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Can someone share a compost tea recipe (55 gallons)  RSS feed

 
                                  
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Hi everyone. I'm hoping someone an share a recipe for 55 gallon quantities of tea. I have a commercial sprayer and want to treat all my flower garnens and 2 acres of lawn

Thanks in advance

Buddy
 
Brenda Groth
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soak compost in water..drain water..strain..spray..don't know of any other recipe
 
                        
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For flowers many people use alfalfa tea:

http://www.emmitsburg.net/gardens/recipes/alfalfa.htm
 
Jordan Lowery
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check out

http://www.microbeorganics.com/#Compost_Tea_Recipes
 
                        
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Searching Permies.com I found this:

http://www.permies.com/bb/index.php?topic=1844.0

compost tea maker July 24.
 
                                  
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Thanks all!
 
                                  
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Is it possible to properly clean a 55 gallon container that once held race fuel?
 
Ken Peavey
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I've only made the stuff in 5 gallon batches.  I start with anywhere from a quart to maybe a gallon of leachate from the worm bin or from run of the mill compost.  Add fresh water to a 5 gallon bucket until mostly full.  I add a couple ounces of molasses, corn syrup, honey, or whatever sugar source I have around-gotta feed the microbes.  I also add a carbon source, be it dried up road apples or a couple of alfalfa cubes.  I also add a couple tablespoons of Bt to promote the population in case they are absent in my soil.

The next step is to aerate the tea for a couple days to multiply the microbe population.  Most people will move air into the water.  I had a small water pump available so thats what I used, with the output end of the hose flowing through a screen, back into the bucket.  The screen helped to spread out the water for better air exposure.

Aerobic microbes are the desired result.  You gotta give them what they need:  oxygen, fuel, resources, and if need be, heat.  This is as simple as brewing the tea in the basement.  60 degrees is cool, 85-90 is ideal, 100 is starting to get a little too hot.

How long you brew the tea will have an impact on the microbes in the tea.  There is a progression of dominant lifeforms as the brew ages.  Fungi will be dominant after a day.  After 2-3 days, bacteria of all sorts.  By day 4, paramecium will be dominant.  All stages of tea have a use.  Fungi dominant tea is useful for treating fungi infections such as blight on leaves.  Bacteria treat foliage and service the roots.  Paramecium do the job of soil activity enhancement.

If you are brewing the tea right, the smell should be similar to a streambed, with a slight sweetness to it.  If it smells like ammonia, you dont have anywhere near the air exposure-get a bigger pump.  Air pumps work better than water pumps.  Particulates in the water will tend to clog the pump and the screen, if used.  With an air pump there is nothing to clog.

Using the stuff initially will handle most of the needs of a crop, be it grass, trees, vegetables, ornamentals or what have you.  A single treatment is all you need to establish the bacteria in the soil.  Once established, they will do their own thing, reaching a balance of population dependent on the environment.  After the initial treatment, the stuff is best used primarily as a foliar spray to treat specific problems or to treat transplanted plants that have not been treated.

---
As for the race fuel, most of the product should evaporate.  The challenge is cleaning up the additives, mostly petrochemicals.  A commercial degreaser can go a long way.  Dawn dish detergent cleans all kinds of stuff.  If you will be using this barrel for making tea, wash it down several times, drying completely in between, rinse liberally.


 
                                  
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Outstanding info. Thank you very much!
 
Jordan Lowery
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brewing for a few days is risky without a microscope to check whats actually growing. best to shoot for 18-24 hours. this will give you a full array of microbes for the best nutrient cycling and disease resistant properties. most of the time after a day the tea starts to become a monoculture( mostly ciliates), defeating the purpose of making the tea in the first place.
 
                                  
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Should the tea be in direct sun or shade?
 
Ken Peavey
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I've made it in the shade-thats where the outlet is for the pump.  I've seen it done in full sun.

The objective is to multiply a microbe population.  UV radiation from the sun would not help you.  Being the tea is in constant motion, I don't see UV as being a problem.  I think the sunlight would also promote algae growth.  If you are pumping water rather than air, this algae would pose the problem of clogging the pump.

I suggest you try a batch in the sun and a batch in the shade, compare the results.  I would be interested in hearing your report.
 
                                  
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Ken Peavey wrote:
I've made it in the shade-thats where the outlet is for the pump.  I've seen it done in full sun.

