The key for a good mixture to make Super Soil and Compost Tea is choosing the best raw materials.
The key for a good mixture to make Super Soil and Compost Tea is choosing the best raw materials.
Lurpe Natural Solutions shares a list of ingredients and the agronomic properties of each one, to help you understand what your soil and plants need. From the knowledge that we have been acquiring with practice, our greatest recommendation is patience and observation.
This is a reference list for the knowledge of ingredients and to show the great diversity of natural elements that we have at our disposal. The use of all the ingredients mentioned is accepted in Organic Agriculture.
Alfalfa is the best plant source of nitrogen. Alfalfa has roots that normally drop about 50 cm into the soil and absorbs calcium, sulfur, magnesium, boron, iron, and zinc. Powdered, it is used to nourish plants and create a barrier against soil diseases. It is very rich in natural sugars and when these sugars are broken down they create an alcohol called triacontanol. The main benefit of triacontanol is that it activates all organisms in the soil, improving the performance of the soil food web. It is a natural source of vitamins A, C, E and K4.
Nettle is very rich in chlorophyll and nitrogen, which makes it an ideal food for plants throughout their growth cycle. In addition, the nettle contains large amounts of vitamins A, C, B2, B5, folic acid, trace elements, amino acids, iron, potassium, manganese and calcium that help plant health. Nettle tea used in foliar application strengthens plants against pests and diseases.
This plant serves to prevent most of the fungal diseases of the plant world. Its action is based on the high amount of
silicic acid that it produces and concentrates in its tissues.
But also, it is effective as a repellent of insects and mites, like the red spider and the aphid.
Rhubarb contains high amounts of easily assimilable potassium, in addition to easily assimilable nitrogen and natural silica. It also helps plants absorb more fluids, which helps in dry areas. Contains assimilable vitamin C that helps strengthen the cell wall of plants.
Applied in the soil it is a complete food source for the soil trophic network.
Burdock root contains high amounts of easily assimilable potassium, in addition to vitamins and trace elements. It is
a natural immune support, which helps plants fight pathogens. A group of these components are phytosterols,
which help to strengthen the walls of plant cells.
The natural sugars it contains feed the soil food web.
Kelp is especially rich in iodine, calcium, chlorophyll, iron, and a wealth of vitamins. It also contains phytohormones
that help root expansion, fruiting and flowering. It has been shown to have a biostimulant action that helps to
overcome periods of biotic and abiotic stress, such as water stress or stress due to low temperatures. The main
components that give it these exceptional qualities for crops are: betaines, mannitol, alginic acid, polyphenols,
fucans and laminarin.
As an amendment, kelp improves the moisture retention capacity of the soil, due to its high fiber content. It also
promotes the activity of beneficial microorganisms.
The most recommended is to use Kelp from very clean waters, such as those above the Arctic Circle.
Spirulina is an algae that contains very high amounts of nitrogen, vitamins and trace elements that are easily
It acts as a stimulant of the immune system, helping to prevent diseases.
As an amendment, it is a great activator of microbiology.
Hydrolyzed kelp is a highly soluble extract obtained by alkaline hydrolysis.
This process concentrates the different beneficial elements of kelp while increasing their availability. The kelp
hydrolyzate is a strong concentrate of vitamins, iron, iodine, trace elements, phytohormones, growth regulators,
and other compounds typical of kelp. It also contains a variable percentage of potassium according to the extraction
process. In summary, it concentrates most of the benefits of kelp.
It can be used both in irrigation and in foliar application.
Molasses is rich in minerals, particularly potassium, trace elements, and vitamins. Molasses provides the
carbohydrates that microorganisms need to feed, so it is recommended to use it when making compost teas.
There are different types of sugar that have not gone through chemical refining processes. Different qualities can be
found depending on the processes to which the sugar cane broth is subjected (evaporation, centrifugation …)
Like molasses, it provides the carbohydrates that microorganisms need to feed, so it is recommended to use it at
time to make the compost teas. It also provides different trace elements for easy assimilation.
Leonardite is a humidified vegetable substance, very rich in organic matter, in an intermediate state of
transformation between peat and lignite (coal). It has its origin in the burial of plant materials for millions of years
and is usually found in the upper layers of open-cast lignite mines.
