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Compost Tea: How to Become a Soil Food Web Gardener
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Compost Tea: How to Become a Soil Food Web Gardener

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Compost Tea Presentation by Jason Deney

Compost Tea Presentation by Jason Deney

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  • Introduction of self, Sustainable Desert, Previous Master Gardener, Raspberry Farm
  • If we all use organic gardnening…..

Compost Tea: How to Become a Soil Food Web Gardener Compost Tea: How to Become a Soil Food Web Gardener Presentation Transcript

  • Compost Tea
  • Using Compost Tea to become a Soil Food Web Gardener
  • You mean…do I drink it???
  • 3 things we’ll discuss
    • The soil food web and its components
    • The 3 tools for becoming a soil food web gardener
    • Compost tea brewing and use
  • Gardening all starts with the soil
  • What makes up the soil food web?
    • Beneficial Microorganisms
      • Bacteria
      • Fungi
      • Protozoa
      • Nematodes
      • Arthropods
  • Bacteria Bacteria play a major role in plant nutrition by locking up valuable nutrients in the soil
  • Fungi
    • Fungi are the primary decay agents in the soil food web
    • Ectomycorrhizal fungi
    • Endomycorrhizal fungi
  • Nematodes Nematodes feed on bacteria & fungi, then release previously immobilized nitrogen into the rhizosphere in ammonium
  • Arthropods Soil arthropods are important to the community as predators and soil aerators
  • Soil Aggregates
    • Soil aggregates are “clumps” of soil particles that are held together by organic matter, organic compounds and fungal hyphae.
    • The spaces within and between soil aggregates are essential for storing water, air, microbes and nutrients.
    • Bacteria produce polysaccharides that help with bonding the soil aggregates.
    • Fungi grow in long threadlike structures call hyphae that also help bond soil aggregates.
  • Rhizosphere & Phyllosphere
    • Rhizosphere
      • the region of the soil immediately surrounding the roots of a plant.
    • Phyllosphere
      • leaf surfaces or total above-ground surfaces of a plant as a habitat for microorganisms
    • Microbes in these spheres compete with pathogens for space and food
  • 3 tools a soil food web gardener needs
    • Compost
    • Mulch
    • Compost tea
  • Compost
    • Inoculates beneficial microbes into the soil and around your yard
        • 1 billion bacteria per teaspoon
        • 400-900 ft of fungal hyphae per teaspoon
        • 10-50k protozoa per teaspoon
        • 30-300 nematodes per teaspoon
  • Mulch
    • Standard reasons for use
      • Prevents seeds from germinating
      • Keeps soil cool when hot, warm when cold
      • Reduces evaporation
    • “ Soil Food Web Gardener” reasons for use
      • Provides nutrients and homes for soil food web organisms
      • Is distributed into the soil by worms and arthropods
  • Compost Tea
    • 3 types of compost tea
      • Passive teas (extract)
        • Brewed by placing compost in water for a couple of weeks or more.
        • Very little aerobic microbial life.
      • Leachates
        • Liquid that oozes out of compost or worm bins.
        • Has some nutrient value but little microbial life.
      • Actively aerated compost teas (AACT’s)
      • Produced by introducing oxygen and a food source to good compost over a 24-hour period and drastically multiplying the amount of organisms
      • Is teaming with bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes. Up to 4 billion beneficial bacteria can be found in 1 teaspoon
      • Very concentrated and easy to apply to plants and soil
    Actively Aerated Compost Tea (AACT)
  • How to make and use Compost Tea
    • Non-chlorinated water
    • Vermicompost
    • Food for microorganisms
      • Bacteria : sugars
      • Fungi : kelps and humic acids
      • Minerals & fish hydrosolates
    • Air
  • Applications
    • Apply as a soil drench
      • Dilute with non-chlorinated water and apply directly to soil – 1:4 ratio compost tea to water
    • Foliar applications
      • Apply to plant surfaces
    • You can never apply too much
  • Important notes
    • Avoid exposure to sunlight/UV rays
    • Use as soon as possible after aeration and brewing is discontinued
  • Fine tuning your compost tea
    • For trees, shrubs and woody perennials
      • Prepare a fungaly-dominated tea
    • For veggies, flowers and lawns
      • Prepare a bacterially-dominated tea
  • Healthy soil makes kittens happy !
    • Lowenfels, Jeff & Lewis, Wayne. (2006) Teaming with Microbes. Timber Press, Inc.
    • http://extension.oregonstate.edu/douglas/mg/comptea
    • http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/compost-tea-notes.html
    • This presentation can be found on slideshare.com under the tag words “compost tea”
    References and Suggested Reading
  • Thank You Jason Deney Sustainable Desert Landscape Maintenance P.O. Box 1324 Bend, Or 97709 541-610-7619