TRUE FERTILITY REVISION DAY – DR. Elaine Ingham ( time approx 6 hours)
“Revision Day 2008” has past attendees sharing, questioning and deepening their knowledge from practical experiences learnt since applying the skills from previous attendance in past years at the “True Fertility Workshop – Combining Soil Biology, Chemistry and Structure”. It was a great opportunity to get in depth answers on the spot from Elaine. This day was a first and at the end it was voted a winner! So it is back again
True Fertility Compost & Compost Tea
CHAPTER 1 Compost Tea & Extracts
Can I get compost teas done in 8 hours?
If you are applying it to a soil as a drench to feed the soil biology you can use a compost extract which will only take 30 minutes.
If you are making a compost tea you need a minimum of 18 hours to grow the organisms.
How to make a compost extract.
Is there a minimum temperature for the water when brewing?
Wouldn’t advise freezing water but if colder it will be slower
How to monitor the brew.
Just use a microscope to keep a check on your organisms and their diversity. Water quality is also very important.
What food do you add to a brew?
Why fish? Why kelp? How much in a 20L brew?
What to test if your brew isn’t right?
The benefits of a simple brewer
CHAPTER 2 The Type of Brewer & Water Quality
Will cleaning the brewer using a stocking, vinegar and caustic soda cause problems for the next brew?
Does the pH of the water select for fungi or bacteria?
What should you consider when using dam water?
How to deal with varying water quality, particularly town water with chlorine?
Is there any sequence of adding the foods to your tea?
Read the labels and neutralise any preservatives in the nutrient eg fish or humic acid.
Make sure your molasses does not contain sulphate.
Why you should store your foods in a cool place.
Where does e-coli come from?
Is in-vessel composting a good system?
CHAPTER 3 Composting
The importance of temperature being maintained at 55 degrees C
How uniform does the temperature have to be in the whole pile?
How good is the result from using a front end loader?
Backyard Composting as seen in “How to make organic compost” Film
How hot is the compost pile?
Can you compost toxic materials?
CHAPTER 4 The Use of Herbicides & How To Increase Fungi
What is the impact of herbicides on micro organisms?
Find out how the herbicide affects the micro organisms.eg Glyphosate, dieldrin have different affects.
How would you buffer amine etc?
How do you get rid of cape weed, bindi etc. biologically?
Maintain the right biology for the species that you want to grow.
Does clover cause bloat in dairy cows?
Alfalfa is known to cause bloat. Is it still a problem with organic farming?
Compost/ compost teas increase protein content by up to 60%
To grow the best lucerne you need rhizobium, a bacterium which requires the fungi and you will also add VAM spores.
How do add VAM to plants that are already growing?
Do mychorizal fungi spread from one plant to another?
Do perennial plants maintain the mychorizal fungi?
Results show that planting into a dormant pasture show a better response than planting into a ploughed paddock that has been sprayed
CHAPTER 1 What is essential when starting out?
A walk using your eyeballs!
Isn’t moisture important?
2. Good compost Tony Evans, Camperdown Compost and others – ask
3. Make your own compost.
A good thermometer, shovel/pitchfork
Collect or grow materials – high nitrogen, green and woody
4. A brewer or extractor
An air pump, a container, a sprayer
Note: Nozzle size
5. A spreader/sprayer
Can you put herbicide into the compost tea?
Check your spray equipment for possible damage to the micro organisms.
How long will the compost last in dry conditions?
CHAPTER 2 What is the difference between compost tea and compost extract?
How do you select against weed seeds?
What do you use to spread the compost?
On broad acre can you compost in place with green manure?
Will the soil biology survive IF it gets dry?
Do we have to worry about carbon/nitrogen ratios?
CHAPTER 3 Discussion of Crops and Soil Biology
Is there an optimum time to cut the crops?
If you spray a tea or put an extract on a straw mulch is that going to work?
How specific can you get with getting the right biology?
Is there any data on bacterial/fungal ratio for plants?
If you want to change the crops planted each year, how do you change the biology?
Why rotate? Is it necessary? Is it detrimental to rotate?
How do you use compost on broad acre?
To get more fungal growth add fish hydrolysate or humic acid. Leonardite also can be used.
How do you establish trees in grassland?
CHAPTER 4 What is VAM?
What is ectomycorrhizal fungi?
What is ericoid mycorrhizal fungi?
Mycorrhizal fungi do NOT survive composting. To colonise them put them next to the plant.
How do you get a compost tea into the soil?
Is there a substitute for fish hydrolysate?
How does pine oil used as a herbicide in the soil effect the microbes?
What difference does the different animal manure make to the soil microbes?
How do you culture nematodes?
What conditions does kikuyu like?
Reports from students of the course.