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View Diary: Introduction to Ecological Gardening Pt. IV: Basic Garden Ecology 3- Layers (55 comments)

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  •  Forgot to say--compost tea is just compost with (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FinchJ, Hoghead99, bronte17

    water percolated through it.  Rainwater from gutters is good because it has bacteria.

    Empathy is going to change the world.

    by Mayfly on Sun Feb 05, 2012 at 03:28:03 PM PST

    •  Compost tea is a little bit of a different beast (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bronte17, Mayfly

      than compost. Instead of the emphasis on adding organic matter populated with microorganisms, as it is in compost; the idea with compost tea is to rapidly breed microorganisms and apply them to the soil/mulch and rhizosphere (root zone) to boost diversity in the soil.

      Rainwater from gutters is a good idea, if you have the proper roofing material. A great debate rages on whether or not one should harvest rainwater from their asphalt shingles. Some newer shingles are made with a fungicide component, which then enters any water. Water from a roof like that spells doom for a garden. Beyond that, the petroleum byproducts from asphalt shingles is another questionable addition to the soil. The effects can be mitigated through the careful use of sand filters, fungi, etc. but remediating water from asphalt can become an expensive proposition quickly.

      However, we would all be well served if folks with the money to spend would begin experiments with different ways to cost effectively clean up said water. It is too bad that we've decided to use such a product to the extent that many many homes just are not viable options for rainwater harvesting, instead, we flush that water down into the watershed with minimal intervention- leading to a whole host of problems.

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