pH of 7, and are coated with digestive bacteria and enzymes that feed other organisms. You can also read much more about worms and their castings in an earlier blog post. We’re excited that we’re currently sourcing vegan worm castings from Cosmic Castings.
Humic and Fulvic acids – These acids were once much more prevalent in our soils, when there was more natural nutrient cycling than many of our urbanized areas now allow. They build stable soil structure which helps hold onto soil nutrients, and also help make nutrients more available to plants. We like high quality HuMagic®, that hasn’t undergone any chemical processing, to help build long-term stable soil structure.
Mycorrhizal fungi – (pronounced like my•kuh•rye•zal) These varieties of fungi are much like the idea of gnomes, working all the time, but we never see them! These fungi form, and sometimes inhabit, symbiotic relationships with plant root hairs, helping access additional food and water in the soil, in exchange for plant exudates as food.
Bokashi – Unlike worm castings and the aerated tea, bokashi is a product of a fermented, anaerobic process, that proliferates different biological species. This technique was invented in Japan and now has 4 decades of research behind it. We can’t wait to see the results in your property, thanks to Southern Oregon Bokashi for making this available to us locally. This very adorable zine makes this process easy to understand for those interested.
Why FertileTea? Because healthy plants are nourished through healthy soil, our restoration efforts focus on the soil. One option to restore the soil would be an invasive method of digging up a property and mixing in compost and a variety of amendments into lower soil horizons. Applying a liquid FertileTea is a non-invasive, less expensive method of restoring the same healthy living soil system.
In short, FertileTea is dense with bacteria and fungi. When we feed the soil the smallest organisms at the bottom of the food chain, we create a favorable habitat for the larger organisms at each trophic level.Combined with organic fertilizers that provide balanced nutrition to plants, FertileTea helps restore a complete soil food web on your property, ensuring that plants receive optimal nutrition, and can rely on their natural immunity. This is how you achieve your goal of having a consistently healthy and thriving lawn.
The Results? Longer-Lasting Vibrant Lawn – FertileTea will extend the season of your lawn giving it a great look year-round.
More Nourished Lawn – The microbial activity in FertileTea helps to breakdown nutrients freeing them up for plants to use more readily.
Healthier Lawn – FertileTea will boost your lawn’s immune system, allowing it to suppress diseases and fend off pests more easily. A thicker turf also keeps weeds from finding a place to get a foothold.
More Resilient Lawn – FertileTea strengthens plant roots allowing them to burrow more deeply in the soil. Lawns with strong root systems are more drought-resistant and more resilient to weather challenges.
Contact us at Earthdance Organics to find out how FertileTea can enhance your lawn and plant beds. Click on the link below, and we will be happy to send you an estimate.
Enjoy peace-of-mind that your lush green lawn will continue to look great year-round!