Last month I posted the “Compost Tea Garden Growth Experiment” and was shocked by the number of emails I got over it with questions, maniacal rantings, and angry comments. I promised the peeps who wrote me that I would answer their questions in a blog post. So here you go -
THE QUESTONS AND ANSWERS ON MANURE TEA -
Question - There is no legitimate proof that compost tea really works, so your claims are ridiculous.
Answer – I am a “Doubting Thomas” and did not believe the manure tea would work. So I was doing the test to prove it wrong as much as to prove it right and was not expecting the final result.
Question – This was not a “scientific study” done in the lab so your results are meaningless.
Answer – You are correct. This was NOT a scientific study. I am an ordinary gardener trying the manure tea in my regular old garden under regular old conditions. I am not a scientist, nor did I make pretenses of being one. This was an experiment. I showed the results – I don’t think they were meaningless. I do wish, however, that several colleges and/or scientific labs would do scientific studies on this as I feel it would be informational for the horticultural and gardening world at large. For the love of gawd – someone do a scientific study. I think it’s a good idea.
Question – Annie Haven is your friend, so you skewed the results to be good for her.
Answer – Yep. Annie Haven, the owner of Haven Brand Manure Tea is my friend. But here’s the deal – when she shipped me her Moo Poo Tea to test, we had a special agreement that I would be totally and 100% honest about the results of the experiment. If her manure tea did not work for me, then I would publish the results. If it did work for me, then I would publish the results. Honesty in the results were all that mattered. I did not skew any results. The results are the results. The end.
Question – Why do this? It takes too much time and I can’t see you doing it with the large garden you have.
Answer – I cannot put manure tea on every plant in my garden, but if I were worried about some special vegetables or other types of plants that needed a little extra “umph”, then I think this might be a solution. This is not for everyone, but would be interesting to try if you are curious about how you might help amend the soil for a plant.
Question – This cannot be true. You obviously watered the manure tea container more than the others.
Answer – I did not water any plant more. I watered them exactly the same. I even measured the water in the container to make sure. When I put the manure tea on the plant, I would also water the other plants with plain water. I watered them all exactly the same.
Question – Hey Shawna Coronado, you piss me off. You tell us there’s supposed to be strengthened roots, but then never even show us the damned roots. What kind of blogger are you?
Answer – To that point, I’m a blogger who’s imperfect. So you can be ticked off all you like; sometimes I forget to show you every detail. With your question in mind I went out and took photos of the plant roots. The photos of the roots are on this post and the container parameters are below.
What was different in each container -
- Container #1 had 1/3 of a Jobes Organic Spike placed in the middle of the container between the plant roots. It was watered once per week.
- Container #2 was watered once per week like the others, however, it was watered with Haven Brand Manure Tea once per week while the others were just given water.
- Container #3 had nothing additional whatsoever given to it and was watered once per week.
Below are close-up photos of the three different root systems up close after the experiment. Judge for yourself.
There you have it the amended results for the story I posted on the “Compost Tea Garden Growth Experiment”. I hope seeing the roots will help you make a better decision about whether you want to try manure tea in your garden. My recommendation is for you to TRY THE TEST and check it out — do the experiment at home yourself. If you try the product in as fair a test as you can create, perhaps you can see if you want to use it again in the future. Meanwhile, I hope some colleges and scientific institutions will also try the test as well and study the results for all of us. Happy Gardening!