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Pee or Tea?

 
pioneer
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Location: Sierra Nevada Foothills, Zone 8b
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Howdy,

If you had 100+ gallons of (soon to be bio)char and wanted to charge it up for use would you prefer to, a) soak it in urine, b) soak it in actively aerated compost tea, or c) all of the above?

You have my thanks,

Dan

 
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B)  I want active microbial life to set up shop in there more than just nitrogen.

I much prefer to mix mine into compost for a couple weeks or more than the other methods I have read.
 
gardener
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Dan,

I agree with Trace that having the microbes is better than nitrogen alone.  However, since you have both, I would soak with both.

I guess I would go with option “C”

Eric
 
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My best (though admittedly limited) results so far have been with an initial soak in urine, then a few months in an active compost pile. I use a large metal tumbler- because I live in a very active bear corridor- so the compost never gets anaerobic.

Is your compost tea aerated? From what I understand of what I've read and observed, you want aerobic organisms inhabiting your bio-char.
 
gardener
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Some people pee in their compost tea.


I would say that urine will help a great deal with microbes. It may come out sterile but very rapidly supports quite a host of microscopic life.

I think anaerobic compost tea would be fine. The thing about anaerobic tea is that it functions a little differently than many people understand. The bacteria present in it are not the goal. Rather, when compost tea is applied to an aerobic environment the anaerobic bacteria die and support a bloom of aerobic bacteria,  which eat them and the broken down plant nutrients that they've provided
 
Dan Fish
pioneer
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OK thanks for the replies. I have mixed char into my compost pile as well but it isn't the greatest. Lots of bear problems here too so I don't put a lot of "real food" into it. Therefor it's pretty cold and slow. It creates more of an active mulch than anything else.

Really the reason for wanting to do this the liquid way is for two reasons, speed and the ability to create portions a bit at a time. I have a few (thousand) other projects but I want to be able to whip up a batch and treat 100 square feet once a week or something like that.

I also have anerobic juice available that drains from my little worm bin. But anyhow, I think so far I am leaning toward option C.
 
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Both.

Charcoal doesn't become biochar until it becomes a home for microbes, which is why you "charge" it with compost.  You want all those little microbes to move into the hotel you've created for them.  But adding a bit of extra nitrogen doesn't hurt anything.  Be free to pee!  

 
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