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Seaweed Science

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Gerry Miller, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Gerry, you do understand your whole argument uses the same premise as the chemical fertilizer companies?

    Furthermore you just posted comments from Dr. Ingham's that directly supports what I have said. Let's cut to the chase and look at the statement you kindly capitalized for everyone to see.

    Is compost tea a fertilizer? The answer is NO, IF YOU ONLY COUNT INORGANIC N. The answer is YES, if you count all the other forms of N that can be made available to plant through nutrient cycling processes."

    So what part of this statement don't you understand?

    1) That compost tea isn't a source of inorganic N fertilizer
    2) That compost tea IS a source of biological N fertilizer
  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Your welcome, but credit goes to Gerry since I chased it down for him.

    Let's define fertilizer (using Wikipedia)

    Fertilizers (also spelled fertilisers) are compounds given to plants to promote growth; they are usually applied either via the soil, for uptake by plant roots, or by foliar feeding, for uptake through leaves. Fertilizers can be organic (composed of organic matter), or inorganic (made of simple, inorganic chemicals or minerals).

    Now let's consider organic fertilizers. The nutrients being applied are contained within the biomass, and therefore are biologically available.

    From the link I provided:

    Effects of Microbes on their Habitat

    At an elemental level, the substances that make up living material consist of carbon (C), hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), nitrogen (N), sulfur (S), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), iron (Fe), sodium (Na), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg). The primary constituents of organic material are C, H, O, N, S, and P. An organic compound always contains C and H and is symbolozed as CH2O (the empirical formula for glucose). Carbon dioxide (CO2) is considered an inorganic form of carbon.

    Simply speaking, all these elements (with the exception of C, O, H) are "nutritional" elements that can be found limiting in soils, N generally being considered the most limiting in soils. Now that is not to say all soils need all these elements supplied to them, that would be silly, but consider some possible causes of nutrient limitations:

    1) parent material is lacking elements
    2) limited/immobilized due to pH
    3) limited due to physical/mineral structure & content (eg. sand vs. clay)
    4) limited because they are being used faster then they can be naturally supplied
    5) insufficient water

    This is not a complete list of possible reasons for nutrients being limiting, but you get the point.

    There are a wide variety of soluble ions in compost teas, in variable concentrations. The same can be said of water that is not pure. If you want to find out what they are, send a sample of your tea to a lab and get a full chemical analysis of it.

    With respect to bioaccumulation.

    Lets take nitrate, and consider is as a toxic chemical with respect to potable water supplies. A healthy, balanced food web reduces the leaching potential by immobilizing the N within organic biomass, by adsorption onto organic exchange complexes, through chelation, etc... This is the difference between active and reserve nutrients, active being ions in solution, and reserve obviously not in solution. This is also why Dr Ingham (as Gerry kindly showed us) points out the problems with only considering inorganic (or in solution) forms of nutrients.

    Bottom line:

    This is really is no different than applying any organic fertilizer. Many of the nutrients are contained within the biomass. Decomposition/predation releases these nutrients over time. It doesn't matter if it is CGM or microbial biomass in a compost tea, they are fundamentally doing the same thing, providing nutrients to the soil food web.

    Find the doc you requested attached.

    Attached Files:

  3. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 504

    I can't believe you don't see the answer right in front of you. What part of that statement don't YOU understand??? For the answer to be YES, it because of tea making N available THROUGH NUTRIENT CYCLING PROCESS!! That the answer right there! It makes nutrients available, but does not supply the nutrients! It uses what is already there in the soil. I can see how that statement might confuse you.
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Why can't you wrap your head around this concept Gerry? Is it because you are so consumed by the need to prove me wrong you just refuse to see what is right in front of you?

    If we follow your line of thinking, the N contained within an organic fertilizer, say soybean meal, isn't really there at all or is unimportant, because the soybean meal simply feeds the microbes and they release some unknown source of N that is already in the soil. Where is this mystery source of N coming from in the soil? Ignoring nitrogen fixation, that N source is coming from ORGANIC MATTER!

    Your attempting to defend a position that essentially states organic matter does not contain N, or any other nutrient required for biological growth. This is an indefensible position, unless your maintaining the biology contained within a compost tea is inorganic.

    Another indefensible position is to state the water which makes up the majority of the tea contains no nutrients in solution (eg. it is pure H2O and suspended solids).

    Furthermore, N is not the ONLY nutrient required by biological organisms, it is simply recognized as what is typically found to be the most limiting with regard to soil fertility.

    How about you explain to everyone the difference between biomass in a compost tea and that same biomass in a soil with regard to nutrient availability and nutrient cycling.
  5. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 504

    Again, you either misquote me or take what I say out of context. I never said that organic matter didn't contain N. What I said was that organic matter provides a very low amount of protein or N. Now you tell me how you can make that statement based on what I actually said? I also never said that AACT contain no nutrients. Why do you keep twisting my statements around? Do you need to do this to try and defend you position? This is more of your slight of hand and misdirection. I never made the statements you claimed I've made, for what, to defend your position. Rather lame, don't you think?

    And now you throw in something completely different and never mentioned before, the nitrogen fixation of organic matter??? What does that have to do with AACT being a fertilizer??? NOTHING. Besides, is it the organic matter that provides the N fixation or the soil organisms?? This is performed by certain soil microorganisms, such as rhizobia, that takes atmospheric nitrogen into compounds that plants and other organisms can assimilate. Not the organic matter!

    It is you sir that has to try and prove me wrong and not the other way around. You can believe whatever you like. I don't care what you think and believe.
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    What part of the following statement does not imply exactly that?

    You said it, and now attempt to defend it. By stating AACT is NOT a fertilizer you also state AACT contains NO elements that can be considered nutrients. If this is not what you meant, then WHY DID YOU MAKE THE STATEMENT IN THE FIRST PLACE, AND THEN ATTEMPT TO DEFEND IT?

    What the heck does this mean Gerry? Please define what "nitrogen fixation of organic matter" means? Nice example of a complete misunderstanding of the subject. :laugh:

    What part of this statement is unclear?

    Ignoring nitrogen fixation, that N source is coming from ORGANIC MATTER!

    I simply made the distinction between N supplied via nitrogen fixation and N supplied via organic matter decomposition. Is this so hard to understand Gerry? Seems pretty straight forward to me, and should be to anyone who claims to have a "good understanding" of soil biology and nutrient cycling.
  7. Elite LawnCare

    Elite LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    good reading

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