The objective is to multiply a microbe population.  UV radiation from the sun would not help you.  Being the tea is in constant motion, I don't see UV as being a problem.  I think the sunlight would also promote algae growth.  If you are pumping water rather than air, this algae would pose the problem of clogging the pump.

I suggest you try a batch in the sun and a batch in the shade, compare the results.  I would be interested in hearing your report.


What do you mean by this? I have both a submersible water pump and an air pump. I plan to use the sub to pump the water out into my 55 gallong commercial sprayer and the air pump to aerate the tea. Are you  suggesting I can stir t he water with the sub and achieve the same result as using the air pump?
 
Ken Peavey
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I've used a submersible water pump to move the water through a screen above the water level where it spreads out to be exposed to air as it trickles back into the bucket.  That screen, as well as the filter on the pump, would be subject to clogging by algae if the tea was produced in full sunlight.

The air pump is the better method for circulating and aerating the tea.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Reading the recipe in the OP, it struck me that if you have a fish tank/pond, feed the fish (with manure and the other ingredients in the manure tea), then pump some of the water out to water your plants, and let the surplus water drop back into the fish tank/pond (an aquaponics setup, more or less), wouldn't that be accomplishing the same thing, only adding a little more complexity -- and another food item -- to the cycle?

Kathleen
 
                        
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I live in an area of commercial catfish ponds.  There was a guy who had a set up to do what
you are suggesting Kathleen.  Apparently local pond owners were incensed at this idea and finally the guy moved away.  I don't know the particulars.  But the person (pond owner) who told me about this said it was a great idea and the guy had worked it out well.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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It's something that I really want to try.  I've got the pond liner for a small pond (middle-aged lady with a bad back can't dig too big of a hole in our heavy clay soil!) and the frame for a small, 10'X20' greenhouse.  But I've got so many things to do right now that I'm not sure how long it will take to get to this project!

Kathleen
 
                        
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Sounds like a good winter project (this from an old lady with a previously bad back).  I found just about the best thing in the world for a bad back (lower lumbar) is to get a shovel and dig some holes.  If done correctly with a straight back and springy knees digging as a sustained exercise will fix a bad back.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Actually, I'm taking a glucosamine/chodroitin tablet twice a day, and so far haven't had any back problems for a few weeks, in spite of being out there digging and putting in fence posts.  I'm hoping to keep it that way!  In any case, I've got to finish the fence, build a new chicken coop and a new buck (goat) pen, and get the garden in before I can start on the aquaponics project.

Kathleen
 
                                  
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Am I fooling myself into thinking CT will be enough for my lawn on its own? Should I suppliment with a good protien based fertilizer like ringers?
 
                    
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Aerated compost tea (made with finished compost) is a good foliar feed for all kinds of plants - I've no experience with what it does to a lawn but I can't imagine it would hurt it.  Might not help it that much either though, unless it's sickly.... 

It coats leaves with a film of beneficial microbes and in my opinion this is the biggest plus to spraying it around.  It's most useful in preventing mold and other leafy diseases, but apparently plants absorb nutrients at least as much through their leaves as their roots.  I think that's what David Jacke says about it anyway. 

We use an air pump with an "air stone" at the bottom of a 55 gallon barrel.  The stone thingy makes a bunch of super tiny bubbles.  Too early to tell if it's helping....powdery mildew can be a real problem here towards the end of the summer.

I don't think aerated tea alone could replace normal fertilizing.  But I hear the Bullock Brs Farm has amazing results with its regular use! (I doubt that CT is their only fertility regimen, though)

I've never heard of aerating the plant based teas - say comfrey or nettle.  Anyone tried this?  Would it not have the same results as the basic "chop and brew in some water" method? 
 
                                  
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CT has or produces an NPK reaction in the soil, no?
 
Ken Peavey
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I've found very little information or studies concerning compost tea.  It is an unexplored area, and deserving of study.  Most information I find is a report of the results of using the stuff: qualitative analysis.  How and why tea works, quantitative analysis, is a new frontier.

Answering specific questions is made difficult because of an inherent lack of understanding of the processes involved.  NPK reaction?  Hard to say as every batch of tea is different.  I think the tea contains very little as far as crop nutrients, being mostly water.  I think the way the microbes in the tea interact with the plant and the soil has a lot to do with it.  Then there are the byproducts of the microbes to consider.  Humic acid, found in worm castings, is said to be a natural plant growth stimulant.  Do the microbes in casting tea produce the stuff in the tea or does the population boost when applied to the soil produce it, or is there something else going on?

