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Can J Microbiol. 2012 Jul;58(7):836-47. doi: 10.1139/w2012-061. Epub 2012 Jun 19.

Microbiological community analysis of vermicompost tea and its influence on the growth of vegetables and cereals.

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Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Department IFA-Tulln, Austria.


Vermicompost, the digestion product of organic material by earthworms, has been widely reported to have a more positive effect on plant growth and plant health than conventional compost. A study was conducted to investigate the effects of different vermicompost elutriates (aerated compost teas) on soils and plant growth. The teas were analyzed by chemical, microbiological, and molecular methods accompanied by plant growth tests at laboratory and field scale. The number of microorganisms in the teas increased during the extraction process and was affected by substrate addition. The vermicompost tea found to increase plant growth best under laboratory tests was applied to cereals (wheat and barley) and vegetables (Raphanus sativus, Rucola selvatica, and Pisum sativum) in a field study. The results revealed no effects of tea application on plant yield; however, sensoric tests indicated an improvement in crop quality. The soils from laboratory and field studies were investigated to detect possible microbial or chemical changes. The results indicated that minor changes to the soil microbial community occurred following tea application by foliar spray in both the laboratory-scale and field-scale experiments.

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