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CT done wrong = what?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by JDUtah, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    I'm working on putting that diagram/flow chart together (I mentioned it on the Nitrogen thread) and decided to take it just a little farther. Which leads me to this question... If you do a CT wrong, what do you get?

    For example, if done wrong (too much food, not enough aeration, bad temperature control, what else?) You get anaerobic microbes.. do you have a higher chance of pathogens? AND, does brewing anaerobic tea tend to make NO2 and CO4 (basically does it have a higher chance of volatilizing nutrients into the atmosphere while brewing?)

  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    Thats a tough one to answer, it really depends on what was in the compost after all that is what you are doing, a crude fermentation of whatever was in the compost.

    It also depends on what time in the brewing process you look at the brew, certain microbes grow out faster or slower than others. 12 hours will look much different than 24 hours or 36

    to complicate it even more there are good helpful anaerobes. You would have to set up a certain scenario to know for sure and then you still may not know.

    You would have to hire Tim to come down and look at it or get good at looking through a micrscope yourself. One of the big reasons that everyone eventually leans towards getting a microscope so that you can "see" for yourself

    and a big reason that we designed our product to get people to transistion with knowns so they don't get black thumb disease like I used to have
  3. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    Haha, darn. OK.

    I gotta buy another book then huh? And a microscope? Lol, you guys are killing me!
    (well compared to tuition costs... ... ... ... when I'm a millionaire I'm taking you all for a cruise!)

    What book would you recommend to start me doing CT's? Oh and I will buy Tim's dvd(s) too! www.microbeorganics.com

    Also what microscopes do you recommend? I hear I can get a decent one around $250?

    I wasn't planning on tea brewing till next year.. but I don't think my patience is going to hold out long enough. Dang obsessions! :hammerhead:
  4. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    Dr E has a whole series of books go to www.soilfoodweb.com they do not sell the directly but go theough another company, the site will take you there

    She is very well respected, the books will get you started and close to 3/4 there. I do believe that she has not told all of the secrets she has in her books. Actually they are great as general guidelines, as you get more experience you will be asking questions that do not have answers in those books

    It does open an entire new door though, enjoy the ride, I am
  5. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    I'm excited... Although still a little skeptical, but my new idea might cover that.

    So I've done some searching but am coming up fruitless...

    Normally in a CT, you add food for the microbes. What foods are common? (this still relates to the flowchart)
  6. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    Bacterial like simple sugars, they can come in all kinds of forms, molasses comes to mind
    Fungi like more complex sugar and cellulose based foods, fish and kelp come to mind or oatmeal maybe

    If you can think of it it has probably been used as food for CT production

    TG where do worms fit in there as CT food, you must get a few in the mix

  7. growingdeeprootsorganicly

    growingdeeprootsorganicly LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 766

    start small, 5 g bucket, good water, good air pump, some air stones, some tubing, bag of worm cast, molasses,fish h, kelpmeal-grind fine first,a little rock dust-azomite+powderd rock phoshate, humic acid

    microscopes with phase contrast are the best but cost$$$$$ for a good setup but you don't really need that yet, look on ebay for a good cheap bright field scope with kohler illumination with 10x 20x 40x objectives, you don't need the 100x but it comes in handy when you really want to get close, start researching about microscopes and use, that will keep you busy awhile! LOL
  8. growingdeeprootsorganicly

    growingdeeprootsorganicly LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 766

    my biggest fear about applying bad tea would be applying pathogens all over somebody's yard and somebody get sick, not good for biz

    bad tea could potentially hurt or kill plants also.

    if you start with compost with zero pathogen content ,chances are even if you f up the tea there won't be any?????, but plants will suffer most likely

    but im not really sure, if i thought tea was bad, it dosen't get used
  9. wallzwallz

    wallzwallz LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 361

    My biggest fear had been killing the lawn w/ anaerobic tea,but now thanks to GDRO it's making someone sick LOL. I use vermicompost and really don't worry about pathogens, but not knowing what bad tea does worries me.
  10. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    Okay back up

    What is in the compost??? Have you had it tested?? Does the place you buy it from have testing information??? bagged and bulk, they all have to have testing information

    Is it SFI or some others that do bio-assays on compost, if the biology has not been tested or at least looked at by someone that knows what they are doing, then why are you are using it or buying it??

    You have to hold yourselves to higher standards, you may have to pay $70 and wait 2 days to get results but then you know what kind of compost you are working with. Dive in with both feet just don't do it blindly

    the bottom line is you need to know what you are working with. In the other world it is clearly marked on the bag, well maybe not the "inert ingredients" but you get the idea

    If you decide to do this on your own or use others products know what you are working with. It should make perfect sense as a professional

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