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Author Topic: compost tea ??  (Read 38639 times)

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MikeB

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compost tea ??
« Reply #45 on: Tue May 17, 2005, 09:19:42 PM »
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MikeB

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compost tea ??
« Reply #46 on: Tue May 17, 2005, 09:26:50 PM »
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Offline muddstopper

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compost tea ??
« Reply #47 on: Wed May 18, 2005, 12:15:03 AM »
two-three day germination and emergence. Out standing!!
How long does it usually take Bermuda to emerge?
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MikeB

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compost tea ??
« Reply #48 on: Wed May 18, 2005, 12:26:35 AM »
Fastest that I have seen it was four days and that was in perfect conditions.  I had very cool nights and cloudy cool days for the first day and a half.  
Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think the average is 5-7.  I think that it likes the soup that I put in it.  It better like it, my cost for that load was .08 a sq foot.  Thats pretty pricey, but from what Rick says, I think that its going to be worth it.

soilhumic

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compost tea ??
« Reply #49 on: Wed May 18, 2005, 01:02:20 AM »
For Mudstopper’s question concerning Compost with sand or other nasty ingredients. It is common for bagging companies who put so called compost, soil builder, mushroom compost, lawn soil, etc. to expand the product by adding dirt mixed with regionally available organic matter such as wood waste from the lumber industry.  Another big problem is the huge supply of Dairy Manure piling up all over the country, leading to a toxic waste disposal problem.  Consequently many composting companies are choosing to use this junk to bulk up their compost.  The problems are many with manure based composts, but the one ugly thing I can always find is the salt content is high.  You can’t really see the salt crystals unless the product is really bad, but none the less salt is a problem in Mushroom Compost as well as Compost made with dairy manures.   As for our TTP Supreme Compost made by our company Soil Secrets LLC, all the ingredients are collected from farmers who contract grow the stuff for us and also use our products to restore the soils on their own fields.  That’s a requirement of the contract grow arrangement we have with these farms, plus they must get certified organic.  No Horse or Cow manure is ever used in our compost ingredient list, but there is a small amount of sheep and goat manure plus bedding material that comes from one of our Organic Certified Contract growers.   For additional quality control, our compost ingredients and finished product is not windrowed where it can pick up soil from the site, or collected sand from wind blow.  All our composting is done In-Vessel to keep the aerobic composting action an exact and precise process.  
Soil Secrets products can be purchased via Ewing Irrigation by professionals in the green industry, so I suggest you check with your local office to get product into your area.  Shipping is not that big a deal if you use a large Distributor like Ewing.

Did you like my pictures of real compost and our Cultured Humus?  I'll bet you never seen anything like that before.  

I've attached a photo of some carrots grown in a heavy clay soil in Northern New Mexico at 7,000 feet elevation.  The farm site was treated with our TerraPro humus and Protein Crumblies in the spring and these carrots are proof of how mellow the clay became in just one season.  If you don't already know, growing carrots in clay normally does not work as they need a soft soil to produce a strait root.

Offline Whysod

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compost tea ??
« Reply #50 on: Wed May 18, 2005, 01:10:27 AM »
Too many posts, way too fast....
Quote
Originally posted by muddstopper
two-three day germination and emergence. Out standing!!
How long does it usually take Bermuda to emerge?
I've been using this stuff for 8 months now.  Fastest germination I've ever seen is 4 days, but I've heard a lot of other hydroseeders say as fast as 3 days.

But I drive away from the lawns I plant.  The only real feedback I get is from people who are pissed-off.  Fortunately, that rarely happens any more.  Perhaps the difference is in my hot-dry community I have to use a very thick application of wood mulch.

Too fast germination actually worries me, because I regularly leave seed and mulch in the machine from my last job on Saturday to my first job on Monday.  But I've never had a problem with those jobs.

One thing I can tell you is that this Spring has been down right weird.  It got way too hot in the day for ryegrass to germinate way before it got warm enough to germinate the bermuda family of grasses.

For about 3 weeks night time temperatures were around 57 degrees, and I kept telling customers not to start watering until they were over 63 degrees.  I'd tell them to type in "weather +(their zip code)" in Google to find out if it was time to start watering.

Of course most of them didn't listen and started watering early.  I've had 2 calls from customers who did not "go organic" who did not get much germination.  But I've been doing this a long time.  I go through this every year, so I hedge my bets.  I use a Pound and a half of "hulled" seed, and a pound and a half of "un-hulled" seed on those jobs.  (And that is a lot better than starving through that usually half-a-month when the phone is ringing off the hook.)

So I explain the hulled seed and the un-hulled seed, and tell them the un-hulled seed will simply ignore the wrong temperature.  I'm 2 weeks booked-out.  If they don't want to wait for me to get them back on my schedule, they can start watering again when the night-time temperatures are close to 70 degrees and still have the lawn I promised them.
 
