Efficiency of garden waste compost teas on tomato growth and its suppressiveness against soilborne pathogens
University of Salamanca/Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Compost Tea shows its many strengths once again. Researchers in the agriculturally rich country of Spain performed greenhouse trials on tomatoes with both compost and worm casting teas. The two types of teas were tested for the amount of nutrition present, their affect on fungal pathogens, and their effect on growth. The compost and worm castings were made from the same sources of green waste in order to compare equitably. Tomato were infected with Fusarium, and Rhizoctonia, two well know disease causing fungal pathogens, and the were then watered with one of four dilutions of compost tea. The plants were allowed to grow over a three month season, and then were evaluated for growth characteristics and disease severity.
The ardent scientists found that the both types of teas produced excellent results. The evaluation of the teas showed that there were significant amounts of soluble plant fertilizers present, along with several beneficial plant hormones like the ever-important Indole Acetic and Salicylic acids. The severity of the diseases were drastically reduced through the use of compost teas. The vermicompost tea provided better defense against Rhizoctonia, while the compost tea fought off Fusarium most effectively. The tomatoes that received teas also grew much more. This is easily explained by increased amounts of fertilizing and growth promoting substances in the tea, as well the disease suppressing effects.