Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can Compost Teas Help Flowers Battle Blight?

Date:
May 25, 2005
Source:
USDA / Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Flowers and saplings may find tea refreshing. Compost tea, that is. These teas are made from compost "brewed" for at least 24 hours with all-natural ingredients that boost growth of beneficial microbes living in the compost.

Pink azaleas.
Credit: Image courtesy of USDA / Agricultural Research Service

Flowers and saplings may find tea refreshing.

Compost tea, that is.

These teas are made from compost "brewed" for at least 24 hours with all-natural ingredients that boost growth of beneficial microbes living in the compost. Compost teas may prove helpful in protecting wholesale and retail nursery plants like rhododendrons, azaleas, viburnums and oak saplings from what's known as ramorum blight, also called ramorum die-back or sudden oak death. That's according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) plant pathologist Robert G. Linderman at Corvallis, Ore.

The funguslike organism, Phytophthora ramorum, which causes these diseases, has been found in at least 20 states. To prevent spread of P. ramorum, more than one-half million otherwise-ready-to-sell plants have had to be destroyed.

Some organic growers and home gardeners already apply compost teas by either spraying them on foliage or drenching plant roots. And although reputed to enhance plant growth and fend off disease, compost teas have not yet been widely investigated by scientists. So Linderman and co-investigators are studying compost teas as one of several materials that might provide an effective, affordable, Earth-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides for controlling P. ramorum.

In a preliminary experiment at the Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory, where Linderman is based, he and colleagues treated rhododendron leaves indoors with a helpful bacterium, Paenibacillus polymyxa, taken from compost. The researchers then inoculated the leaves with the ramorum organism. The scientists found that P. polymyxa did not protect the foliage, but they plan to test it again--and other potentially protective microbes--using slightly different procedures.

Discoveries by ARS scientists at Corvallis and their colleagues at other ARS labs on both coasts will be of benefit not only to the horticultural crops industry--the fastest growing sector of American agriculture--but also to home gardeners, who have made this pastime America's favorite hobby.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA / Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA / Agricultural Research Service. "Can Compost Teas Help Flowers Battle Blight?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050524230252.htm>.
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. (2005, May 25). Can Compost Teas Help Flowers Battle Blight?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050524230252.htm
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. "Can Compost Teas Help Flowers Battle Blight?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050524230252.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins