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DIY - Gardening Do It Yourself Do you know a good gardening DIY plan? Are you in need for some good DIY ideas? This is the forum to discuss all Do It Yourself plans and questions. For example, learn about: The pipe work to support banana bunches, making pots out of newspaper, using plastic cups as pots, tips for building coverings for plants during winter, etc. If you know a good DIY plan, please share it here, and if you need one, please ask away!


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Old 11-09-2010, 07:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Thumbs up Compost Tea

I havent found a thread like it yet...


I am wanting to know if others make compost tea for there plants? And How do you make your compost tea?


A great video I found on making compost tea:



I will have to make some next summer for my plants! I think that ive seen "The Bayou Gardener" post around here somewhere before...






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Old 11-10-2010, 06:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Compost Tea

I use an old 10 gallon aquarium. I have an aquarium heater that keeps the water about 85*F (I keep it in my garage/basement which tends to stay very cool even in summer) and an aquarium bubbler for oxygen. I let the water (7 gallons or so) sit for a few hours to let all the chlorine evaporate and then add about a tablespoon of unsulfured molasses and stir with a big wooden spoon. Then I just dump in a good few handfuls from deep in a mulch pile and stir. After about three days if it smells "woodsy" I use it and if it smells like an outhouse I throw it out away from plants, fill the aquarium with bleach water. I switch to my other 10 gallon aquarium and start over. Seems to have worked well last summer. My Elephant Ears did quite well. My Musa didn't really do much and I need to go back in my email and look up the tread that suggested that compost tea might not be good for Musa (actually I think it stated that mycorrhizae might be bad for Musa and the compost tea is supposed to feed the mycorrhizae. I didn't read the thread, but I guess I need to before next summer.
------read the other thread so I added this------------------------------------------------
I guess it is only one type of mycorrhizae and not everyone agrees that the study is complete enough. When you make your own compost tea I think you feed a whole host of mycorrhizae so perhaps the negative is far outweighed by the positive.

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Old 11-21-2010, 11:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Compost Tea

i started keeping compost worms last yr..love all the worm castings i
get from my 4 bins..
i use the worm castings as my base in my aerated tea..
i have a 5 gal bucket in basement...with 2 air stones in it..
i put in aquarium water(decholorinated)..a quart of worm castings..
and a couple TBS of mollases.. let it set..then pour over whatever
plant.. my bananas,EE,roses,tomatoes,pumpkins seem to love it..
actually this yr my roses didnt have the trouble they usually have
with aphids.. not a real scientific study..but this is 1st time i used
"active" compost tea on them..and no aphids..???
my amarylis seem to love the tea too..they are going gang busters !!!
will love to see their blooms in couple weeks.. !!!
thanks to all here.. appreciate insights and experiments others are
trying on their plants..
happy T day !!!
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Compost Tea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake09 View Post
...I am wanting to know if others make compost tea for there plants? And How do you make your compost tea?...
I'm not preparing anything, it's just a welcome bi-product of worm farming. This small bucket can be prepared within 4 minutes, if you don't want to keep your clothes clean. It does help, but not as much as solid fertizlier or solid vermicompost. But the difference can be seen!

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Old 11-21-2010, 07:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Compost Tea

I'm also planning on doing compost tea next year. I have a 55 gallon drum, 4 air stone strong air pump, a pillow bag for straining and for ingredients, I can get 1 gallon molasses for $16. For the compost, I can get that for free in my county, or out of my leaf compost pile and I also plan on starting a worm bin next spring with 1lb of worms to add more variety to the compost I use in my aerated tea. If desired, I might add some corn meal, coffee grounds, or other side ingredients to make the tea more effective.

On top of bananas, I also have blueberries, bamboos, palms, and all sorts of vegetables that I want to make grow faster so hopefully 50 gallons of quality compost tea can make some noticeable difference.
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Compost Tea

I should add that you need to thin your compost tea before application. I usually fill about 8 or 10 5 gallon buckets with tap water and let them sit overnight. The next day I add the compost tea a few cupfuls at a time until I run out. I stir this up and then pour over my plants. If you spray the mixture on the leaves of apple trees in the spring (and on the soild around the bases) it is supposed to prevent Cedar-Apple rust, but I won't be able to test that theory until spring.
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Compost Tea

I think I'll prefer adding dark tea to all my plants to hopefully maximize results, but does that mean I might be able to use less than 5 gallons of compost for my 55 gallon drum, and still get decent results by not diluting the mix?

