View Full Version : Curious about compost tea results

Neal Wolbert
04-27-2005, 02:26 AM
Would appreciate your views on the results of compost tea applications on turf and/or ornamentals. Neal

05-01-2005, 01:32 AM
Hi Neal, these are things I've noticed over time,I used to collect seaweed at the beach after a storm, rinse it, dry-it, grind-it, & than spray it on hemlocks for spider mites [ it worked for me].....Compost tea from leaf-mold / wood chips [ mostly oak & maple], very good disease suppression for leaf spot & fursurim [ not spelled rite] on my lawns [ also aerated tea mix 24hrs prior to application], also good as a summer application, knocked up with a little epson salts[ for greening] on lawns,......any specific questions?...I've had test plots at a local botanical gardens for several years[ in their promotion of the use of organics for the industry]....regards Saxon :)

Neal Wolbert
05-01-2005, 01:44 AM
Thanks Saxon, Wonder if you know of any University studies on tea? I can't seem to find any scientists (payed a salary) who endorse tea in any way. Neal

05-01-2005, 02:12 AM
Hi Neal, try lookin at the "Rodale Press", I'm sure they have a "Geek in a White Jacket" some where over there?....Gotta remember theres not gonna be to much scientific data as all of the major hort / arbor / ag colleges are funded by the big chemical companies?...Funny isnt it...... payup payup payup ,lol,lol,lol....Hey Neal, try doin a soil drench on some roses, see if you can see a differance?

Neal Wolbert
05-01-2005, 12:24 PM
Saxon, No info. @ Rodale, at least not in Organic Gardening. The "geek" proof is important to me. When I mentioned a Univ. study by someone receiving a salary, I meant someone who was not being funded by a company, like Rodale for instance, but who was doing unbiased research. Since tea is an ever changing substance, real science may never be available and I understand that. However, like I said, I haven't found Univ. studies yet to support any tea effectiveness, let alone endorse the concept. That is a bit troublesome to me. Neal

05-01-2005, 05:22 PM
I don't know if this link helps, but see if you can find anything on here:


05-05-2005, 04:27 PM
Thanks Saxon, Wonder if you know of any University studies on tea? I can't seem to find any scientists (payed a salary) who endorse tea in any way. Neal

This is a quote from another forum

As far as any studies being done, only 2 have made it to print, one in Wash. St. on Apple trees, and the results were poor at best. The other, done at the Presidio Golf Course outside San. Fran. had similar results, leaning toward population explosions of pathogenic microbes, not beneficials.The "tea" is only going to be as good as the compost. The less digested the compost, the weaker it will be.normally,it needs to be used within 3 days of manufacture, or it goes bad.You're better off using a product that has been liquified,stabilized, and then had it's "bugs" added to it that have been grown under clean room conditions.Once you inoculate the site, make sure an organic food source is used to expand the populatiions. You're kinda shooting yourself in the foot with a chemical NPK though, cause that won't do your microbes any good.Good Luck! any questions feel free to contact me at andy@desertmtncorp.com

And another quote from SoilHumis

Now on the compost tea issue. Compost tea is junk science at its best. Andy is correct in citing some of the studies that have not complemented the use of compost tea. Garbage in equals garbage out. If you put lipstick on a pig, you still have a pig. The truth is, that even with the best compost possible, the finished tea may only last 6 hours at most if you keep it in an open aerobic container. If you put it into a sealed container it will go anaerobic within approximately 15 minutes and your species diversity will change rapidly. Now concerning the species diversity and lab analysis of such. The problem is in the lab doing an accurate analysis of what you have in your tea which is also going to reflect what was in your compost. If you have E. coli and Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax) in your compost, youíre going to have them in your tea as well. Both E. coli and Anthrax are indigenous soil born bacteria and can easily get into your compost. And no amount of aerification of the tea is going to help keep those two bad boys out because they are Facultative Anaerobes which means, they will love that air and agitation. Oh, and lets make a bad situation worse by adding Molasses, because E. coli loves that stuff. Recently a major Compost Tea brewer company in the Northwest was awarded a grant to try and find a way to make a compost tea that will work and last for more than those few minutes. What that translates to is that they are not currently succeeding in that quest, otherwise why are they being paid to figure it out. Think about it.

The last person quoted is considered by many the foremost athuority on soil sicence and organics in the U.S. And is the original author of the Soil Food Web.

05-06-2005, 09:48 PM

05-06-2005, 09:56 PM

05-07-2005, 04:07 AM
Hey Neal, try puttin "Compost tea studies" in your search I did this on yahoo, I got some similar Research to my own[ wink, wink,] at the WSU co-operative extension, after this I'd try "Dogpile" or "Google", good luck, hope you find what you arelookin for?- regards Saxon

05-07-2005, 07:55 AM
I do not claim to be an expert on compost tea, but we are having good results from it. Our customers are happy with it and their yards look good. That said, we use Soil Food Web for our testing, as they seen to be one of the best on teas, and their is a lot of info at their site. The e-coli issue that mudstopper brought up is, from what I understand, only a problem with teas made from animal manure. The teas need to be kept aerated from the time they are made until they are used, the good microbs are aerobic and the bad microbs are anaerobic, because, as the tea becomes less aerobic the tea is less effective.

Neal Wolbert
05-08-2005, 01:59 AM
FLD, Thanks for the input. It seems like the anaerobic/aerobic thing has fans on both sides. Check out Dr. Scotts research if you haven't already http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda%20Chalker-Scott/Horticultural%20Myths_files/index.html It seems like her findings support anaerobic teas in some cases but not aerobic. Neal