SST stands for “Sprouted Seed Tea” which is an organically made plant fertilizer. It is prepared by soaking different kinds of plant seeds collectively until they sprout. Sprouted seeds are then blended with water to make their mixture and applied to plants. Sprouted Seed Tea is becoming popular among gardeners and Probiotic Farmers for its remarkable properties.
How to prepare Sprouted Seed Tea?
Do you want the most nutritious plant enzyme tea for your plants? Below is a 5 steps procedure to prepare an amazing alternative to synthetic fertilizers:
Step#1: Seed Selection:
The seed selection list for making SST is very flexible and long. You can take almost any kind of legumes, lentils, pulses, beans, corn, alfalfa, barley, fenugreek, rice, sunflower, pumpkin, and hemp seeds, etc.
The important point in seed selection is to select organic, pure seeds and not hybrid ones. However, the sprouting time and germination percentage of every seed will be different. Below is a link to all kinds of seeds for making SST, their germination % and sprouting time.
“(Gharoobi, Ghorbani, & GHASEMI, 2012)”
Step#2: Soaking of Seeds:
Soak the selected seeds in water for more than 8 hours. This time is enough for all kinds of live seeds to undergo imbibition (initial uptake and swelling of seed to initiate the enzymatic activity that will result in its germination). When the floating seeds settled down, it is time to rinse them.
Step#3: Leave Them To Sprout:
Never let them dry, inspect the seeds daily, within 3-4 days, they will start sprouting. The root is the first structure that emerges out of the seed of any crop followed by shoot emergence. At this stage of germination, the seeds are at the highest enzymatic activity. Utilizing seeds at this stage means that you will use those enzymes to support your plant's growth and development instead of those seeds.
Step#4: Blend the Sprouted Seeds Well:
Blend/Grind the seeds in a grinder to convert them into a liquid fertilizer.
Note: If you want to preserve SST, add sugar or molasses in it (30g of sugar or 30-45ml of molasses are enough for 90g sprouted seeds) at the time of blending. Add probiotic bacteria in the mixture that will eat up the sugar to produce lactic acid (it is a very good natural preservative). Store the mixture in an airtight jar/container and keep it in a dark place. (Singh, Pandey, Kumar, & Palni, 2010)
Step#5: SST Is Ready To Give To Your Plants:
Application of SST along with irrigation water is a good method. Sprouted seed tea is an enriched source of plant growth hormones. Add two tablespoons of SST in one gallon of irrigation water and wait to see the magic!
Benefits of Sprouted Seed Tea:
Nutritional Supplement for the Plants:
In general, all kinds of edible seeds are the potential source of vitamin C, B1, proteins, enzymes (specifically “Triacontanol” which is an important growth-boosting hormone), calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and other nutrients that play a key role in the growth and development of plants. Plants undergo double fertilization (at the time of seed production) that results in the formation of polar nuclei (within the seed) called endosperm. It is the food reserve in the seed to provide nutrients for the seed when no roots and shoot developed for that purpose. You are providing those nutrients to your plants in the form of SST.
Alternative to Chemical Fertilizers:
Synthetic Fertilizers provide nutrients including nitrogen, P, and K that are most important for a plant's growth and development. Instead of that, plants show deficiency symptoms of certain minor nutrients that ultimately become the cause of the attack of certain diseases and hindered growth. Sprouted seed tea acts as “All in One” for the plants, eliminating the need for any additional fertilizer application.
Organic Product for Your Plants:
Sprouted seed tea is an organic product prepared from pure non-hybrid seeds and water. It is one of the cheapest nutrient-rich materials available in the market for home gardeners.
As the name indicates, compost tea is a liquid extract of any kind of waste that has been decomposed (in water) and filtered to apply to the plants in the form of Fertigation (Fertilizer + Irrigation) or foliar spray. Compost tea is a wonderful source of nutrients in plant-available forms, soil microbes, beneficial bacteria, and an efficient way of utilizing everyday waste material.
How to make compost tea?