Problem is this year, when I used Organics, way too-much seed germinated way too fast - when everything I know about these kinds of grasses told me it was too cold to germinate.

Fortunately, part of why I get my customers on an every 3rd day watering schedule before the end of the 2nd month is that it forces the lawn to thin itself back to it's normal density.
Rick Hardy, Nature's Way HydroSeeding, Phoenix, AZ.,
Specilizing in residential size lawns since 1992.
300 gal Finn T-30 with 250 gallon Nurse tank.

soilhumic

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Is Soil Restoration Pricey?
« Reply #51 on: Wed May 18, 2005, 01:32:33 AM »
.08 cents a sq. ft. is pricy?  Common on guys, I live in New Mexico, the 2nd poorest state in the country and we have contractors here and in every western state selling plastic grass at $6 to $7 minimum per sq. ft. to middle class homeowners.  These guys are becoming millionaires in just one year putting this cheap stuff down.  And in our high elevation and strong sun, the homeowner is going to be replacing it in a few short years.  It’s just plastic!

Furthermore, I have Hydroseeder clients in New Mexico who are charging $1.30 per sq. ft. and the homeowners are not even blinking.  

The photo I attached is showing a germination and growth test comparing TerraPro to several name brand Mycorrhizal inoculant products, along with organic soil conditioners.  The middle left tray is TerraPro, while the upper left tray is another product I make called BetterGreen,  that is still a Humus Inoculant but does not have the Mycorrhizal material included.  The lower right tray is the control.  All trays were filled with a horrible Saline Alkaline Clay found near my Research Arboretum and all were seeded with the same amount of Fescue seed.  Without some humus or biological inoculant added, the control trays had zero germination.

MikeB

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Re: Is Soil Restoration Pricey?
« Reply #52 on: Wed May 18, 2005, 10:22:37 AM »
Quote
Originally posted by soilhumic
.08 cents a sq. ft. is pricy?  Common on guys, I live in New Mexico, the 2nd poorest state in the country and we have contractors here and in every western state selling plastic grass at $6 to $7 minimum per sq. ft. to middle class homeowners.  These guys are becoming millionaires in just one year putting this cheap stuff down.  And in our high elevation and strong sun, the homeowner is going to be replacing it in a few short years.  It’s just plastic!

Furthermore, I have Hydroseeder clients in New Mexico who are charging $1.30 per sq. ft. and the homeowners are not even blinking.  

 


The going price, for Hydroseeding (without organics) in my local area is 10 cents a sq ft and in Abilene (55 miles west) it is .06 cents.  I might be able to up that to 20 cents and 16 cents respectively when I add organics.  I don't want to start a brouhaha here, but the major problem is that some of the people new to the industry start underbidding everyone else  just to get their foot in the door and get a few jobs.  This drives the price down for everyone.  They shoot a few jobs without having done much research on what it actually takes to grow grass, or for that matter stay in business and the results are usually poor at best.  One bad job in a neighborhood can drastically limit your ability to go in there and sell it at the already reduced price much less tack on another 10 cents for organics.  

I may be wrong here, but I believe that in order for me to sell organics at an extra dime a foot,  I'm going to have to understand more about it than I do right now and be able to explain "in layman's terms" exactly why my price is over twice what everyone else is charging.  Yes, I know that organics are the way to go and not all organic products are the same, but I just haven't figured out how to convince the prospective customer of that fact when we have "The Dirt Doctor" on the radio for 8 hours a week telling people compost is compost and it doesn't matter what goes in it because it all breaks down when it reaches a certain temperature.
Other than the fact that I used it on my lawn and it seems to work, I am still searching for a way to convince the customer that they should buy Terra Pro instead of a bag of the organic product at the local nursery for $5.00 a bag (my wife just bought five bags of it for her flower beds).  Heck, I can't even convince the local nursery owner (a good friend of mine) to try the Soil Secrets products, but he does carry all of Howard Garrett's recommended products.
The info that you and Andy sent to me is great, I just don't know if it will be enough.  I'm sure gonna give it a shot though.
« Last Edit: Wed May 18, 2005, 10:30:09 AM by MikeB »

Offline grassnut

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compost tea ??
« Reply #53 on: Wed May 18, 2005, 12:12:56 PM »
I agree with MikeB.  Maybe Texas is a little different, but in the Houston area, I'm competing with 3 cents/ft.  On numerous occassions, when I give a quote to someone, they just laugh and say "you're out of your mind, so and so will do it for 3 cents a ft. "  I just laugh back and say you get what you pay for.   In any case, I think offering organics would be another great way to seperate myself from the 3 centers.  