Agricultural research may study the stuff one day and conclude that a particular microbe or enzyme produces a particular result.  I think the particulars are less important than the way the ecology of the system is enhanced.  Everything works together to produce a good crop.  Air, sun, soil, microbes-its a complex arrangement.  Compost tea adds to the complexity of the soil.  It is that complexity which promotes health and vigor.
 
                                  
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well then, I guess I'm the guinea pig. I'll sick to it this year and report my observations to the board....
 
Jason Long
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Location: Davie, Fl
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It has been a year buddy110; whats the results ??

How long can you store compost tea for? Does it need to be used right away or can it be stored for a certain period of time?

Jason
 
                            
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i know great recipe for high demanding vegetables (pepper or oubergenes for example) but is litle bit nasty... take chicken shit and mix with water, and water plants after few days.
 
John Saltveit
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Aerated compost tea really works!  I've done it for years and it kills diseases.  Check out this Yahoo group:
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/compost_tea/messages
John S
PDX OR
 
George Lee
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Worm Tea Recipe

Most people use a five gallon bucket for brewing worm castings tea,I will base the recipe on this.

First you need a five gallon bucket filled with non-chlorinated water. If using tap water from a local municipality,simply place the bucket out in the sun for a day to rid the water of chlorine,fluoride…

Next it is best to use a two line aquarium pump however a single line will also work. Air stones of 4” to 6” in length work best.

While not necessary I do recommend an aquarium heater to heat your water prior and during the brewing process to approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The reason for this is that many of the beneficial microbes do very well at this temperature. If the water is too cool,it will kill off a variety of beneficial microbes,hence not giving your plants the full potential of a high quality worm tea.

Ingredients:

1 Pound – Worm Castings (vermicast)

1 – Strainer Bag (either reusable or paint strainer…)

2 – Tablespoons of Un-sulfured Molasses (good food for exponential growth of beneficial bacteria)

1 –Tablespoon of Liquid Kelp or Seaweed (good for beneficial fungi growth)

Worm castings and hence what you want in your worm tea contain both beneficial fungi and bacteria. The Un-sulfured Molasses will support and feed the bacteria which will explode in numbers exponentially. However the Molasses is not a good food source for the fungi,hence why the liquid kelp or seaweed is added. The fungi will not reproduce while brewing,however will help to maintain a healthy population as well as grow them in size.

First step which will make the entire process much easier is to mix all your ingredients with the exception of the worm castings prior to even hooking up the air pump. The reason for this is that the air hoses,stones and bag of worm castings will get in the way as you thoroughly mix the rest of the ingredients.

Once thoroughly mixed,add your air stones to the bottom of the bucket and start the pump.

Next add your worm castings or vermicast to the strainer bag. We prefer a reusable bag which is available from Organic Worm Farm since it allows you to draw the strings up and tie off to the metal handle on the five gallon bucket to enable the bag to float while the air bubbles come up under the bag.

It is actually a good idea to loosely place a lid on the five gallon bucket just to help with splashing from the air bubbles rising to the surface.

Allow your worm tea to brew 48 hours at which time you should have a nice froth on top. Should you decide to brew it longer additional food will be required to feed the beneficial microbes after the initial two days.

Do not dilute the worm tea when watering your plants. Diluting will only cut back on the ratio of microbes in the water you just generated. You can apply the worm tea directly to the leaves of the plants since the plants can also absorb the nutrients directly through the leaves. Just be sure when applying to the leaves that you do it early in the morning or early evening when the plants are not exposed to direct sunlight.

Try it out. Peace -
 
Ben Zumeta
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My base is 55g of duck pond (kiddie pool) water (changed every 2 days usually).  I'd keep muscovy ducks for this reason alone, but the eggs and meat are great too.
Then I add molasses (1tbsp/gal wet or 1/2tsp oer gal dried) and this alone would be good balanced tea. I also add, as available, a handful of weeds like dandelions and comfrey, over ripe fruit, kelp, sea weed, chicken/turkey bedding (straw), river sand (also from bird run). Aerate well in the shade if you can and you will have a robust tea that I can apply straight for fertilizer or dilute up to 10/1 for more of an inoculant. The vigor plants and flavor of my produce seem to indicate it works very well.
 
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