Take 1 cup/handful of each of the following ingredients:
· Compost material (waste of any kind except animal manure, however, worm castings can be used)
· Garden soil/Topsoil
· Few healthy plant leaves (4-5)
· Fish hydrolysate (it acts as a substrate for fungal growth)
· Seaweed extract (optional)
Procedure and Instructions:
Tie compost material, soil, and plant leaves in a teabag, place them in the water container. Add the seaweed extract and fish hydrolysate directly into the water. Leave the water to brew for almost 36 hours at an optimal 68-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Open the container periodically to aerate the brewing material or fix an aerator into the container for gaseous exchange. The compost tea will be ready to spray after 36 hours. (Ingham, 2005)
Benefits of Compost Tea to the Plants:
Wholesome Food for the Plants:
Compost tea prepared from organic matter (maybe kitchen waste, garden plant's waste, cardboard paper, or worm castings), is a rich source of nutrients for the plants. It contains a large number of beneficial microbes, macro-nutrients in plant-available forms, and a fair amount of minerals. Plants enjoy compost tea for its both nutritious and liquid properties. (Shaban, Fazeli-Nasab, Alahyari, Alizadeh, & Shahpesandi, 2015)
Improves Soil Fertility:
Regular application of compost tea improves soil physical, chemical, and biological properties. If you are giving compost tea to your soil, it means that you are giving the whole package of nutrients, minerals, and microbes. Isn’t it better to use one organic fertilizer (compost tea) instead of a variety of synthetic ones?
Waste Control Strategy:
Compost tea is a successful contribution towards the control of tons of waste. We are using quick, dangerous chemicals to grow our plants (barren our soil) and wasting the long-lasting and most beneficial materials. There is a need to shift the trend if we want to save our soil for our future generations.
Control of Soil Erosion:
Compost tea adjusts the pH of the soil, improves its nutrient and water holding capacity. Its microbial activity also adds oxygen into the soil, thus, improves soil aeration. All these contributions help to prevent soil erosion and the leaching of nutrients. (St. Martin & Brathwaite, 2012)
Q: Is compost tea a quick fertilizer?
According to the Kentucky State University research, compost tea's nutrients were detected in the roots of plants exactly after 1 hour of application. It proves that compost tea is extremely quick in action. (Chen, 2015)
Q: Does too much application of compost tea burn the plants?
Compost tea prepared from organic matter does no harm to the plants even sprayed in high amounts. However, avoid spraying in the afternoon as the sunlight heat may cause burning by changing the chemical composition of compost tea.
Q: Is excess application of compost tea harmful?
Compost tea is a liquid extract of composted organic materials. It contains average amounts of almost all the essential nutrients. Excessive application or too much use of compost tea still would not cause any harm. However, it is better to regulate its application because “Prevention is better than cure”.
Q: How much gap should I keep in the compost tea application?
During the growing season of a crop, you can add compost tea after 15-30 days of the interval while in the dormant season, 30-45 days interval is fine.
Q: Does compost tea smell bad?
You won't believe but Compost tea has a really sweet and yeasty smell. In case your compost tea does smell bad, it may get expired or may have encountered problem.
Q: Compost tea is diluted before use or not?
Compost tea is often applied after diluting it. You can make a 4:1 solution i.e. 4 cups of compost tea in 1 gallon of water. It can also be applied in the soil before transplantation or directly on the leaves.
Q: Can I use compost tea on flowers?
Of course. Compost tea is an ideal fertilizer for annual plants like flowers, vegetables, and fruits too.
Chen, S. (2015). Evaluation of compost topdressing, compost tea, and cultivation on tall fescue quality, soil physical properties, and soil microbial activity. University of Maryland, College Park.
Gharoobi, B., Ghorbani, M., & GHASEMI, N. M. (2012). Effects of different levels of osmotic potential on germination percentage and germination rate of barley, corn, and canola.
Ingham, E. (2005). The compost tea brewing manual (Vol. 728): Soil Foodweb Incorporated Corvallis, OR, USA.
Shaban, H., Fazeli-Nasab, B., Alahyari, H., Alizadeh, G., & Shahpesandi, S. (2015). An Overview of the Benefits of Compost tea on Plant and Soil Structure. Advances in Bioresearch, 6(1).
Singh, S., Pandey, A., Kumar, B., & Palni, L. M. S. (2010). Enhancement in growth and quality parameters of tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] through inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in an acid soil. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 46(5), 427-433.
St. Martin, C., & Brathwaite, R. (2012). Compost and compost tea: Principles and prospects as substrates and soil-borne disease management strategies in soil-less vegetable production. Biological Agriculture & Horticulture, 28(1), 1-33.