Thanks,
Brad

soilhumic

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Selling Organics
« Reply #54 on: Wed May 18, 2005, 12:33:05 PM »
I don't feel that the good Dirt Doctor is all that important as far as the retail home owner customer is concerned.  He has done an outstanding job of raising awareness to the need for Organics in Texas, but not beyond that's states borders.  At one point I was thinking of paying his fee for sponsorship and radio time, but I paid a Texas Company to do a survey of homeowners in the Dallas Fort Worth Metro area and from the survey found that not that many homeowners in the metro area knew who he was.  He has his hard core followers for sure but there are a huge number of potential new customers to doing it right.  Now the way I look at this kind of information is the same as when I ask a homeowner in my town if they have ever heard of my Retail Nursery- Trees That Please.   If they say no, I say great-that's good, because they are a new potential customer to tell my story to.  

Another interesting point to the Organic craze in Texas is that because of the sloppy laws in the Lone Star State concerning Organic products, there is very little efficacy in products there,  or what you can say or preach about them.  That's how misinformation and the lack of accurate information survive in Texas.  For example:  we all know that not all compost is equal in how it well works, so if Howard made that statement, he’s wrong.  We all should know that breathing toxins from molds is not a good idea, but did you know that much of what we do in trying to feed a soil can cause molds and non-beneficial fungus to flourish?  For example, in Texas you hear about putting molasses (liquid or dry) onto the soil to feed the microorganisms - bad idea and its poor science at best.  You are feeding the wrong bacteria and it can cause mold to begin germination in the duff/thatch of the turf.  Likewise, if you put Molasses into your compost tea brewing machine, you will stimulate E. coli and Coliform bacteria to reproduce like crazy along with the many mold species that can live in an aqua’s environment.  Yet, in Texas, these practices and preaching are rampant.  Bad Science and a real bad idea.  I’m nearly finished with a paper concerning the inventory of molds and fungus species, what toxins and conditions stimulate them to grow.  If you want that paper sent to you in a PDF format, let me know by emailing me at soilsecrets@aol.com

Offline muddstopper

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compost tea ??
« Reply #55 on: Wed May 18, 2005, 06:21:44 PM »
Lets step away from hydroseeding a little bit. Suppose you have a lawn that was seeded one or two years ago and you want to improve the soil under it. I realize one could probably use the same products but would the rates and amounts for the applications be the same as for a new lawn seeding? Also, suppose the owner had been using high amounts of fertilizer before the organic treatment is administered. Would the residual fertilizer destroy the microbs and if so, how would one determine if the chemical fert levels where to high for good results from the organics. Could one simply use a soil test to determine if base saturation levels of macro and micro nutrients where above a certain predetermined range for good microbial activity? An I guess the next question is what would that range be.
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MikeB

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compost tea ??
« Reply #56 on: Wed May 18, 2005, 06:29:17 PM »
Wow, talk about seedling vigor.  Here is Paloma Bermuda at four days.  Was cloudy all day today with the high around 80.  I have the sprinklers running 5 times a day, at 6:00 am 9:00 am 12:00 am, 3:00 am and 6:00 pm.  I may have to make some changes tomorrow though, the temps are supposed to be in the low 90's for the next few days.
« Last Edit: Wed May 18, 2005, 06:37:17 PM by MikeB »

Offline muddstopper

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« Reply #57 on: Thu May 19, 2005, 05:44:45 PM »
Mike, all that icky looking stuff between the grass, is that from the organics? It looks like spider webs, sorta.
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MikeB

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compost tea ??
« Reply #58 on: Thu May 19, 2005, 05:50:33 PM »
The sprinklers had just shut of and you are looking at water on the mulch fibers.  It does kinda look like goo doesn't it...lol.

Offline Whysod

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compost tea ??
« Reply #59 on: Thu May 19, 2005, 11:37:53 PM »
Quote
Originally posted by muddstopper
Suppose you have a lawn that was seeded one or two years ago and you want to improve the soil under it. I realize one could probably use the same products but would the rates and amounts for the applications be the same as for a new lawn seeding? Also, suppose the owner had been using high amounts of fertilizer before the organic treatment is administered. Would the residual fertilizer destroy the microbs and if so, how would one determine if the chemical fert levels where to high for good results from the organics. Could one simply use a soil test to determine if base saturation levels of macro and micro nutrients where above a certain predetermined range for good microbial activity? An I guess the next question is what would that range be.
 Too many questions.  All I can tell you is I've inoculated a lot of existing lawns, and the crappier they are before the inoculation, the more drastic the change is after a few weeks.

This would be one heck of a question to ask Michael on my organics forum at http://www.soilsecrets.info
Rick Hardy, Nature's Way HydroSeeding, Phoenix, AZ.,
Specilizing in residential size lawns since 1992.
300 gal Finn T-30 with 250 gallon Nurse tank.

 

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