I’ve been asked by Urban Farm Magazine to write a short piece on the pros and cons of aerated compost tea (ACT for short). I’ve been sifting through the peer reviewed literature on the subject. Most of the studies show, at best, mixed results. And, honestly, my bias is against gardening techniques that require gadgets or novel techniques with no analog in nature. I’ve also tried it myself and found that a thick mulch of plain compost seems to work better.
That being said, I want to present a balanced story. I’m interested in hearing from readers about their ACT experiences. Have you tried it? Do you think it works? Or are you skeptical? Leave a comment or send me an email with your name, where you live and whether ACT did or did not work for you. I’d like to gather some anecdotal reports for the story and your help is greatly appreciated.
For those of you not familiar with ACT, here’s a good explanation with some resources via Permaculture Magazine: What is compost tea (and how do you make it)?
On the con side of ACT, horticulturalist Linda Chalker-Scott has a set of pdfs as well as a long list of ACT studies on her gardening myths page.