I'm fired up to brew some compost extract but am currently balking at the logistics of getting it out into my 400m2 garden (30m long permanent rows, paths mulched with woodchips, drip irrigated with pressure water). Also I'm not sure of how much to brew up. I have access to worm castings, some good compost and soon my own compost (I'm trying the Quick Return method while I get my biodynamic applications brewed up)
I don't want to have to move the barrel from the power point to the garden when its full. There is no power at the garden but a mains water line, about a third along the long side of the rectangle.
I have a small sprayer/mixer holding perhaps 500ml that attaches to the hose. I also have a fan sprayer which might work with gravity fed water from a barrel. I have 1000l totes and 100l plastic barrels. In true permaculture fashion, I am looking for a solution involving the least work. Any ideas?
To brew a good compost extract you need;
1. a barrel type container with a spigot near the bottom or a syphon hose with a bulb (you really don't want to have to suck on that syphon hose).
2. some type of bag that will hold at least 1 cu. m of nicely finished compost in suspension (at about the middle of the barrel or tank) and a place to tie off the cordage that holds the bag closed around the compost. (a liquid tote works great for large batch brewing, just try to dedicate this tote to brewing.)
3. an air pump, hose for the air pump and a "bubbler end that is fairly long. The higher the capacity of the air pump the better since it will take less time to fully oxygenate the tea.
4. a suction spray nozzle (something similar to this liquid spray apparatus)
Since you have a good sized garden, the small sprayer would take many refills to get enough coverage over the garden. You don't need to spray the pathways.
The larger the land area you want to treat, the bigger the brewing container needs to be, providing you have enough microorganism rich compost.
Drawing off from the bottom or near the bottom allows you to start a second batch faster and it lets gravity do the work of emptying the supernate from the brew tank.
This is the set up for large area treatment with compost tea or extract. Don't forget to add some complex sugars while you are brewing, molasses works great as does honey.
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