Oat flour is an excellent and cost effective fungal food resource. It can be used both as a compost tea ingredient and also as a preactivation substrate for compost. This is a food grade product. As a combined compost tea and preactivation ingredient, pound for pound, out flour has been economical and effective.
Preactivation of compost which has a dominance of bacteria can help to create a higher balance of active fungi. When used as a preactivation substrate, we suggest gently mixing in thee cups of oat flour into a 5 gallon pail of compost. The pail should have numerous 1/2 inch holes drilled into the sides and the bottom to aid in sufficient aeration and gas exchange. Keeping the pail partially covered will help preserve moisture but also allow additional air circulation. Preactivation times can vary based upon compost moisture and temperature, however you should see the growth of fungal mycelium within 7 - 10 days under the right conditions.
As a compost tea ingredient, we suggest adding 4-6 ounces per 50 gallon batch. This substate can be added without risk of clogging application equipment. Oat flour not only serves as a fungal food resource, its a physical attachment point for spores and hyphae. Fungi will feed on the complex carbohydrates and elongate during the compost tea brew cycle. This management practice resulted in an appreciable increase in actively growing fungal hyphae.
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