Compost Teas  

Analysis of compost, compost tea and soil quality

Soil and Compost Tea Analysis
Symbio offers a wide range of analytical services and its experienced consultants will help you interpret the analysis to develop the conditions that are best for your soil and your crops, grasses or plants.

To arrange for your soil or compost tea analysis please contact us.

Soil Biology Analysis
Soil biology is often neglected but good soil biology is essential for growing high yielding healthy plants with a minimum of chemical inputs

Soil Biology is Important
Micro-organisms perform a multitude of roles in the soil. These include decomposing organic matter and in doing so release nutrients to the plant. The activity of soil micro-organisms also improves the water holding capacity and the structure of the soil. This makes the soil more porous, allowing for better root penetration which in turn means that plants have greater access to oxygen, nutrients and water.

Maintaining a healthy balance of beneficial micro-organisms can also actively keep out plant pathogens.

Working with specialist laboratories we provide a comprehensive soil test to analyse the soil biology. By comparing your soil test result to soils where your plant or related plant species are growing in native ecosystems, we can tailor a biological program in order to correct the microbial imbalance in your soil

Soil Food Web Analysis for soil, rootzone and growing media

Take the guesswork out of soil management


Total Bacteria and Total Fungi

The optimal bacterial and fungal biomass in the soil varies according to plant, climate and season; if it is not within this range, bacterial or fungal inoculants or foods may be required.

Active Bacteria and Active Fungi

Only the bacteria and fungi which are currently metabolizing organic compounds are directly nourishing the plants; if this portion is too low, inoculants or foods may be required to stimulate the dormant bacterial or fungal population. Different plants require different ratios of active fungi and active bacteria. This test allows you to get the optimum ratio for your growing needs.

Flagellate, amoeba and ciliate protozoans are single-celled organisms that feed upon bacteria and excrete nitrogen in the plant available form of ammonium, so are essential to healthy plant growth. Ciliates, feed preferentially on anaerobic bacteria, so a high ciliate population may indicate anaerobic conditions.

A very large group of very small worms, these are everywhere on earth. Of the soil-dwelling species most graze on bacteria and fungi, recycling nitrogen in plant available form. Some prey on other nematodes and a few cause significant crop damage. We count the number in a given weight of soil, and identify them to genus and function.


Mycorrhizal Colonization:
These fungi increase the nutrient uptake capacity of the plant and protect it against pathogens. We determine what percentage of your roots are colonized, and also look for signs of disease and other damage.

Qualitative Assessment:
This fast evaluation does not provide actual counts or biomass of organisms, but based on a visual scan of populations tells you whether your bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes are present in excellent, good, adequate, or poor numbers.

Compost tea and compost analysis

Symbio’s technical team may be able to visit you with a special microscope to analyse your compost tea immediately after brewing – please contact us for more information. If this is not possible we will arrange for a sample to be sent to the laboratory for testing. A qualitative analysis to assess approximate numbers of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes costs juts £45.00 plus VAT

Microscope Classes
Learn how to analyse you own compost tea

If you are making compost teas and want to be sure that you are making good, species diverse tea you should join a one day microscope class run by Symbio. We may be able to sell you a good second hand microscope costing between £200-£400, or advise on a new microscope, train you in its use and at the end of the day you will be able to identify bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes, the key components of aerated compost tea and learn how to adjust your brewing process to make up for any shortfall or target specific brews to specific problems. Microscope classes are run all over the UK and by demand throughout Europe. To apply for the next Microscope Class in your area please fill out our contact us form

Soil chemistry analysis

Years of adding high nitrogen and phosphate based inorganic fertilisers have rendered many soils infertile and dependent upon continued chemical inputs to maintain yields and plant growth. Continuous inputs have unbalanced the optimal chemistry for plant growth and a lot of excess nutrient is locked up in the soil waiting to be released by introducing the correct soil biology and chemistry

Symbio will analyse your rootzone or growing media to determine the total of the long term locked up nutrients; the nutrients available in the next 1-2 years and the nutrients that are immediately available for plant growth in soluble form.

 In addition to all key macro and micro nutrients we calculate and interpret the base saturation, cation exchange capacity and organic matter. We will then work with you to determine the chemical and biological alterations that should be made to your soil to bring it up to maximum productivity.

To arrange a soil chemistry or biology please fill out our contact us form and we will be happy to discuss any requirements you may have.

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