Archive | November, 2012

Compost tea at work—-it’s really just basic physics

1 Nov

Here’s an experience of myself, then a college student, going to Tian’anmen Square to watch the national flag ceremony on National Day. We needed to take subway, along with hundreds of thousands of students in Beijing. Every ride that passed by was squeezed with students like sardines. We couldn’t get in. When we did get in, we were the sardines, squeezed, with no possible body movement except eyeballs and lips.

It was basic physics—-there was just not enough space!

Fast forward to the Friday before, my Nursery Production and Management class visited the Antique Rose Emporium at Brenham, TX. Not only were we impressed by the over 400 rose cultivars, we spent a lot of time asking about their compost tea used in rose production. In their operation, three different commercially available composts and their ‘home-made’ compost on site are blended together—-with molasses added, I think—-and then brewed in the container, aerated, for 24 hours. The ‘tea’ is then diluted to about 10 times and sprayed on roses, which significantly reduce their fungicide application. As the manager explained to us, the compost tea application is basically ‘occupying’ the foliage surface with beneficial or non-pathogenic fungi so that the bad ones don’t have a place to live or will be out-competed.

It’s just basic physics! How simple and money-saving! And so environmentally friendly.