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Compost Tea vs. EM

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by ecoguy, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. ecoguy

    ecoguy LawnSite Member
    from Duncan
    Messages: 234

    Allright boys, let the debate begin....
  2. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Instead of it being tea vs. EM, maybe it should be more like "How can we use both in our businesses to form a yin and yang/symbiotic relationship?"

    If one understands how each product works, there shouldn't be a "vs" debate at all, IMO.
  3. ecoguy

    ecoguy LawnSite Member
    from Duncan
    Messages: 234

    Yeah, for sure Natty, I agree. It seems to me that EM is much easier to utilize in a business and the results are easier to control. That being said, Compost tea, if brewed properly, can yield better results. The problem is most of us don't know how to brew it properly so the results are not great. Also, the tea must be applied within 4 hours of brewing unless aeration is constant which adds a whole new level of time and expertise.

    So, my question is, is CT worth the time and effort? And, can the average Joe on lawnsite make good tea? Tim, your feedback on this would be good.
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Natty vs. Lawn.

    Place your bets here.
  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Lets define what we are talking about first. I am no expert so let me throw a few things out there, the way my limited knowledge knows it

    EM is defined as effective microbes in most circles, there are different definitions out there. The basis of the stuff is that you have known microorganisms that are supposedly beneficial to people as well as plants. There is a mother culture that is supposed to be certain CFU of certain microbes.
    Much like making bread or beer you take the mother culture and grow it out into many more and eat it or apply it to plant and soil

    Compost tea is also a crude form of fermentation, one of the issues is that you never know what you have to start with exactly, you know that there are probably lots of basteria, fungi and other critters in there. Who the players are in the compost are basically a guess. Good finished compost normally has a good to great diversity that can be grown out and applied to plants, I do not think you should drink CT but I am sure some do

    We actually have a new product out in 2010 that combines these two principles it is basically a CT/EM mix, knowns (many from EM) and wild fermentations combined into one product. we wanted to call it Terra Cervesa (Earth Beer) but decided against it. We have been trialing it for 2 years in California on organic spinach and leafy greens, great to excellent results.
  6. Grohorganic

    Grohorganic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    the whole EM vs ACT is sort of..... its nothing! THEY ARE 2 SEPARATE DIFFERENT THINGS!!! both have a time and place.......
  7. Tim Wilson

    Tim Wilson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 795

    Yo! and Matt has it right as yin & yang. Compost Tea is not a fermentation. EM is. EM is a great soil conditioner and toxin reducer. Compost tea is a great nutrient cycler. EM fermentations are monitored for consistency by pH, color and smell. Compost tea is monitored for consistency by O2 meter, microscope and smell. Both are subject to inconsistencies through improper preparation and misconceptions.

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