Should AACT applications alone increase the organic matter in the soil?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by lawncuttinfoo, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,010

    Theoretically, should AACT applications alone, increase the organic matter in the soil over time (a couple of years)?
     
  2. mbucuk

    mbucuk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    My opinion is no. Building organic matter requires organic (carbon) materials. If you mulch the grass clippings that will replenish soil organic matter over time. If the soil microbiology is damaged I guess compost tea would help with this process. High microbial activity following tillage is the reason why tilling reduces SOM. Microbial activity involves respiration (CO2) and remember that the microbes are eating either active organic matter or other microbes that eat active organic matter. You will need to apply compost or at least organic fertilizer materials, and mulch the grass clippings to build SOM.

    Also keep in mind that some soils are naturally low in organic matter and no matter what you do they will not stabilize with a high SOM.
     
  3. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,604

    I agree with Mike.

    I think of AACT as a way to supercharge the soil with microbial activity. But it does little to build SOM. Organic matter is the room and board for the microbes and is needed to sustain them.

    I set up programs that use both tea & organic matter. When the soil reaches a balance where everything is working properly, I reduce or discontinue the tea and continue adding SOM.
     
  4. Dean_W

    Dean_W LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    My limited understanding is that it definetly does increase the microrganisms of the soil. Your best bet would probally be to use the tea in conjunction with mulching practices like mbucuk and phasthound explained.:)

    Dean
     
  5. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,010

    How about CGM at 40 lbs per 1K sq ft per year, should that be sufficiant?

    I really do not want to apply compost, the labor would raise the program to an unreasonable cost.

    I really do not understand how companies can apply compost and charge a reasonable rate aside from using $12 per hour laborors and breaking even.
     
  6. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,604

    Buy a top dresser to reduce labor costs, or apply Nutrients PLUS organic ferts at 5 lbs per 1000 4 x per year, very cost effective with great results.
     
  7. mbucuk

    mbucuk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    dump truck + topdresser = quick compost application
     
  8. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,010

    A topdresser is as more costly as to purchase and run than an aerator, plus you have material cost of the compost. plus you have the cost of the dump truck.

    Very costly.
     
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    I also agree and will add you don't necessarily need CT to get a soil in balance. I look at CT as a shortcut to building a healthy soil. If you have the patience to let nature do its stuff, compost/OM additions is all you need.
     
  10. mbucuk

    mbucuk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    Takes money to make money
     

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