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compost tea production question

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by pineymountain, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    The 'tea' speeds up the 'rotting' process... In theory the aerobic microbes will aerobically 'rot' the OM available, turning it into valuable nutrients, including some N...

    W/out know what OM is available and what the aerobic/anaerobic conditions of your soil are,,, then indeed you are spraying the snake oil... :)
     
  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,560

    Great questions Larry.

    AACT is neither a miracle cure nor snake oil even though it has been called both.
    There are proponents who make a lot of claims and there are those who call in brown water.

    IMO, it can be a valuable tool that can help grow healthier plants with fewer manufactured inputs, reduce costs, reduced use of fossil fuels and help improve soil and water quality.

    Early on I think it has been presented as a cure all solution, which is not true and this has damaged the value it may present to the landscape & agricultural industries.

    Presently there is no standards for AACT. The quality depends upon the compost used, the brewing equipment and the expertise of the brew master.

    There are different types of teas. Usually turf prefers a 1:1 ratio of bacteria to fungi, deciduous tress prefer 1:100 and conifers 1:1000.

    A bio-assay can be performed by a qualified lab to ascertain the current microbial ratio in soils. This information is used to prepare the proper tea type.

    Teas are applied as a soil drench and/or as a foliar application. They are best applied when soils are moist or before rain.

    The number of applications depends upon many factors. but generally turf managers use 2-3 apps annually along with other services.

    In many circumstances, aeration is not required after a few years of soil improvement. An exception is athletic fields.

    So, there is a learning curve to best understand organic techniques. Just as there is one for the traditional approach. One big difference is that there is no one size fits all in organic lawn care. It can be done systematically and for a profit, but there is a different way of thinking about what you are doing.
     
  3. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,842

    Not sure if I could make heads or tails out of what you said. Just trying to keep an open mind and addressing concerns that my land grant university has experinced in test trials.
     
  4. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,560

    No doubt about it, compost tea is a controversial issue. There is little controversy over the important role that soil microbes play. The big difference of opinion is whether or not we can effectively manage that part of the system to our benefit.
    The deeper question concerns the environmental and health impacts of how we go about our business.
     
  5. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,560

    Too much drama for me.
     
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    KIS(Keep It Simple)... Forget about the Teas for a minute and think about what you do know...

    Grass clippings returning to the soil, is a BASIC/FOUDATIONAL principle to build upon... very simple and easy to understand that the rot/decay process is doing exactly the same thing as compost...

    If those clippings are on dry well aerated soils they will decompose w/out smell...
    If those clippings are on wet puddling soils they will still decompose, but they will stink...

    Everyone is making a big deal about Microbes, but the fact is they are everywhere and they will always do what they INTEND to do, whether we like it or not...

    Does it makes sense to anyone that the BASIC idea about microbes that out on the lawn they are going to decompose dead material, no matter what we do???
    Does it makes sense that different microbes are going to live in different HABITAT???

    That is about as simple and as basic as it gets,,, and don't let anyone confuse the issue w/out FIRST having a clear understanding about the foundational methodology of microbes...
     
  7. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,560

  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I've gotten product from the company that calls itself KIS,,, nice people... :)
     
  9. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,842

    Thanks Barry. I understand now. I never knew the rate difference for trees. Also did not realize it can be applied to the foliage. You know your stuff, and I wish our land grant university would do more research on teas. I also think it would be a selling point for some customers - especially cuz most of them have clay soil.

    Thanks.
     

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