Compost tea to cure poor soil?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Victorsaur, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    The best?! Really?!

    I see several things that don’t make sense.

    1) The link doesn’t back the assertion that compost tea would help at all with P availability or uptake.
    2) Inorganic P is NOT easily leachable. It has been well established that inorganic P is rather immobile in most soils under most conditions.
    3) P is almost immediately fixed or immobilized when it is applied (insoluble Fe/Al phosphates or oxide adsorption to clays; Ca phosphates in alkaline soils) and can only be made plant available via chemical changes, NOT biological changes

    P cycling is a complex process. However, the ground rules for the cycling are somewhat simple. All soils will naturally contain the microbes to mineralize organic P. These microbes are most efficient when healthy plants are grown. Addition of compost tea does not improve the efficiency of these microbes. It also doesn’t change the chemistry of the soil, which is responsible for the relative immobility or insolubility of soil P.

    This description is woefully misinformed and incomplete.
     
  2. Skipster, I agree. It's not the best description of P cycling.

    I think it's unrealistic to find a paper which would be so specific that it would address this subject. My goal in adding that link was to point out the difference between organic and inorganic P. Nothing else.

    Follow the money; The funding for the research for these types of matters come from chemical companies and not from guys like us.

    If you read my past posts, I discouraged Victorsaur from applying compost tea and also mycorrhizae in the situation he described. It's unrealistic that it would have helped in this situation.

    Your quote; "All soils will naturally contain the microbes to mineralize organic P." I respectfully but completely disagree. I'll let others comment.

    Your other quote; Addition of compost tea does not improve the efficiency of these microbes. It also doesn’t change the chemistry of the soil, which is responsible for the relative immobility or insolubility of soil P. I agree with you, but only in the conditions described in this case by Victorsaur. The soil he's described would be very unlikely to support a process like this.

    Hey, we've manage to screw up complex soil systems which evolved over millions of years. I do not have all the answers. In high school and two semesters in college, there was no discussion of biology as it related to soil chemistry in my soil science curriculum (and this was only 27 years ago). I've had to teach (and unteach) myself. Let's be open our minds to where biology and chemistry meet. :drinkup:
     
  3. turfmd101

    turfmd101 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,268

    It's a hypothesis skip. A good read. Im not holding it strict to its word. Relax...
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