I already have perhaps 3000 garlic cloves planted and near 100 blueberry plants which are all waiting to be fed something good. I'm also hoping for my banana plants to grow at a faster rate than last year if they make it through the winter.
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Compost Tea

I think what you are trying to do is grow the "good" bacteria to feed soil microorganisms. The bacteria comes from the compost and the food to grow them is the molasses. The volume of compost doesn't factor in all that much since the growth rate is exponential and probably the difference between using a gallon vs. 5 is not a big deal. Temperature is probably a bigger factor for increasing speed. I think I read 85F is best. Too cold and they don't multiply, too hot and it kills them. You need lots of oxygen to keep the number of aerobic bacteria (good bacteria in this instance) from being outnumbered by the anaerobic bacteria (the ones that will make your mix smell like an outhouse and are not beneficial for your plants). I've heard that you need to thin the mix to keep it from burning plants, but I don't know if that is correct. You need to use the mix before the bacteria eat up all the molasses but extra (left over) molasses will feed the bacteria after the mix is poured on the plants or it will feed the bacteria that are in the soil. You should be able to use a bit of the mix from one batch to start the next batch, but it can "go bad" (the wrong bacteria grows more than the good). In that case, your mix is no good. Most people seem to like to start with a fresh batch of mulch each time because the good to bad ratio of bacteria is more likely to be favorable in a natural setting like a mulch/compost pile or worm bed.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Compost Tea

If I need to raise the temperature up to 85F to make it work faster, I'll need to get like a 300watt aquarium heater to make this thing work, and probably put it on full power in order to reach 85F.

That makes sense that the volume of compost doesn't matter that much as long as there is a good temperature and enough time to let the bacteria multiply. I just need to make sure I add more molasses than I might need in order to keep the bacteria well fed, so perhaps twice a day. I already have a powerful air pump that can be used for a 212 gallon tank with 4 outlets and adjustable power. Perhaps I'll use 1 gallon of composts from various sources such as mushroom compost, my leaf compost pile, backyard soil, as well as some worm castings.

It is kind of a weird concept that you want to make beneficial bacteria multiply in order to go into garden soil where I guess it is supposed to survive and somehow help the plants grow faster.
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my picture website is http://www.flickr.com/photos/31489820@N02/

http://stevespeonygarden.blogspot.com/
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Compost Tea

I think the bacteria break down organic matter and feed the mycorrhizae already in the soil which helps the plants absorb nutrients. Here's a good link that gives a good synopsis of how mycorrhizae benefit plants.
http://www.for-wild.org/download/mys...eandplants.pdf

Last edited by RobG7aChattTN : 11-24-2010 at 08:51 AM. Reason: Added link
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Compost Tea

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Old 12-02-2010, 07:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Compost Tea

I've used compost tea for about 20 years now on my tomatoes. Aside from the fertility the main reason to use it is its effect on plants immune sytems and actuallly prevents or makes the plants more resistant to the early and late blights. It seems to make sense that it would have a similar effect on all plants.
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Compost Tea

ive used compost tea on my gardens for yrs now.. i use 2- 50 gal plastic garbage cans..filled with water.. put couple shovels of manure in nylon stockings(not mine)LOL... dump in the water..let it set for couple weeks..
then i dilute 1part water to 1 part tea..and pour over everything.. even parts of lawn where it needs a pick me up...
this last yr with keeping compost worms.. i am using the method you all
are talking about.. aerated tea.. it worked wonders on my roses..and
i use it on inside plants..esp now with bananas inside for winter..
thanks to all for your insights...
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Compost Tea

Great thread...I've used it before making my own brewer. Ended up giving up on it after some time, don't know why. The results were good.
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:32 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Compost Tea

Great!
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:02 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Compost Tea

I have lots of plants so therefore I use a 55 gallon drum for my worm tea. I can actually use it about 2-3 times, by using up about 60% of the water, then fill it back up with de-chloronated water and get the most out of my worm castings.

Here's a picture of the first time I tried it. I found it a mess to clean out the silt at the bottom when I didn't use a strainer bag so I used a pillow case tied to a broom stick from then on. Looks like this stuff is working on the vegetables. I'm only using worm castings, molasses, and kelp so far so if someone has more suggestions let me know. I want to give my plants the best stuff they can get.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:08 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Compost Tea

super pic stevelau great job..i want to make aerated compost
tea this yr..the aeration of the tea makes even more uaable by the
plants..
i have 1- 5 gal bucket im aerating now..i used it on my overwintered
nanners,EE,other plants over the winter..
im a believer in its use !!!
way to go..
keep us posted on your projects
thanks
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Compost Tea

The bubbling water sounds so nice I added another bucket

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Old 04-25-2011, 07:13 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Compost Tea

lookin good sunfish if it would only warm up around here..
we might get snow in the valley here tonite..sigh
enough of this winter already...
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