Composting and Microbes Explained
California celebrate this culture and lead the way in terms of true life organics and regenerative lands. Understanding what allows a growing medium to naturally provide a constant life force for the plant in question requires a much closer look deep down a microscopic level. Below BioTabs better explains how beneficial bacteria, compost and plants are all carefully linked and the way plants form a symbiotic relationship with the earth.
What Is Beneficial bacteria?
In the exact same way that our bodies can host good and bad bacteria, the same principle applies in the plant kingdom. Microorganisms found in the soil form a symbiotic relationship with the root zone and attach themselves as a host, aiding in the availability of nutrients and delivery of food chains directly to the plant. Beneficial bacteria and mycelium will also act as a soil conditioner as it expands rapidly forming a network of advanced root hairs, improving the amount of moisture that can be obtained, as well as the integrity of the overall wicking action of the growing medium.
There are two types of bacteria, aerobic and anaerobic. The difference between the two is that aerobic beneficial bacteria depends on high oxygen levels to survive and anaerobic requires low oxygen and an acidic environment in order to thrive. Oxygen is a catalyst for aerobic bacteria which is why when brewing an aerated compost tea, a minimum time limit of 24 hours is required in order to multiply both bacteria and fungi, such as with our BACTREX and MYCOTREX products.
Symptoms of bad bacteria forming in a water source are characteristics of stagnant water, egg like odours, green algae forming on the tops and sides of the container and a low pH. It takes very little time for a water source to become stagnant and drop in the dissolved oxygen present and within this time-frame if not oxygenated, bad bacteria will form and begin to replicate swamp like conditions.
Temperature and water content will play a huge role in the development of which type of bacteria will be more prevalent. Beneficial bacteria and fungi require a warm setting as this will also speed up the decomposing of organic matter. Roots require oxygen as much as they do water and although roots tap into the fine layer of film between the soil and the water, over saturating the growing medium can cause a shift in oxygen levels, nutrient uptake and PH.
What Do Bacteria Eat?
Beneficial bacteria is responsible for decomposing once living matter, and after nutrients are removed into the atmosphere, a carbon shell will be left behind. It is carbon that microbes requires as a food source meaning that their direct role in breaking down organic substrate as a way to recycle food, and how they provide a consistent organic, organism rich by product is key to the longevity and sustainability of outdoor farm lands. This is why using BioTabs has a positive, long lasting effect to the environment thanks to our chemical free policy and regenerative capabilities.
Whenever organic matter is in a state of decomposition, the term given to that substrate is compost. Simply a way to allow beneficial bacteria and mycelium to work through the decomposing matter and why compost piles should be constantly topped up, turned over and have amendments added that will increase microbial populations. Many gardeners will recycle their lawn cuttings, leaves, old plants, plant roots and wood chippings into a compost pile. As the pile sits and becomes warm and moist, the conditions will be optimal for beneficial bacteria to aggressively expand throughout forming one huge food web for whichever plants will inhabit that site, or come into contact the compost sample.
The final stage of decomposition is generally a dark black colour such as the colour of fresh soil, worm castings, biochar and charcoal, blackstrap molasses and humic acids. Many nutrient companies who offer a soil and a nutrient line will generally use a molasses based product as a supplement to the soil. It is the high sugar content that the soil microbiology require along with high amounts of oxygen in order to multiply and expand, enhancing the symbiosis between the living soil web and the root hairs.
The Link Between Beneficial Bacteria, Compost and Organic Teas
Extracting the essential elements from organic matter has been practised for thousands of years, ranging from basic cold water extracts, fermentation and most recently aerated compost tea. As organic farmers who work in a chemical free environment, all organic matter that is used in the garden will either be in liquid form or as a hard food.
The principal behind aerated a tea is two reasons, to extract the primary nutrients and trace elements, and the other is to enhance the microbial count from millions into billions within the space of 24 hours. Beneficial bacteria only require a brewing process of 1-2 hours before multiplying with the dissolved oxygen that is present in the water source thanks to the air pump being used, while it is the fungi that actually require the full 24 hours in order to benefit from their aerobic nature and again multiply from millions to billions.
What is brilliant about making an aerated tea with our PK Booster Compost Tea is to watch each stage of the science working in front of your own eyes. You need clean distilled water, microbe spores from, ORGATREX and an Air Pump. Successfully brewed tea will reveal a foam like substance floating on the surface within a day later, indicating that the bacteria and fungi are in fact alive and metabolising well in the solution. The special selected ingredients inside our PK Booster Compost Tea contains bat guano, kelp and Phosphorus releasing bacteria and Potassium mobilising bacteria ensuring your plants receive a full spectrum of beneficial supplements during flowering.
How Worms Play A Role In Composting
As a lover of worm castings and always using in my soil blends and organic teas, worms are the soil’s cleaners and will eat their way through the soil, and excrete back into the soil. The castings will be extremely rich in beneficial bacteria as well as in primary nutrients Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, including trace elements and micronutrients that plants need for every part of their life cycle. This is one reason why finding an abundance of worms living in the soil is a very good sign of life. Not only will worms aerate the growing medium as they pass through, they will also provide minerals back to the food web permanently.
The Benefits Of Composting
- Compost is particularly high in Magnesium making it an excellent amendment for plants that are deficient in Calcium and Magnesium.
- Provides a consistent nutrient rich, buffer friendly, growing medium that can be used to supplement any depleted soil or farm lands with beneficial bacteria.
- An excellent way to recycle in the comfort of your own home. Compost piles and worm bins can be a great dumping ground for unwanted organic matter such as food or garden waste.
- O.G Kush is strain that is well known for being Magnesium hungry, meaning adding compost to the growing medium will help reduce deficiencies with this variety of Cannabis.
- The longer the time frame of the compost pile will determine the final quality. A good tip is to use this years compost pile for next years crop.