Compost Tea & Fungi

peter_6May 14, 2008

Does brewing aerated compost tea increase the populations of fungi, or reduce them, or have no effect? I recognize that aerated brewing increases the populations of bacteria substantially, but they reproduce much faster than fungi, so I wonder. Does anyone have a good biolgical basis for beliving that compost tea hs any effect on soil fungal populations? Regards, Peter.

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

This article, written by Dr, Elaine Ingham the major proponent of Compost Tea Should answer all you questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Compost Tea

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 7:20AM
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peter_6

kimmsr: thank you very much for the link. But I couldn't see where Dr. Ingham answers the question I asked about fungi in compost tea. Perhaps you could refer me to the appropriate paragraph in the article. Regards, Peter.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 5:29PM
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rdak(z5MI)

Here's a pretty in-depth post on compost tea:

http://www.soilfoodweb.com/03_about_us/approach_pgs/c_01_understand_why.html

Good luck!!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 11:15AM
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peter_6

rdak: thank you for the link. Dr. Ingham makes a good point about ensuring that the compost you put into your tea-maker should have high fungal content if you want the pathogen-supressive effect. But I didn't catch that she said, here or in her articles in Acres USA, that aerated brewing would or would not increase the fungal content of the tea, as it does the bacterial content. My suspicion is that if you brew for 2 or 3 days, as I do, there isn't enough time for fungi to proliferate. Does anyone know anything on this (admitedly limited) issue. Regards, Peter.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 12:39PM
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rdak(z5MI)

Peter, alot of people mix some baby oatmeal with their compost first, wet it down and in a couple to a few days they start having fungal growth.

They then brew that "enhanced" compost to multiply the fungi.

Here's a little article giving some fungal food sources:

http://www.ecostudies.org/compost_tea.pdf

You can also go to Yahoo's Compost Tea Group where there is ALOT of info. on compost tea.

I use brewer's malt (crushed to a powder) to help the fungi grow and, if you have some old wood chips with the white fungi growing on it you can add that to the water to grow some good fungi.

Anyway, there is alot of reading at the Yahoo group I mentioned above that should help you. I've never used the baby oatmeal method but alot of people swear by it.

You are wrong IMHO when it comes to brewing some fungi. I think 2-3 days is fine. Maybe overkill? Remember, you just want to innoculate the soil and leaves with some fungi. Fungi will grow further after that IMHO.

Everytime you put a wood mulch around a tree, for example, there will be good fungi growing in that area in the not too distant future. Just give it time IMHO.

I realize fungi is more difficult to grow in a brew but all you want to do is innoculate the soil and plants with a little good fungi and it will grow further from that point on IMHO.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 1:39AM
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rdak(z5MI)

Peter: I made a typo error.

I use brewer's malt (i.e., barley malt) as a food source for bacteria and the wood chips with white fungi growing on it for a fungal source.

Sorry for the typo!!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 1:56AM
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peter_6

rdak: thanks. I also use the oatmeal trick (oatmeal bran in my case) to increase pre-brew fungi, and cat food too. I just wondered whether brewing makes them proliferate. Regards, Peter.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 12:28PM
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