PDA

View Full Version : Compost vs Compost tea, and store bought compost question


ChiTownAmateur
03-24-2011, 01:16 PM
My limited understanding is that compost tea is derived directly from compost and contains most of the nutrients and other benefits of the compost itself. It can then be sprayed onto the site and the nutrients go into the soil.

What then is the difference between applying compost itself vs the tea?

Is store bought mushroom compost typically a quality product with some or most of the benefits of a "home made" compost or tea?

Smallaxe
03-24-2011, 05:48 PM
The Tea is more about maintaining the microbes, moreso than the nutrients... Microbes are important in turning organic matter into NOH4 fo plants, along with other nutrients in the OM in the turf... Then when the food is gone, their dead bodies provide nutrients as well...

Mushroom fertilizer doesn't seem to popular, but can't remember why exactly... :)

phasthound
03-24-2011, 06:08 PM
Smallaxe is correct, compost tea is used to inoculate soil and foliage with beneficial microbes. Good sight for home & commercial brewers http://www.simplici-tea.com/
Mushroom compost may be high in salt content, usually best to stay away from store bought compost.

ParadiseLS
03-24-2011, 07:38 PM
compost vs. tea.....
teh difference is OM. when you're applying compost, you're making a direct adjustment to the soil structure by adding organic matter; improving the habitat for microbes, turf, plants and trees. when you're spraying tea, you're indirectly, over a sustained period of time, probably going to improve soil structure as the microbes do there work, but that is really not what CT is doing. if you're spraying the CT and the soil structure sucks, those microbes aren't going to do their best work, and it is more of a treatment like fertilizers where the benefits will be realized in shorter periods of time.

Smallaxe
03-25-2011, 09:42 AM
compost vs. tea.....
teh difference is OM. when you're applying compost, you're making a direct adjustment to the soil structure by adding organic matter; improving the habitat for microbes, turf, plants and trees. when you're spraying tea, you're indirectly, over a sustained period of time, probably going to improve soil structure as the microbes do there work, but that is really not what CT is doing. if you're spraying the CT and the soil structure sucks, those microbes aren't going to do their best work, and it is more of a treatment like fertilizers where the benefits will be realized in shorter periods of time.

As was discussed in the soil structure thread, in relation to 'real thatch', it was noted that compost could indeed increase thatch, by enticing roots to continue to grow above the soil... Whereas CT would begin the decomp process more effectively to diminsih the 'real thatch' problem... that is a big difference right there... :)

phasthound
03-25-2011, 09:52 AM
The applications of compost and activated compost tea need not be either/or, they enhance each other when properly used as part of a program.

Kiril
03-25-2011, 10:08 AM
As was discussed in the soil structure thread, in relation to 'real thatch', it was noted that compost could indeed increase thatch, by enticing roots to continue to grow above the soil...

You lost me Axe. I don't believe anyone noted that, in fact the opposite was noted.

Whereas CT would begin the decomp process more effectively to diminsih the 'real thatch' problem... that is a big difference right there... :)

Perhaps or not. If you are applying compost with a similar microbial population density at an applied CT, there is no meaningful difference at all other than ease of application. If this is the case (similar population densities), then the compost should achieve better results as one would expect the efficacy to be higher in a compost application vs. a CT application given you are providing protection for your microbes.

ICT Bill
03-25-2011, 10:59 AM
compost vs. tea.....
teh difference is OM. when you're applying compost, you're making a direct adjustment to the soil structure by adding organic matter; improving the habitat for microbes, turf, plants and trees. when you're spraying tea, you're indirectly, over a sustained period of time, probably going to improve soil structure as the microbes do there work, but that is really not what CT is doing. if you're spraying the CT and the soil structure sucks, those microbes aren't going to do their best work, and it is more of a treatment like fertilizers where the benefits will be realized in shorter periods of time.

DING DING DING we have a winner, with some caveats

Most of the more successful landscapers that have been doing organic turf for a while use extracts or Liquid compost extracts (LCE) it has a shelf life of weeks instead of hours and supplies many of the attributes of straight compost but is easier to apply, the microbes are in dormant and spore form just like when they were in the compost, when the environment is right for them they go do their thing. extracts take minutes or hours to make instead of days. with some of the more expensive machines you can make 3000 gallons in a morning.
Some folks like myself in my backyard will simply throw worm poop or a good finished compost into a 5 gallon bucket and stir with a stick, the next day after stirring whenever I happen to go by i will dilute 4 or 5 to 1 and water the garden and plants with it, it ain't rocket science. It works for me

Smallaxe
03-25-2011, 11:37 AM
You lost me Axe. I don't believe anyone noted that, in fact the opposite was noted.



Perhaps or not. If you are applying compost with a similar microbial population density at an applied CT, there is no meaningful difference at all other than ease of application. If this is the case (similar population densities), then the compost should achieve better results as one would expect the efficacy to be higher in a compost application vs. a CT application given you are providing protection for your microbes.

:laugh: You're a funny guy... :laugh:

ParadiseLS
03-25-2011, 12:18 PM
As was discussed in the soil structure thread, in relation to 'real thatch', it was noted that compost could indeed increase thatch, by enticing roots to continue to grow above the soil... Whereas CT would begin the decomp process more effectively to diminsih the 'real thatch' problem... that is a big difference right there... :)

I honestly believe it better if there were separate threads dealing with external issues. lawn mowing techniques, irrigation, slopes, kids, pets, etc. let's just get all of that stuff out of the way and then when there is a discussion about compost, meals, or whatever else that are internal issues to our treatment programs, we can make simply and concisely state our opinions and put an asterisk at the end "*refer to xyz thread for maintenance issues effecting your lawn care program"

but then i am a lifelong student of economics, so maybe i am the only one who likes to cut things down to the nitty gritty with basic assumptions.....