The Leonardite does not have defined and equal characteristics and riches. Its wealth varies depending on its
content in organic matter and on the type of vegetation that gave rise to it, and also on the position or depth with
respect to the soil that remained.
Consequently, the percentage of organic matter, its degree of humification, the composition of humic and fulvic
acids, the content of silicon and microelements, vary depending on the origin of the leonardite.
The characteristics of leonardite make it ideal for use as an amendment, improving the physical-chemical
characteristics of the soil, and providing chelated microelements due to the action of humic acids.
Humic acids, as understood in agriculture, encompass the humic acids and fulvic acids. The provenance can be
diverse, but the most of the humic acids on the market are obtained from Leonardite, which due to their
characteristics are considered the best and highest quality agronomic properties. Humic acids, from the agronomic
point of view, are used to improve soil structure. Its molecular structure is larger than that of fulvic acids, their
decomposition by agents microbiological is slower, which gradually improve the capacity soil physics (water
retention), chemical properties (ability to cation exchange) and biology (increase in bacterial population).
Fulvic acids are used to stimulate root development. They are less complex molecular structures and can be
absorbed by plants (humic acids cannot be absorbed).
Humic and fulvic acids can be applied throughout the growing cycle.
Its properties endow it with a great capacity to improve all types of soils: it improves aeration in clay soils; increases
the water retention capacity in sandy soils; and helps to recover the structure of eroded soils.
Vegetable compost is obtained through the decomposition of plant remains carried out naturally by
microorganisms, favored by temperature, humidity and aeration in a more or less prolonged time depending on
conditions. The result is a product rich in nutrients and other compounds that, when contributed to the soil,
activates indigenous microorganisms, favoring biogeochemical cycles and, with it, the health of the soil. This
contributes to the plant developing with greater vigor and resistance against pests and diseases. Vegetable compost
is used as a base product in the elaboration of compost tea.
Volcanic ash serves to provide a wide variety of minerals. It can be used as an amendment or by irrigation.
One of the most widely used trademarks is Azomite ®. Azomite ® is a micronized product, and is basically made up
of silicon compounds from underwater volcanic eruptions, containing more than 70 different mineral varieties.
Azomite® increases root development and gives the plant greater resistance against diseases and pests.
It is a volcanic stone, with a high content of silicon, magnesium and trace elements. It is recommended to apply it in
micronized form to accelerate its assimilation.
Silicon increases the natural ability of the plant to fight parasites and diseases. Among its properties is to retain
nitrogen and prevent its loss due to excess water. Gives very good results on clay soils.
The phosphoric rock provides a very concentrated supply of calcium and phosphorus, slow release. It has an
inhibitory effect on the loss of nitrogen that occurs when the nitrogen in the soil reacts with lime and is transformed
Recommended for a correct vegetative and root development, and a correct absorption of nutrients.
It is a natural alternative to conventional contributions of phosphorus..
It is a natural product that is used to correct magnesium deficiencies, a basic element for chlorophyll in the
It is a very soluble product that allows you to correct magnesium deficiencies quickly.
Slow release natural nutrient, with lots of phosphorus and calcium, and some nitrogen.
Stimulates rooting, growth, nutrient absorption, and flowering of plants.
Fruit set increases. It enhances vigor and strength against pests and external negative factors.
Earthworm humus, or vermicompost, is obtained from worm droppings reared among organic debris at the right
conditions. This product improves soil structure by facilitating aeration and moisture retention, promotes the
growth of beneficial microorganisms and contains active substances that regulate plant growth. All this means that
the contribution of humus to the soil improves the yield and health of the crop. Like compost, earthworm humus is
also used as a base product in the elaboration of compost tea.
The symbiosis formed between plant roots and certain soil fungi is called mycorrhiza.
These fungi provide the plant with better and greater access to the nutrients and water available in the soil thanks
to its extended mycelium. In exchange, the plant provides the fungus with energy and all the substances derived
from photosynthesis (carbon in the form of sugars).
From an agricultural point of view, the positive effects that can be seen in crops are:
-Increased growth and vigor, for having more nutrients and water available.
-Increased resistance to biotic and abiotic stress.
-Increased resistance to soil pathogens, such as root diseases and nematodes.
