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Re: Regulation of compost teas


> If you have aerobic conditions, then you have MANY
> species of microorganisms, up to as many as 25,000 unique DNA
> sequences from a gram of compost.
> We use morphological methods as well, and have come up with as many
> as 20,000 unique morphological types of bacteria and fungi
> in a gram of compost as well.

> Plate counts don't even get you close to that, because, as Joel
> Gruver points out, most of the organisms in soil, or compost or
> compost tea can't grow on lab media.

But don't you think that after you leach into water, add molassas, and
aerate for a while you end up with a much simpler community?  Adding a
soluble carbon source in a liquid culture is akin to a lab medium.  I
don't mean to criticize the method, I just think it is simpler than
compost per se, and that plate counts might be a useful GC tool.

> The added foods help to grow some very beneficial species, at least
> species that researchers tout as beneficial.  We see many fluorescent
> pseudomonads which produce the desired growth hormones, bacillus
> species that result in repulsion of many insect pests, nitrogen
> fixing bacterial species...
> But simple occupation of space is critical too.  If there is no space
> for the disease spore to reach the leaf surface, there is much less
> likelihood of disease...
> I hope this helps explain what is going on with 24 hour compost tea

Sounds good!  If you had to guess, which species do you think are most
important in a good compost tea for disease control?  It might be
possible to add small amounts of something, like adjust the pH, SO2,
iron, or a bit of benzakonium chloride, to tip the tea ecology one way
or another.


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