Compost Extractors

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by UKblue, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    True, but in AACT you will have that diversity in the applied brew, while in LCE, you're looking at that potential in the soil, where that may or may not happen.

    It's all in the food man!
     
  2. Tim Wilson

    Tim Wilson LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 795

    In a respect you are both correct. There is some possibility of mutation of microbial populations while making compost tea but this is not all that likely. Generally the species which multiply in CT must already be present in dormant form in the compost. Matt is correct that it is around the 36 hour period when protozoa seriously divide, however the initial cysts must be present in the compost to begin with. When using LCE one is counting on this taking place after application.

    When using microbial concoctions, unless listed on the label it is very unlikely that protozoa cysts will be present.

    It is primarily protozoa which cycle nutrients.
     
  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Curious if any has done a field applied efficacy test yet on either brew method? If your soil can't support protozoa, then you have far bigger problems than whether or not you are supplying live protozoa vs. dormant.
     
  4. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    Kiril, this is why people hate you on these boards. You're such a joke. How much tea or LCE have you brewed....EVER? My guess is ZERO. So give it up..
    Please...
     
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Natty, it is a valid question and observation which I have brought up before without any satisfactory answers. It doesn't matter if I have brewed 100 million gallons of tea or none. I don't understand why you don't find field applied efficacy important? FYI, I have done LCE, not ACT (strictly speaking) and this isn't a matter of have you brewed or how much have you brewed or not, but rather a matter of science .... which I believe I am qualified to comment on ..... don't you?
     
  6. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,116

    It is more a matter of scaling for your customer base, there are 100's if not 1000's of farmers, landscapers, golf courses, colleges, sports turf folks that are brewing or extracting compost to be used for their uses, once you get over the huge learning curve, almost all have good to great success keeping color, density and the have healthy plants on their sites, which is the basic premise of the application.

    I find in general that you can brew tea and keep somewhere around 100 customers happy, once you get to 250 or 1000 customers brewing tea logistically is very difficult. you can extract enough tea in 30 minutes first thing in the morning to keep your crews working for the entire day, if you extract a bunch of it on one day and store it in a vessel you will have enough for the week as it has a shelf life, not the same for brewed teas

    Now whether there is a science based study from any of these folks I have no idea, but if it ain't broke why fix it
     
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Is the basic premise here about making a weak liquid fertilizer or a microbial rich solution for soil inoculation and/or foliar disease control? Without some type of baseline and post application testing/verification, seems to me many of the results that people see are more likely a result of the nutrients being applied with the tea and any potential improvement in nutrient cycling of existing OM is unknown.

    This is really no different than what you see when you topdress compost, an relatively fast visual response to the quick release nutrients in the compost. Add some irrigation with a simple food like molasses (or not) to your topdress and you have just made some tea.

    Now certainly one would expect some increase in nutrient turnover of existing OM as a result of a tea application, but how much? Can it (has it) been quantified or at least estimated using scientifically valid methodology? One of the major selling points of a tea is increased/better nutrient cycling of a sites OM .... correct? I am merely asking here (as I have before) has some type field applied efficacy been established for the different types of tea?

    There is no need to make the volume/labor/cost argument here .... I am well aware of the reasons for using tea vs. compost, assuming there is sufficient OM already on site.

    If it ain't broke? I don't understand this line of reasoning? If one does not establish a sites soil is in need of microbial inoculation or you are trying to establish some type of foliar disease control, then how do you know if it is broke to begin with? Nature has done well without our interference or manipulation for millennium. So given that, wouldn't the best course of action be to (re)establish the natural order then leave it alone? We are talking about landscapes here, not Ag.
     
  8. Tim Wilson

    Tim Wilson LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 795

    Kiril; I believe you do have a valid question. I have read some studies evaluating the efficacy of CT on growth levels but I'm not sure, I've seen studies measuring OM degradation rates as a result of using CT. I did use it successfully in a greenhouse setting for years but that is hardly a quantifying trial. You are correct that once one has obtained a healthy microbial population supported by sufficient organic matter, one should no longer require microbial inoculations, including CT. I have seen this born out as well but again, not something publish worthy.

    If one has sufficient compost, there is not much need for CT unless for a kick start as you have mentioned and yes this can also be attained with diluted molasses. I did seem to reverse some sort of fungal pathogen in my lawn recently by applying 'lots' of ACT.

    PS. My ACT does not contain nutrients (besides residual)
     
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Tim,

    When you get a chance could you PM me those study cites? Also, I would be interested in seeing the results of a lab nutrient analysis (macros and micros) of different types of tea if you have access to those or know where they can be obtained. I don't believe I have ever seen a full nutrient analysis of any tea, short of label requirements of bottled products.
     
  10. Tim Wilson

    Tim Wilson LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 795

    Could be a while; switched computers; operating systems; you know
     

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