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Compost Tea

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Compost Tea

Postby beeman » Dec 05, 2008 10:35 am

Is anyone on this forum using Compost Tea?
Discussion would be nice!
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Re: Compost Tea

Postby Countryboy » Dec 09, 2008 2:08 pm

I just started to use compost tea this year actually.

For years now I've been saving the Pine shavings from my planer and using them for mulch. I made up all the trim for the basement apartment last Spring so I've got abt a dozen garbage bags full right now.

Last Summer I found out from the CBC phone-in show with Art Drysdale that Pine shavings are heavy users of nitrogen. Although they eventually return it . . initially they'll suck it all out of the soil. He recommended watering plants thru that kind of a mulch with a compost tea.

I'll let u know next Spring if it revives my Aquilegia. Haven't seen it bloom in a couple of years. :(

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Re: Compost Tea

Postby orchidguy » Dec 09, 2008 3:36 pm

I have been using compost tea solution for years on the epiphytes in the greenhouse along with a manure tea. This is used only on overcast days because the sunlights UV radiation can reduce its potency. This anaerobic compost solution is also used to dip pots and seedlings in. In my opinion, this is one of the major factors for a decrease in loss of seedlings from damping off. I also believe that this solution also helps to maintain a
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Re: Compost Tea

Postby Countryboy » Dec 10, 2008 10:56 am

Orchidguy . . . I'm loving yr comments. :) U sound like u know yr subjects well. :wink:

I had no idea that this tea could be anti-fungal. I've always had to use sulphur to prevent damping off . . . and I'd prefer not to.

And/But! . . . I'm waiting here in suspense! :shock: lol Is there more to the wonders of compost tea?

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.....Ralph Waldo Emmerson....

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Re: Compost Tea

Postby BrianbytheBay » Dec 10, 2008 10:19 pm

Hi guys!
I've used compost tea on my veggies and flowers in the past and I'd have to say there's nothing like it.What I did was fill a black barrel with rain water and submerse a bucket of fresh Comfrey leaves in it.After a couple of weeks the water was a "tea" color and I would dilute it with fresh rainwater to water my plants.I've never seen cherry tomatos grow that tall before!

Brian
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Re: Compost Tea

Postby beeman » Dec 11, 2008 10:59 am

Perhaps I should have clarified 'Compost tea' by adding 'aerated' at the begining.
There is a major difference between 'leachate' and 'aerated compost tea, and the results are even more impressive.
To a bucket add a bag of compost, plus the use of a small aquarium pump and two bubbler stones, and fill with rain water or de-chlorinated tap water. Leave the bubblers running for 24 hours then use immediately, do not store.
This can be sprayed on everything, or used as a soil drench.
Depending on the original (completed) compost will help with either fungal diseases or bacterial problems.
If the compost has a load of manure (horse, cow, rabbit) then it will be bacterial, add paper, cardboard and kitchen waste, minus the manure, and you'll get a more fungal mixture.
This seems to be a fairly new concept and I believe worthy of a closer look. I for one am examining this, adding Vermicompost to the mix as well, seems worm castings have even more potency.
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Re: Compost Tea

Postby orchidguy » Dec 11, 2008 1:07 pm

Compost leachate is the liquid that drains out of the compost pile due to oversaturation, while anaerobic compost tea is the mixing of compost with the proper amounts of water. The aeration added to this mix now gives you an anaerobic solution. I wholeheartedly agree with you, that this is a preferred method of using compost tea. I have used both, but havent found much difference in growth patterns of the plants that this solution has been applied to. Of course, this is only an observation and not a detailed experiment, but adding the aeration does give a more refined solution.Worm castings on the other hand, are added to all of my potting mixes and used in conjunction with water from the aquaria. This in itself is one of the best "tonics" for the plants overall well-being. I have many tanks and the species of fish kept from the lower amazon basin are kept in "blackwater" conditions with a higher tannic content. This especially along with the worm castings is what I regard as liquid gold. I am happy to see that there are others that are also interested in a more holistic approach to growing plants.
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Re: Compost Tea

Postby beeman » Dec 11, 2008 4:35 pm

orchidguy wrote:Compost leachate is the liquid that drains out of the compost pile due to oversaturation, while anaerobic compost tea is the mixing of compost with the proper amounts of water. The aeration added to this mix now gives you an anaerobic solution. I wholeheartedly agree with you, that this is a preferred method of using compost tea. I have used both, but havent found much difference in growth patterns of the plants that this solution has been applied to.

I hate to 'correct' but there is an error in the above statement. If you start with anaerobic solution, then adding air to it becomes aerobic, a different solution completely.
The purpose of aerating compost tea is to produce a higher bacteria count. So as such the overall nutrient load is not improved, just it's working action in regard to disease control.
The principal of adding a fungal tea is to quite literally block the infection sites where 'bad' fungal growth can occur, same with bacterial tea by preventing bad bacteria from flourishing.
Use fungal tea on shrubs bushes etc, and bacterial tea on vegetables.
The safe way is to use worm casting for teas, as no pathogens (e coli etc) from manure can be passed by vericomposting worms, whereas 'incomplete' compost made from manures are not always safe, especially on cold compost.
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Re: Compost Tea

Postby orchidguy » Dec 11, 2008 4:42 pm

My apologies, you are absolutely right. Guess I was typing faster than thinking. Sorry 'bout that

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Re: Compost Tea

Postby beeman » Dec 13, 2008 10:45 am

I have been doing further research on Compost tea and found something which caused me concern for those using leachate off compost piles.
Leachate is in fact an anaerobic solution from 'runoff' and excess water collected from the bottom of compost piles. Manure piles are of particular concern. This is in fact dangerous to you and your plants and the practice should be stopped.
I found this statement "Only aerobes are desired. Anaerobes make alcohols that kill plant tissues very rapidly. Putrifying organic matter, which is anaerobic, also contains organisms, just not organisms that do anything beneficial for your plants".
Aerobes are made by running air through the tea.
If you're really interested in protecting yourself and improving your garden I would suggest you read http://www.soilfoodweb.com/03_about_us/approach_pgs/c_01_understand_why.html
So the practice of adding compost to a bucket of water and leaving it to soak for a few days, is in fact dangerous and not helpful to your plants.
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