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EM/compost teas - what equipment do I need?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 64
Location: Lake Geneva, Switzerland, Europe
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I'm stoked about increasing the microbiology in my garden soil! We have 4000m2 of land to work with, currently 400m2 of hilled up garden beds 80cm wide with ramial wood chip paths about 40 cm wide. Biodigester compost was tilled under last June when the garden was started, after a ley of rye I think. The rest of the area is to be converted to orchard, some left spare for possible extension of veg garden. This area represents 1% of the conventional farm (orchards and arable land) it is part of.

I'd like to buy some EM to get started, and set up a compost tea brewer Which volumes am I looking at? That is, how many litres of tea/em to treat the entire veg plot (400m2) at once? How strong an air pump will I need and is it useful to include an air lift to get a vortex going?

Is it worth buying a fermenter with integrated heater like this one https://produits-bio-naturel.ch/accessoires/23-fermenteur-pret-a-lemploi-avec-corps-de-chauffe.html : to activate the EM?

 
gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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In the world of EM you can buy organisms (when you get them most if not all will be dormant and thus need activating) or you can grow your own lactobacillus and add that to a compost to increase the numbers of EM and other organisms.
When applying compost teas, EM or otherwise, the starting rate of application is 1 L to 1 M2. 
After the initial application the norm is to then do a microscopy check for an organism count 3-5 days after the application, this allows you to know where your soil is organism wise so you can then make adjustments.

If you plan on going full blown biodynamic then yes a fermenter will be a good piece of equipment to own, but only after you have a vortex tea brewer (the primary piece of equipment I would recommend).

In the soil world, you want to first know which organism (bacteria or fungi) the plants use the most for nutrient gathering, if you don't know this, then you should just shoot for a 50/50 ratio, which is all around good for the soil.
If you go the 50/50 then the plants themselves will adjust the organism counts through their exudates.

Orchards need a 75/25 fungi to bacteria ratio for best growth and fruit production.
Most vegetables have a best ratio of 70/30 bacteria to fungi for best growth and fruit production.

Redhawk
 
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Location: Northern New Mexico, Latitude:35 degrees N, Elevation:6000'
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I don't know how much tea you would need to cover your veg plot.  I've yet to hear of someone saying that they have over applied compost tea when using good finished compost.  Though I have heard of people saying that after so long, their soils are now populated with a diversity of microbes so they find that applying tea at that point doesn't seem to make any impact....but at that point their soils are incredibly diverse and alive and keeping a layer of mulch on the surface of the soil is enough to keep the soil fed and growing.  I have a 15 gallon cone tank with an ap-100 air pump.  It creates a nice strong vortex.  I don't have video of it in action, but I posted some pics of the brewer a few months ago in this thread... New to Composting Tea

EM - I haven't used this one as much in the garden....only because I moved just as I learned of it, and I have to haul water to my place at the moment.  I don't know if you can over apply EM either?  I would guess not likely?  But I really don't know?  EM is super easy to make with rice and milk.  I don't think having a heated jug for making the EM is necessary, unless it gets super cold where you are going to be letting the EM finish.  Homemade Lactobacills Serum
 
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Bryant, in that other thread you mention that a vortex falls together as soon as you turn the pump off. So why do you still recommend a vortex brewer? An aquarium pump is a way cheaper. Or do you believe there is something about the vortex science can't explain?
edit: i now read the updates of the other thread and it's clear...
 
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