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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:01 pm 
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I have been spraying my lawn with compost tea and molasses to increase the life in the soil. I use the very best compost I can find to make my tea and liquid molasses from the feed store. Is that enough or should I also be applying compost?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:29 am 
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No form of compost tea recipes should ever be used as a total replacement for regular organic soil building using composting and/or protein fertilizers and natural mineral rock powders like lime or gypsum.

Compost tea is designed to complement normal composting. Not replace it.

One time that normal compost and other forms of decomposing organic matter supply, is lots of humates and carbon forms. Teas mostly supply the microbial colonies, not must in the area of humus.

Microbes and earthworms in soils need lots of carbon.

Happy Gardening!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:14 pm 
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You also get a "micro-mulching" effect from compost that you cannot get from tea. I used to be against the routine use of compost but have read more and changed my opinion.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:39 am 
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Hey David!

Can you explain and give more info about what you refer to as the "micro mulching" effect?

Never heard that one...

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:11 am 
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Hi William. We all know what mulch is but we don't all know what all it does. Remember ValerieRU from that other organic forum where you used to moderate? He recently linked to a study done by a Russian scientist back in the late 1800s. Too bad the research was essentially lost to the East-West tension of the last century, but here's the deal in the short form.

Mulch absorbs ammonia gas. We know that because your compost pile stops smelling like horse dung when you cover it with leaves or finished compost. The leaves are absorbing the ammonia smell from urine and decomposing protein. That is really good news because you are capturing the nitrogen from the decomposition process. We also know that mulch absorbs moisture. The moisture from humidity is the unsung hero of this day. Ammonia gas has a strong affinity for water so the moisture in the mulch becomes the home for the ammonia. Then, and this is the cool part, when the air temperature drops to the dew point, the ammonia laden moisture in the mulch condenses out into the soil below.

Compost is applied at a very low rate to lawns, so the effect is a little smaller; however, I believe the effect is the same. I think this, in addition to the mass of microbes brought in, is the reason compost is so important. If you'll recall, I went cool on compost several years ago. Well I'm back on the compost bandwagon now. :wink: And the effects described above are the reason(s) why.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:36 pm 
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David, is the "micro mulching" effect similar to the effect that using zeolite is suppose to produce? Spreading compost on an acre is a lot of work!

Joe Scott


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:15 am 
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Thank you so much for the micro-mulching lesson--very cool.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:21 am 
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Awesome post David. I'm going to have to implement that theory because it makes perfect sense.

I always use a mulching mower on my lawn with the theory that I never want to remove plant material from my property - if I have too many clippings to mulch in as I mow they go in the compost bin.

I did not understand the ammonia absorbtion but of course it makes very good sense. I have a few hundred pounds of coffee grounds that I haven't added to the bin yet (full bin, about to put in the veggie garden today since it is FINALLY tomato time). I think I may put the grounds in the spreader and put them over the lawn, then mow, then spray a little molasses today to get that micro mulching effect.

Also, My yard stays very loose and doesn't get compacted - I think it's because the worms are so prolific and eat the grass clippings and the organic ferts I use. ...last spring we had a day when it looked like I had received a good aerating - i had spread cgm and the worms were eating it, the birds were all over the lawn attacking worms and crapping on the lawn... got a free aeration/fertilization in one shot. LOL

The longer I do it, the more fascinated I am to see how all the chemical/mechanical methods are a waste of time because God already figured that out and setup the 'lawn ecosystem' to do everything without much help from us.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:31 pm 
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Joe Scott, I don't know that much about zeolite. If it absorbs ammonia then maybe. I have a spot in my yard where I used zeolite to level a low spot. After 4 years I think it is safe to say you could not tell where that spot was by looking at it.

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