-Increased content of phytochemicals in plants (vitamins, polyphenols, …)
Arbuscular mycorrhizae (endomycorrhizae) penetrate the living cells of the root cortex, enabling the exchange of
nutrients. This class of mycorrhizae are the most widely used in agriculture, specifically Rhizophagus intraradices
(formerly called Glomus intraradices) and Funneliformis mosseae (formerly called Glomus mosseae).
Rhizophagus intraradices are proven to provide nitrogen and phosphorus to plants in exchange for carbon.
The group of bacteria most used in agriculture are PGPR (known by its acronym in English, plant growth promoting
rhizobacteria, or plant growth promoting rhizobacteria). Rhizobacteria are root-associated bacteria that form
symbiotic relationships with plants. There are multiple genus, species and strains within this group of rhizobacteria,
each with different effects. Although the biostimulatory effect is appreciated in most of them.
Azotobacter salinestris are gram-negative, normally mobile bacteria.
They are part of a special group of nitrogen fixing microorganisms, since they are the only ones that are single celled
and can fix nitrogen under anaerobic conditions. Nitrogen fixation is produced by the activity of the nitrogenase
enzyme, which, as it is rapidly inhibited by oxygen, must always act under anaerobic conditions, Azotobacter
salinestris is capable of generating this micro-anaerobic environment through its high respiration rate, which
consumes oxygen in the environment of the bacteria.
Bacillus amyloliquefaciens is a bacterium with a very interesting protective effect against pathogens. It produces
antagonistic metabolites that cause pores in the membrane of pathogenic fungi, which directly inhibit the advance
and growth of these diseases. It also synthesizes surfactins, which have antibiotic effects, which protect plants from
bacterial diseases. Other of its capabilities is the synthesis of cellulases and biofilm that allows them to colonize the
root as well as the advance and permanence in the rhizosphere, improving its protection against pathogens.
Bacillus licheniformis is a bacterium that improves the mobilization and solubilization of minerals and nutrients, and
has a protective effect against adverse conditions. It is able to solubilize inorganic K through the production of
organic acids and to release protons as a result of the assimilation of NH4 +. It also produces exopolysaccharides
and a biofilm that allows it to colonize the rhizosphere, which helps the plant to overcome periods of stress.
Bacillus megaterium is a Phosphate Solubilizing Bacteria (PSB). Its action is based on the production of organic acids
and phosphatase enzymes, which are capable of solubilizing the phosphorus of the immobilized soil in organic or
Bacillus subtilis is a bacterium with multiple positive effects for plants. Through the production of siderophores (iron
chelating compounds), it generates competition for the available iron, limiting the growth of phytopathogenic fungi.
It is also a major producer of ACC deaminase, which reduces the synthesis of ethylene in response to stress
situations, resulting in increased tolerance to stress situations such as salinity and drought. Another noteworthy
feature is the production of auxins, mainly indoleacetic acid (IAA), which promotes the development of lateral and
The trichoderma genus are fungi, facultative anaerobes, found in most natural soils. Multiple beneficial effects for
plants have been proven, such as:
– Control of pathogenic microorganisms.
– Stimulation of the growth of the aerial part and the root.
– Stimulation of colonization of the rhizosphere by other beneficial organisms.
– Improvement of the response of the defense mechanisms of the plants.
The efficacy of different Trichoderma species against phytopathogenic fungi has been demonstrated. Its preventive-
curative action is due to different natural mechanisms:
They can act indirectly. Competing for nutrients and space; modifying the environmental conditions or promoting
the growth and defense mechanisms of plants.
Or it can act directly, with mechanisms such as mycoparasitism. Trichoderma koningii and Trichoderma harzianum
are the most widespread in agricultural use.
Dolomite is a limestone amendment, which provides calcium and magnesium. It has the properties of lime, which
helps to correct pH in acidic soils, and provides slow-release magnesium.
Stimulates the life of the substrate, favoring the appearance of beneficial microorganisms and bacteria, improving
the processes of development and absorption of nutrients.
Diatomaceous earth are a loamy limestone amendment, of plant origin, formed by the sedimentation of algae on
the seabed. It has large amounts of silicon and calcium.
This product has a very low density, increasing the nutritional characteristics of the soil and protecting plants
It does not produce resistance in insects, since it acts physically and mechanically, crossing the keratin of the shell of
insects that come into contact with it.
Preserves the seeds of fungi, bacteria and insects such as weevils.