[Compostteas] the feeding rate

Soil Foodweb, Inc. info at soilfoodweb.com
Mon Jul 29 09:32:46 EDT 2002


We all need to rememberthat Scott is in the middle of winter.  In the US, we're in the middle of the summer, and hot and dry it is...

When the temperature is low, I don't see any good reason to drip feed, but I'm convincible.

thnk of the organisms in your tea as being just like you.  If the water temp is 63 F, would you think of reproduction?  Not very often, or only under the right circumstances?  Same for them.

Rates of reproduction slow down as it gets colder.  Fewer of the mass of bacteria or fungi are interested in reproduction the colder it gets.

In soil, there are cold-loving bacteria and fungi that are selected to wake up and grow when things get cold.  Those bacteria and fungi are in your tea, but they take longer than 24 hours to wake up and start to grow.  Typically, they take 3 to 4 weeks to wake up.  Once they are growing, they have no competition, no predators, and they really take off.  The most rapid rates of
decomposition occur in the winter, under the snow.  If the soil is frozen, these guys shut-down until the soil thaws.

If you add food to cold water, reproduction in those conditions will be slow, gaining slowly in speed until the cold-lovers finally get going.  We don't brew long enough, typically, to reach that point.  But we could get there, if you brew for three or four days when it's cool or cold.  The oxygen probe will tell you when they finally start to grow.

So, while you hate that DO probe, thing of the expensive testing you would have to be doing with us to figure all this out if you didn't have that DO probe!!!   So, the DO probe becomes a money saver, and a stern taskmaster.  It does not lie, and it tells you the truth all the time.  Ok, you have to figure out how to calibrate it, but that's like learning how fast to drive your
tractor through the field in order to apply fertilizer at the correct rate.

I'd love to put a SFI lab near you, but we have to have the data to make it clear  to all your neighbors that they need to be testing too, or the lab can't stay alive.  So, which comes first, the sample load to support the lab, or the lab to convince the growers to do this testing?  ???

Hope this helps!

Elaine




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