Field trial data from compost tea applications
I recently received an update from James Sottilo of Ecological Landscape Management on the results they have documented from compost tea applications in NYC Parks, The Phipps Conservancy in Pittsburgh and the St.Louis Gateway Arch Park.
In St. Louis, they compared 3 trials:
All three were core aerated, the first section then had a 1/2 inch of compost top dressed and an application of compost tea at the rate of 10 gallons per 1000 square feet applied. The second section had just a top dressing of a 1/2 inch of compost and the third part just 10 gallons of compost tea per 1000 square feet.
This was interesting because this is a 48 year-old landscape that is heavily used but the results were even more interesting. What we noticed over the first 3 months was the area that had just the compost top dressing actually created a self compaction zone and with the fines in the compost dropping in the soil. This was noted by a radical increase in ciliates (a protozoa that survive in anaerobic conditions) and at the same time, a severe decrease in fungi (they do not survive in anaerobic conditions). When six inch soil profiles were taken, the 3 inch top soil was clearly separated from 16 inches of sand creating a very delineated line between the two.
Where the compost tea was used in both the top dress and compost tea only, the fungi increased, protozoa increased and nutrient cycling increased. When soil profiles were taken the topsoil had then homogenized with the sand creating a consistent soil through the 6 inch profile with roots growing all the way through it.
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The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.
Franklin D. Roosevelt