Grow-Box Trial 10.17.07

The grow-box trial started on 10.17.07, to evaluate the effect of compost tea applications on native grass seed and native wildflower germination and growth in a “grow-box”, has come to a close leaving me with more questions.

To see full write up: Grow Box Project Write Up PDF

To see a spreadsheet of the foodweb data: Grow Box Spreadsheet PDF

In short, because this was not a replicated study and the initial soil biology numbers may have been slightly different than the compost test results from October 1, 2007, it is difficult to make a conclusive statement of the effects of the compost tea on the final soil biology values. What is interesting, is that there was an observable visual difference in the germination rate and first 8 weeks of growth between the compost tea treated grow boxes and the non-treated grow-boxes and not a clear distinction in the soil biology results. It is worth noting, at the end of January, both sets of grow-boxes respectively, appeared at similar growth height and density. Is it possible that there would have been a noticeable trend in the soil biology in the initial 8-weeks of this project to correspond with the visual observations? Or is it possible that the compost tea affected the soil chemistry and stimulted the growth of the compost tea treated grow-boxes? This project has stimulated several ideas for other projects, particularly, to conduct a similar observational study evaluating the effect of compost tea applications on the germination of native grasses with a sterile soil medium and/or a soil medium collected from our grasslands. Considerations would be to add replication, initial soil biology and soil chemistry tests and repeat the tests at the five to six week mark of the project. Perhaps adding the variable of compost in comparison to compost tea on germination and continued growth on native grasses.

In the below photos the compost tea treated grow-boxes are in the front (from left to right):

1) 10.26.7 2) 11.02.07 3) 11.11.07- Grass CT Treated on the Rt 4) 01.29.07

102607 Compost Tea GBs in Front 11.02.07 Compost Tea GB in Front
11.11.07 Grass Compost Tea on Right 01.29.08 Compost Tea in the Front

Leave a Comment