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Compost Tea, Powdery Mildew and Pumpkins. Data researched Field Trail conducted Conclusions presented here *Research was entirely self-funded. By: Matthew DeBacco. http://www.hr.uconn.edu/signa2.gif. Compost Tea Research. The following publications were used as a starting point...

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compost tea powdery mildew and pumpkins
Compost Tea,Powdery Mildew and Pumpkins
  • Data researched
  • Field Trail conducted
  • Conclusions presented here

*Research was entirely self-funded.

By: Matthew DeBacco

http://www.hr.uconn.edu/signa2.gif

compost tea research
Compost Tea Research

The following publications

were used as a starting point...

Compost Tea Study

  • Scheuerell, S.J. and Mahaffee, W.F. 2006. Variability associated with suppression of gray mold (Botrytis cinerea) on geranium by foliar applications of nonaerated compost teas. Plant Dis. 90:1201-1208

Shows the effect of milk on Powdery Mildew

  • Ferrandino, F.J. and Smith, V.L. 2006. The effect of milk-based foliar sprays on yield components of field pumpkins with powdery mildew. Crop Protection Vol. 26 Issue 4 pg. 657-663

Photo taken by Matthew DeBacco

compost tea research1
Compost Tea Research

More sources of background info.

3 year Compost Tea Study

  • Hepperly, P.R. et al. 2007. Compost Tea for Disease management in Horticultural Crops. Northeast SARE Research and Education Grant.

Plant-Microbe Interactions

  • Ramey, B.E. et al. 2004. Biofilm formation in plant-microbe associations. Current Opinion in Microbiology 7:602-609

Milk and Powdery Mildew

  • Bettiol, W.; Astiarraga, B.D.; Luiz, A.J.B. Efectiveness of cow's milk against zucchini squash powdery mildew (Sphaerotheca fuliginea) in greenhouse conditions. Crop Protection, Guildford, v.18, n.8, p.489-492, 1999.

Photo taken by Matthew DeBacco

consistency is key
Consistency is Key
  • Make sure at the beginning of the season there are enough materials to last for the entire growing season.
  • The first brew should be as close as possible in biological make-up to the last brew.
components to the tea materials
Components to the Tea:Materials
  • Water (dechlorinated)‏
  • Quality compost
  • Food for the microbes
  • Brewers used
water
Water
  • Make sure to dechlorinate it!!

Photo taken by Matthew DeBacco

quality compost
Quality Compost
  • Make sure you select a good source.
  • Yard waste can be inconsistent.

Suggested Sources:

  • Alaskan Humus
  • Worm Castings

Photo taken by Matthew DeBacco

food for microbes
Food for Microbes
  • Wide variety of food = wide variety of microbes
two types of brewers were used
Actively Aerated

(ex. Keep-It-Simple)‏

Two types of brewers were used
  • Passively Aerated (ex. SoilSoup)‏

http://www.simplici-tea.com/images/brewer_5gal.jpg

http://www.renegadegardener.com/images/1031awardproduct.jpg

types of aeration
Actively Aerated

(Adding air to the water)‏

Types of Aeration
  • Passively Aerated

(Stirring the water)‏

specifics water
Specifics:Water
  • My town does not add chloramine to the water, only chlorine.
  • So, the water was allowed to sit overnight and/or aerated prior to brewing to remove chlorine.

Photo taken by Matthew DeBacco

quality compost1
Quality Compost
  • Alaskan Humus or Worm Castings suggested
  • I decided to do a 50/50 mix of the above.

Photos taken by Matthew DeBacco

tea bags
Tea Bags
  • Alaskan Humus / Worm Casting mix was added to a 1 gal. nylon paint strainer and secured shut with an elastic band.

Photo taken by Matthew DeBacco

food for the microbes
Food for the Microbes
  • Since I wanted a wide variety of microbes, I selected a variety of food.
  • SoilSoup Nutrient Solution
  • Joel Holland's Kelp
  • Organic Gem Fish Emulsion
  • TurfPro
methods
Methods
  • Experiment layout
  • Recipe
  • Length of brews
  • Timing of applications
  • How the brews were applied
  • The way the data was collected
experiment layout
Experiment layout

5 Treatment Groups

1. Control, no treatment

2. Compost Tea (active) and 40% milk

3. Compost Tea (active) and Serenade MAX + 40% milk

4.Compost Tea (passive) and 40% milk

5. Chemical control (fungicide)‏

why 40 milk
Why 40% milk?