Most of the more successful landscapers that have been doing organic turf for a while use extracts or Liquid compost extracts (LCE) it has a shelf life of weeks instead of hours and supplies many of the attributes of straight compost but is easier to apply, the microbes are in dormant and spore form just like when they were in the compost, when the environment is right for them they go do their thing. extracts take minutes or hours to make instead of days.

when you make a batch of, say, 250 G, and siphon off 25 G a day over the course of two weeks for application, what are your numbers of the microarthropods going to be after 3 days? 7 days? 10-14 days? will nematodes, ciliates, amoebae, flagellates stick it out that long? i know that if you go to buy nematodes for the lawn at the garden centre, they are sold in bottles that are stored in a fridge and they warn you to store in a fridge until the day of application.

Smallaxe
03-25-2011, 09:29 PM
I honestly believe it better if there were separate threads dealing with external issues. lawn mowing techniques, irrigation, slopes, kids, pets, etc. let's just get all of that stuff out of the way and then when there is a discussion about compost, meals, or whatever else that are internal issues to our treatment programs, we can make simply and concisely state our opinions and put an asterisk at the end "*refer to xyz thread for maintenance issues effecting your lawn care program"

but then i am a lifelong student of economics, so maybe i am the only one who likes to cut things down to the nitty gritty with basic assumptions....

I agree, that breaking things down to the 'nitty gritty', is a good thing to understand the relevance of any particular situation...

Clarify the 'situation' of interest and there could certainly be conclusion drawn from that 'particular'...

The problem is, lawns are living , dynamic organisms that have a cohesive system of health and excellence, while we want to treat them as objects that respond a particular way if we do a particular thing...

For example... Dump N on a lawn 6 times per season and it will be lush, healthy and green... life doesn't work that way...

Another good example is that if I sit here for another 3 months and take heart medicine, I'll be fine... forget about getting outside and doing something that requires cardio-pulmonary exersice... Who are we kidding... :)

ParadiseLS
03-26-2011, 12:16 AM
that's kind of exactly my point. every lawn is different. all we can do is make generalizations and offer up suggestions to one another based on research and experience. ultimately it is my responsibility to observe results of my programs, and adjust accordingly. if someone on this board tells me i should increase OM with compost, but the lawn i am dealing with has thick thatch coverage, i am going to power rake it, aerate it, mulch it AND THEN sprinkle some granular compost on for good measure (and instruct the customer on irrigation). that's the whole point of separating the different issues into separate subjects and letting us all use that well-grouped information to form judgments about how we should proceed in any given situations.

Smallaxe
03-26-2011, 09:29 AM
that's kind of exactly my point. every lawn is different. all we can do is make generalizations and offer up suggestions to one another based on research and experience. ultimately it is my responsibility to observe results of my programs, and adjust accordingly. if someone on this board tells me i should increase OM with compost, but the lawn i am dealing with has thick thatch coverage, i am going to power rake it, aerate it, mulch it AND THEN sprinkle some granular compost on for good measure (and instruct the customer on irrigation). that's the whole point of separating the different issues into separate subjects and letting us all use that well-grouped information to form judgments about how we should proceed in any given situations.

This is an organic forum, so it seems that natural cycling of nutrients would be a proper strategy... When you say 'power rake', will you be removing the brown fluff that the rake is going to kick up?

ParadiseLS
03-26-2011, 02:03 PM
This is an organic forum, so it seems that natural cycling of nutrients would be a proper strategy... When you say 'power rake', will you be removing the brown fluff that the rake is going to kick up?

i think i've described my plan numerous times.

1. dethatch
2. aerate
3. mulch it -- i.e. return the raked up thatch into the aeration holes for quick decomp
4. compost or CT for good measure
5. instruct homeowner to proper deep-watering irrigation techniques and proper mowing techniques, and pimp them a SOM-building organic program if they'll go for it.

Smallaxe
03-27-2011, 07:34 AM
i think i've described my plan numerous times.

1. dethatch
2. aerate
3. mulch it -- i.e. return the raked up thatch into the aeration holes for quick decomp
4. compost or CT for good measure
5. instruct homeowner to proper deep-watering irrigation techniques and proper mowing techniques, and pimp them a SOM-building organic program if they'll go for it.

How do you return the raked up dead grass to the lawn?
Mulch mowing the stuff the dethatcher kicks up?

JDUtah
03-27-2011, 03:40 PM
If power raking correctly on a lawn that actually needs it, you will have WAY too much grass waste to leave there. IT WILL NEED TO BE REMOVED.

ParadiseLS
03-27-2011, 04:05 PM
If power raking correctly on a lawn that actually needs it, you will have WAY too much grass waste to leave there. IT WILL NEED TO BE REMOVED.

i was shocked last year how much crap i was able to mulch up at a few locations. of course, some of it gets on the roads, driveways and sidewalks that needs to be vacuumed up, but generally speaking, when you aerate the lawn, it gives all that crap a place to go. that is my experience. theoretically, i am sure there is a breaking point where it wouldn't be possible, but i've seen a lot of thatch and never hit that breaking point yet.

kevreh
01-24-2012, 10:26 AM
...Some folks like myself in my backyard will simply throw worm poop or a good finished compost into a 5 gallon bucket and stir with a stick, the next day after stirring whenever I happen to go by i will dilute 4 or 5 to 1 and water the garden and plants with it, it ain't rocket science. It works for me


ICT Bill-

I'm planning on going 100% organic this coming season, including the use of lawn tea. Is what you describe an organic lawn tea? How does it differ from your Instant Compost Tea product? Also, is the ICT line available to homeowners?

TIA
Kevin