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RE: Bringing the soil back to life with microbes: You've got to see this!! Desert to diversity in one season.

This is an awesome post! You and I have a lot alike gardening wise. I also use organic certified cotton burr compost, mycorrhizal fungi & worm casting. It's really cool to read someone else having the same experience with the things I am using. It's great you wrote so much about mycorrhizal fungi! We can't see them yet they are so important. Do you see more of a benefit in using worm tea than just using worm casting? I am too lazy to brew worm tea, so I have not use the casting that way yet.

I love the Arugula flowers. They are so unique. I would grow them just for the flowers. It's a good idea to save the seed of that Red Russian kale. You might have something there. You have a market garden. How cool is that! Can't believe I am just seeing your post for the first time. I am following you now!


Nice! That is really cool. I definitely do see a difference with the tea. So my understanding is this: There is a microbial colony of about 100 different bacteria and fungi in the castings. You can take about 1 pound of the castings, and mix it with 55 gallons of warmish water, then keep it aerated and wait about 6 hours. The microbes will all reproduce and then peak population. You can also add alfalfa meal or sugar or something like that if you want to aid in that process. That will help the bacteria reproduce, not totally sure about the fungi. It's complicated science and I'm not a scientist! Anyway. Spray your soil with this mix, and then keep the soil moist like you would for a seed bed for a couple days. These bacteria and fungi will continue to reproduce, until they create a healthy, highly diversified colony throughout your soil. 55 gallons will do a pretty large area. Maybe about a quarter acre. Also the soil needs to be moist to start so the microbes stay in place. They will form symbiotic relationships in the root zone and even into the foliage, and they also create a highly competitive environment that makes it harder for pathogenic fungi and bacteria to take hold. I find it so amazing how all this works. You don't need many castings because they are essentially just a host for your original microbial colony. I would recommend the book "Teeming with Microbes" and also looking up lectures by David C. Johnson, Ph. D. and the Johnson Su Bioreactor on youtube to learn more about this process. Thanks for the in-depth response! I'm glad we found each other on here....

This is great info. I brew cotton burr compost tea sometimes, so sounds like worm tea has the same procedure. I do add black strap molasses to the tea while it is being aerated. I love reading about microbes. Have not heard of the book or the names you mentioned. I will look them up. Thanks!