June 25, 2019
The City of Portsmouth Department of Public Works has recently purchased a state of the art piece of equipment in efforts to reduce the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. The Parks and Greenery Group is leading this organic land management effort. The machine is a GEOTEA compost tea brewer, and it is used to turn compost into a liquid biological soil amendment, or “liquid compost.” This “compost tea” is then applied to greenspaces, ball fields, trees, and flower beds throughout the City.
The focus of this pilot effort is to improve soil conditions so that plants in City green spaces can thrive. It is a major step for the City in reducing the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. This liquid compost adds biology, or living organisms to the soil which in return improve soil conditions. The results are increased water retention, increased fertility in plants, reduced weed pressure, and reduced compaction in the soil.
The machine holds compost in a large tea bag, which is then inserted into a 250 gallon tank. The compost is then aerated in the water, and organic ingredients are then added into the tank. These organic ingredients are soluble seaweed, humic acid, molasses, and squid or fish hydrolysate. The result is a premium organic liquid compost.
So far, the compost tea has been applied to Alumni Field, Leary Field, and Central Field. It will continue to be applied to all street trees, as well as lawn and garden areas throughout the City.