[Compostteas] Re: PLANT NUTRITION ?

Steve Diver steved at ncatark.uark.edu
Tue Jun 18 20:23:19 EDT 2002

"eddington at lvcm.com" wrote:

> I just got a refractometer, but in reading one of Arden Anderson's
> articles he said to also test the sap pH and sap EC to have a complete
> picture, just the refractometer reading was not enough.

Hi Folks,

Pike Agri-Lab Supplies features an information leaflet that contains
interpretation for the three-part tissue test:  Brix, pH and EC.

Plant Tissue Test Instructions

The foliars that Arden Andersen talks about are sophisticated
mixtures of soluble minerals (e.g., calcium, phosphorus) and
liquid organics (e.g., humic acids, fish).  Of course, Andersen
promotes the use of radionics as a bioassay + dowsing procedure
to build these foliars feeds.

It is probably already known to many, but as a resource pointer,
for an excellent web-based source on refractometers and brix,
see Rex Harrill's collection at Worldsite Crossroads, home
of BrixTalk and the 42-page e-booklet "Using a Refractometer
to Test the Quality of Fruits & Vegetables."

BrixTalk at egroups.com

Worldsite Crossroads, Home of BrixTalk

Using a Refractometer to Test the Quality of Fruits & Vegetables
By Rex Harrill

I'll be curious to hear what people have to say about brix
readings "before" and "after" foliar application of compost
teas, based on their experience or field tests.

The essential benefit of compost tea application is the
inoculation of plant surfaces with beneficial microbes,
thus enhancing microbial abundance and diversity in/on
the phyllosphere and the rhizosphere.

Though certainly, soluble nutrients and bioactive compounds
and metabolities of microbes, such as enzymes, are also present
in compost teas.

A quick test to ascertain changes to the microbial community on
a leaf surface is one thing; the physiological effect of  foliar feeds
on plant metabolism -- which is essentially what brix readings
provide -- is another.

What comes to mind as a quick test for biologicals, is to dip
the leaves into a solution which then turns color. Changes in
color will indicate the presence of bacterial or fungal groups,
etc.   Some kind of quick, inexpensive on-site field test such
as this would certainly be helpful.


Steve Diver
Fayetteville, Arkansas

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