How AACT Works

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,393

    Compost! It works.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Compost works... I agree,

    but we STILL need to establish ,,, 'WHY' and 'HOW'... otherwise it is STILL,,, an ol' wives' tale, an urban legend, or the favorite, 'Snake Oil'...
    Compost does a number of different beneficial things for the soil of,, any and every,, plant I've ever worked with... until these benefits are clarified we should spend a little time alluding to what is happening in the soil today...

    the natural world runs by the seasons not by the clock... :)
  3. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,358

    Keeping food on the table other than compost...........

    Something I will do at home is plant some trees on the side of the property where the prevailing winds come from at time of leaf drop. These leaves will be mulched into the lawn rather than removed. This should add carbon as a food source without any added costs.

    I will innoculate effective microorganisms every spring.

    Some interesting reading that may give some insite to the subject of Plant-Soil relationships as well as Rhizosphere biology can be found in Marschner's "Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants. Third Edition.

    This reading really lets you see the "Big Picture" and how Improving soil biology is enhanced.

    Much to learn and the AACT teas IMO are a needed tool for Turfgrass health.
  4. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    I started using tea in '05 until '11 working for a commercial company. For the last year plus I've been using AACT on my home lawn/shrubs.

    The ups and downs dealt mostly with refining the process of brewing, cleaning and spraying without destroying the organisms. Once you get the system down it's not that difficult. I never used it as a standalone product, always an application in mid-spring or mid-fall.

    I see great results on my home lawn by applying compost or a heavy chicken poo fert then applying tea on top of that. Something I always wanted to do on the commercial end, but never had the time to do.
  5. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Just to be clear, EM and the microbes in AACT are not the same, but do have a "synergistic" effect when used together. EM is more of a fermentation process, while AACT is using air and water to strip microbes off of compost.
  6. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,358

    Thanks for the information Natty I do appreciate it.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    It makes sense that using compost and chicken manure is going to feed the microbes in the soil and supply N to the turf... after that many years of compost and manure,,, don't you think that the most effective microbes for that environment have been established by now??? Just a thot...

    After that many years of compost and manure your soil must have gone through some dramatic changes...

    What have you noticed about changes in the soil itself???
  8. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Yes, I would say I changed the soil profile a it over the years. I have a nice 4-5 inch layer of nice, rich, dark brown soil before I hit clay in my yard. I typically apply a thin layer of compost in the spring and fall and a fert app in the spring. The soil drains much better than we moved into our house in '08 and the turf in the front lawn looks great. I have little weed pressure now. When we moved here we had violets, strawberries and a ton of dandelions. My back yard is untouched as we have 2 large dogs messing it up.

    The good microbes probably are established, and IMO I do try and keep up with the Joneses a bit. Even we in the business, I always told customers I need 3 years to get them the nice lawn and then we could tale off on apps, usually 3 a year (early spring, late spring, early fall) as long as the customer kept up good cultural practices.
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    It sounds like you've done an excellent job of combining the various elements of Tea, Compost and Organic fertilizers...
    Do you think that for your lawn that the Tea is any longer necessary for the continued well-being of your soil???

    In my experience with just the compost, I've discovered that once the soils have been made fertile, that even the compost has become redundant... Your chicken manure may be all that is necessary to provide the little extra N that is needed to keep it bright green through the season...

    Is that likely that the Tea and compost are required???

    I continue to add compost where needed, if I can, but at reduced amounts and subsidize the N supply with some urea or Milorganite in late Spring and early Fall... I like to apply the compost later in the fall after aerating and generally that does it for the season...
    I believe that once the soil structure and tilth are adequate, very little is required to keep it that way... :)
  10. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Honestly, I mainly use the tea for my plants and garden. Any extra gets put on the lawn. I tried getting by with no late spring app last year, and the lawn suffered a little in the summer.

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