Originally published by: Farmsweekly
Author: Pieter Dempsey
When we walk across a land, we are unaware that the soil beneath our feet is teeming with life. It is difficult to quantify the tonnage of organisms present but it can run into 6t/ha or more.
If you were to see the equivalent weight in livestock, you would certainly be aware of it: it’s more than 100 sheep or a dozen cows! But soil life, of course, is invisible from above ground.
Just as livestock has to be fed in order to survive and reproduce, so do these organisms. Some people make compost tea by feeding products such as diluted molasses to soil organisms in compost in an aerated container.
This increases their numbers and the mixture is then applied to the soil. But the actual weight of organisms produced in this manner is negligible compared with what’s already in the soil.
Moreover, compost tea can contain harmful organisms, something I’ve seen on a number of occasions.