Photo taken by Matthew DeBacco

BETTIOL, W.; ASTIARRAGA, B.D.; LUIZ, A.J.B. Efectiveness of cow's milk against zucchini squash powdery mildew (Sphaerotheca fuliginea) in greenhouse conditions. Crop Protection, Guildford, v.18, n.8, p.489-492, 1999.

standard compost tea recipe
Standard Compost Tea Recipe

Actively and Passively Aerated Brews

  • Compost:

0.8 oz. per gallon Alaskan Humus

0.8 oz. per gallon Worm Castings

  • Nutrients:

1oz. per gallon SoilSoup Nutrient solution

0.5 tsp per gallon Organic Gem Fish

0.5 tsp per gallon Joel Holland Kelp

0.5 tsp per gallon TurfPro

bacteria recipe bacillus subtilis qst 713 strain
Bacteria RecipeBacillus subtilis (QST 713 strain)

Bacteria Brew

  • Serenade MAX 0.5 tsp per gallon
  • SoilSoup Nutrient Solution 1 oz. per gallon
  • To the finished (12-14 hr.) actively aerated bacteria brew, milk was added and applied on the milk schedule.

http://www.agraquest.com/images/logo_serenadeMAX.jpg

http://www.acmewormfarm.com/Acmepix/nutrientSolution.jpg

special application
Special application
  • Since Powdery Mildew was the focus of this study, 2.6 cups of powdered milk was added per gallon (to give a 40% solution) and applied separately once a week.
  • NOT the same day of a compost tea treatment
  • *Think of it as*...

Monday: applying Compost Tea

and

Friday: applying Milk Treatment

same recipe was used for both methods of brewers
Same recipe was used for both methods of brewers

Only variations...

  • Method of aeration
  • Brew time

-Passive aeration: 20-24 hours

-Active aeration: 12-14 hours

fungicide control
Fungicide Control
  • Daconil (a.i. Chlorothalonil) was used on a 7-10 day spray schedule.

Photo taken by Matthew DeBacco

timing of applications
Timing of applications
  • Compost Tea treatments were applied every 7-10 days and were timed to be after a rain, if possible.
  • Milk treatments were also on a separate 7-10 day schedule.
  • All were applied before sunrise or after sunset to prevent phytotoxicity and increase microbe survival rates.

Photo taken by Matthew DeBacco

how brews were applied
How Brews were applied
  • A regular, hand powered back-pack sprayer was used. This allowed for pin-point accuracy.
  • Different sprayers were used for each treatment to prevent cross contamination.
  • All equipment used was rinsed out after every use. (Includes brewers and sprayers)‏

Photo taken by Lucy DeBacco

how the data was collected
How the data was collected
  • Basic in-field notes and observations were documented.
  • Since the Powdery Mildew severity was based on visual observations, I had someone who did not know about my study compare their independent scorings with mine, and they almost directly correlated.
  • This indicates my numbers are a fair assessment and valid for comparison.
observed field results
Observed Field Results
  • The following is the side by side comparison between a no treatment, control (on the left) and a plant that only received actively aerated Compost Tea and 40% milk treatments (on the right).
  • The following pictures were taken around the middle of August 2007.
different angle
Different Angle
  • Notice the top two leaves are the control and the bottom 7 leaves are part of the Compost Tea and milk treatment group.

Photo taken by Matthew DeBacco

slide32
Difference

is easily

noticeable in

mid Sept.

2007

Photo taken by Matthew DeBacco

hindsight is always 20 20
Hindsight is always 20/20
  • If you look at the last picture, you will notice both leaves have Downy Mildew at this point.
  • It looks like small oily spots that can appear to be yellow in coloration.
  • While I did not notice Downy Mildew at the time of the picture, I did once the symptoms became more severe. I then threw out my last data set, so the following numbers were not slighted.
basic summary
Basic Summary
  • Actively aerated compost tea suppressed powdery mildew better than passively aerated.
  • Adding a bacteria brew did not increase the ability to suppress disease.
  • Fungicide treatment was still the most effective method.
  • All plants became infected with Downy Mildew late in the season.
suggestions for future research
Suggestions for future research
  • The addition of adjutants can increase the effectiveness of Compost Tea based on...

Scheuerell, S.J. and Mahaffee, W.F. 2006. Variability associated with suppression of gray mold (Botrytis cinerea) on geranium by foliar applications of nonaerated compost teas. Plant Dis. 90:1201-1208

  • I would suggest ThermX-70 Yucca extract at a rate of 0.2 tsp per gallon.
thank you
Thank you
  • I hope that this provides some science to Compost Tea's use on Atlantic Giants.
  • I would be interested in hearing any comments and suggestions you have, since I plan on continuing this research.
  • By: Matthew DeBacco

http://www.das.state.ct.us/Digest/Digest_2005/University%20of%20Connecticut_files/image002.jpg