Compost Tea: How to Become a Soil Food Web Gardener


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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

    1. 1. Compost Tea
    2. 2. Using Compost Tea to become a Soil Food Web Gardener
    3. 3. You mean…do I drink it???
    4. 4. 3 things we’ll discuss <ul><li>The soil food web and its components </li></ul><ul><li>The 3 tools for becoming a soil food web gardener </li></ul><ul><li>Compost tea brewing and use </li></ul>
    5. 5. Gardening all starts with the soil
    6. 6. What makes up the soil food web? <ul><li>Beneficial Microorganisms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bacteria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fungi </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Protozoa </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nematodes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arthropods </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Bacteria Bacteria play a major role in plant nutrition by locking up valuable nutrients in the soil
    8. 8. Fungi <ul><li>Fungi are the primary decay agents in the soil food web </li></ul><ul><li>Ectomycorrhizal fungi </li></ul><ul><li>Endomycorrhizal fungi </li></ul>
    9. 9. Nematodes Nematodes feed on bacteria & fungi, then release previously immobilized nitrogen into the rhizosphere in ammonium
    10. 10. Arthropods Soil arthropods are important to the community as predators and soil aerators
    11. 11. Soil Aggregates <ul><li>Soil aggregates are “clumps” of soil particles that are held together by organic matter, organic compounds and fungal hyphae. </li></ul><ul><li>The spaces within and between soil aggregates are essential for storing water, air, microbes and nutrients. </li></ul><ul><li>Bacteria produce polysaccharides that help with bonding the soil aggregates. </li></ul><ul><li>Fungi grow in long threadlike structures call hyphae that also help bond soil aggregates. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Rhizosphere & Phyllosphere <ul><li>Rhizosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the region of the soil immediately surrounding the roots of a plant. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Phyllosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>leaf surfaces or total above-ground surfaces of a plant as a habitat for microorganisms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Microbes in these spheres compete with pathogens for space and food </li></ul>
    13. 13. 3 tools a soil food web gardener needs <ul><li>Compost </li></ul><ul><li>Mulch </li></ul><ul><li>Compost tea </li></ul>
    14. 14. Compost <ul><li>Inoculates beneficial microbes into the soil and around your yard </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1 billion bacteria per teaspoon </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>400-900 ft of fungal hyphae per teaspoon </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>10-50k protozoa per teaspoon </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>30-300 nematodes per teaspoon </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Mulch <ul><li>Standard reasons for use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevents seeds from germinating </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keeps soil cool when hot, warm when cold </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces evaporation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Soil Food Web Gardener” reasons for use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides nutrients and homes for soil food web organisms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is distributed into the soil by worms and arthropods </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Compost Tea <ul><li>3 types of compost tea </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Passive teas (extract) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Brewed by placing compost in water for a couple of weeks or more. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Very little aerobic microbial life. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leachates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Liquid that oozes out of compost or worm bins. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Has some nutrient value but little microbial life. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actively aerated compost teas (AACT’s) </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. <ul><ul><li>Produced by introducing oxygen and a food source to good compost over a 24-hour period and drastically multiplying the amount of organisms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is teaming with bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes. Up to 4 billion beneficial bacteria can be found in 1 teaspoon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very concentrated and easy to apply to plants and soil </li></ul></ul>Actively Aerated Compost Tea (AACT)
    18. 18. How to make and use Compost Tea <ul><li>Non-chlorinated water </li></ul><ul><li>Vermicompost </li></ul><ul><li>Food for microorganisms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bacteria : sugars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fungi : kelps and humic acids </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minerals & fish hydrosolates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Air </li></ul>
    19. 19. Applications <ul><li>Apply as a soil drench </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dilute with non-chlorinated water and apply directly to soil – 1:4 ratio compost tea to water </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Foliar applications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Apply to plant surfaces </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You can never apply too much </li></ul>
    20. 20. Important notes <ul><li>Avoid exposure to sunlight/UV rays </li></ul><ul><li>Use as soon as possible after aeration and brewing is discontinued </li></ul>
    21. 21. Fine tuning your compost tea <ul><li>For trees, shrubs and woody perennials </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare a fungaly-dominated tea </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For veggies, flowers and lawns </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare a bacterially-dominated tea </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Healthy soil makes kittens happy !
    23. 23. <ul><li>Lowenfels, Jeff & Lewis, Wayne. (2006) Teaming with Microbes. Timber Press, Inc. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>This presentation can be found on under the tag words “compost tea” </li></ul>References and Suggested Reading
    24. 24. Thank You Jason Deney Sustainable Desert Landscape Maintenance P.O. Box 1324 Bend, Or 97709 541-610-7619