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Does Compost Tea Work? A View From the Post

Adrian Higgins, the gardening writer for the Washington Post, has been a good friend to SafeLawns in the past four years — including this rather epic front-page article back in 2007: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/19/AR2007091900472.html.

In today’s Post, Adrian, a devout organic gardener himself, tackles the age-old question of whether or not compost tea works:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/13/AR2010041303646.html. It’s a subject matter we’ve tackled many times here in this blog: http://www.safelawns.org/blog/index.php/2010/02/compost-tea-does-it-work-or-not/.

I think Adrian’s article really sums up things nicely in that sometimes compost tea is oversold for its disease control properties — especially if the disease is already present — but tea almost always leads to more robust plants.

The timing of the Post article was interesting for me only in that I had been talking about the efficacy of compost tea with some representatives of Gardens Alive earlier in the day. They find it difficult to justify promoting compost tea in their catalogue when so many universities and other sources still denounce the benefits. Nevertheless, the company has introduced a vermicompost-based soil enhancer: http://www.gardensalive.com/product.asp?pn=3741. They’re going to send me some samples and I’ll report back to you on how it works later on this season.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

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