The great compost tea debate



As promised, we are hosting a dialogue between Alaskan garden writer Jeff Lowenfels, the co-author (with Wayne Lewis) of Teaming With Microbes; and horticultural scientist Jeff Gillman, author of The Truth About Garden Remedies. Each expert gives a full statement on the issue of compost tea, with Gillman starting off, Lowenfels replying, and Gillman briefly rebutting.

Also as promised (and thanks to Timber Press), we do have a giveaway of both books, with the two books going to the two wackiest garden remedies used by any of our Garden Rant readers. But we also look forward to your comments on the many fascinating points raised about compost tea by our two experts.

I’ve disabled comments for all but the final post (Jeff G’s rebuttal), so all the comments can be read in the same string. I thought it would be a pain to jump between all four posts to get the comments.

Thanks so much to both Jeff Gillman and Jeff Lowenfels for graciously agreeing to participate in this. Now, let the battle of the Jeffs begin!

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regular radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world, and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at