Compost Tea

com•post tea |ˈkämˌpōst tē|
noun: A liquid solution, derived from the active and aerobic stimulation of soil organ growth.


Thermal Compost Feedstock for Compost Tea Production

Matt Weger and the SMI staff demonstrate how to make Vegetative Thermal Compost for use in Compost Tea Production.

Leaf Litter and Thatch Exp Update

After 5 weeks there has been no significant difference between the control and the one time treatments in both the oak leaf litter and the harding grass thatch bins. Here is a picture taken at 5 weeks…page down and compare to the initial photo…

Thatch and Leaf Litter Trial (Week 5)

The next phase will begin with a once a week treatment following the initial amounts of compost, compost tea and water. (see 1-3 listed below). I will continue this until total decomposition.

1.    Control Bin – this bin will receive 4 cups of water with each treatment session (to establish the same amount of added moisture as the Tea Bin)
2.    Tea Bin – this bin will receive 1 cup of compost tea mixed with three cups of water evenly distributed over the top layer of thatch and leaf litter.
3.    Compost Bin – this bin will receive 2 cups of compost and 4 cups of water with each treatment session (the 4 cups of water is to establish the same amount of added moisture as the Tea Bin)

Comparing teas made with different amounts of Fish Hydrolysate

Here’s the update:

Comparing teas made with different amounts of Fish Hydrolysate

Thus far I have completed three rounds of testing for each amount of Fish Hydrolysate, which are no foods, 150ml, 250ml, and 500ml.  My observation is that our fish hydrolysate product improves fungal activity and increases total fungal biomass, though both have a fair amount of variability.

Please note that this sheet is not directly comparable to the sheet analyzing different amounts of Turf Pro, as the compost mix used was slightly different for each trial.

Jacob

Compost Preactivation and Extraction Trial with Fish Hydrolysate

Here’s a fun look tracing some compost from when we built the piles, through preactivation, and into a liquid extraction.

Compost Preactivation and Extraction Trial with Fish Hydrolysate

Comparing teas made with different amounts of Fish Hydrolysate

In the ongoing quest to explore the relationship between different foods in different amounts added to compost tea, here we have the first round of tests using fish hydrolysate.

Comparing teas made with different amounts of Fish Hydrolysate

More Turf Pro Comparisons

Here’s the latest from the ongoing comparison of compost teas made with different amounts of turf pro.

Comparing teas made with different amounts of Turf Pro

Comparing teas made with different amounts of Turf Pro – 2

OK, I completed another round of brews and testing on the turf pro trial. Now we have 3 brews for each of the different amounts of product, all made under similar conditions, and all using the same compost resource.

Comparing teas made with different amounts of Turf Pro


In looking at the results, I don’t know how to read this other than as inconclusive. Looking at the averages suggests that both no foods and 3 liters of turf pro had a positive effect on total fungi. However, looking at the standard deviation kind of evens everything out. Then looking at individual brew results suggests that each brew is pretty variable even when using the same compost.

So what is the next step? Run more rounds of samples and average all of them out? What does that mean for a grower who will only do one or two applications of tea in a season?

This takes me back to earlier observations that suggest that, as much as anything, it all depends on which scoop of compost you grab from the pile. Maybe playing some Marvin Gaye would get the fungi “in the mood” so to speak…but how would you test that?

Jacob

Comparing teas made with different amounts of Turf Pro

Over the past couple of weeks, I made a series of tea brews using equal amounts of the same compost, and different amounts of Turf Pro Humic Acid. Each brew was replicated and all were tested for totals and activities.

I entered these results and averaged the replications to get an idea of how different amounts of Turf Pro affects the biology of several compost tea brews. Please note that the first tea brews on the sheet were made without any additional foods, then I added 1 liter, 2 liters and 3 liters to the next series of brews.

tea-comparison-with-turf-pro.xls

Comments always welcome…