Compost Tea; Insulated container; Aquarium airpump.. ?

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I filled a 5 gallon, Coleman insulated container half full with grass clippings. Then I topped it off with pure water and put an air pump on the bottom.
How soon can I use the contents as compost ?
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This is either a troll or a seriously misguided idea!

Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
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No I am serious ! I got it running right now. I got water, grass, oxygen and compost accelerator. It has a "silage" smell but not bad. I would like to pour it on to a garden area but I want the pathogens and seeds to be dead. Why the scepticism ? drew
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Drew wrote:

You should have saved yourself the bother and just put the grass clippings in the compost pile.
Compost tea is hogwash.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
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On Sun, 25 Sep 2005 19:18:01 GMT, "Travis"

http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/airwaste/wm/recycle/Tea/tea1.htm
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Unfortunately the page cited uses no scientific source materials for its recommendations. The one & only authority cited is a pop book by Elaine Ingham, & the compost tea company belonging to the same author & a vendor-- a vendor with lots of company propoganda to share but notoriously lacking in science.
The main value of compost in the garden is to keep the organic component of the soil optimal. Compost tea adds little to no organic component & it is absolutely the poorest of all methods for improving soil.
But for those who wish to pursue this waning fad even so, here are a couple things to bare in mind:
1) The science has pretty much concluded that in a "best case scenario" all such alleged "benefits" of compost tea like increasing healthful microorganism population or fighting off plant pathogens is no greater than the effect of a regular watering schedule with plain water. Keep that it mind -- even if there is some truth to the claims, the rest of the truth is that it does not exceed the value of plain water. However, the effects of compost tea as a tepid fertilizer is rather more measurably real, though vastly inferior to using actual compost topcoatings in an established garden or working compost into soil for a new garden.
2) The Pennsylvania website does show how to do it without buying $135 to $800 or even much more money's worth of equipment which vendors would prefer you to buy, so the site is good for avoiding being ripped off for one's funds while pursuing an essentially superstitious fad. The website does unfortunately link to some of this worthless equipment, but they at least selected one of the cheaper outfits ($135. plus shipping). Never buy any of this equipment; even imagining value to compost tea, it does not take anything but a cheap washtub & 35-cent aeration stone hooked up to an aquarium pump to aerate the stuff.
3) Aeration, however, is not actually necessary. It speeds up fermentation but it is not safer, does not increase nutrient value, does not lesson opportunity for harmful pathogens -- all false claims by vendors hoping to sell cheaply made but expensively priced aeration equipment. Non-aerated tea has the exact same value (or lack of value) as aerated, & some minor data even indicates that the only pathogen lessoned by compost tea (powdery mildew) is specifically shown for NON-aerated tea. So while the Pennsylvania website is good for showing how to avoid buying worthless equipment, it nevertheless recommends wasting electricity & aquarium supplies for something that can be done passively without such waste. Because its only authority was Elaine Ingham who wants people to believe aeration eqipment is essential, the Pennsylvania website tragically fails to outline the process done without wasting electricity & needless aquarium supplies.
The alleged "benefits" list provided by the Pennsylvania site need some corrections:
Increases plant growth at the same rate as a regular watering schedule.
Provides nutrients to plants and soil but at a very minor level inferior to actually fertilizing and/or topcoating with whole compost
Provides beneficial organisms at the same rate as a regular watering schedule, but does not repair poor soils that have failed to support beneficial microorganisms due to reduced organic component -- ACTUAL compost or humus restores the organic component which support microorganisms; teas do not.
Helps to supress diseases No study shows a predictable or reliable (hence horticulturally useful) ability for compost teas to suppress plant pathogens, so this claim is in the main false. The rare "exceptions" have proven irreprodicible or are restricted to compost tea's ability to lessen but by no means control powdery mildew (dilute milk spray on the other hand does control powdery mildew). As a disease suppressor, the value of teas ranges from minimal to totally absent, & in no case an inevitable or predictable benefit, in no case superior to a regular watering schedule of soils with a good balance of organic material.
Replaces toxic garden chemicals Yes, compost tea is better than setting your garden on fire, burying it under a foot of ground glass, or dumping toxic chemicals all over it. A more effective soil treatment would be good for the garden in its own right -- such as using whole organic compost or leafmold topcoatings with good irrigation practices -- whereas the concluding claim for compost tea is merely that it is better than poisoning everything. Well woop de do, wooda guessed it.
-paghat the ratgirl
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snipped-for-privacy@comp.com wrote:

So? What does it do to improve the soil? It's better to add compost to the soil.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
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The end goal is to get the grass on to the garden as mulch and worm food as quick as possible. I thought the areation might speed up the composting. Compost Tea was a bad choice of words. I did not know the term had such a negative connotation. drew
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Would you prefer 'non-bovine process manure emulsion' (not to be confused with Man-Emu Turd Water).
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" Non-Bovine processed green manure emulsion" has a nice ring to it. drew
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Just negative with a few hysterical non users...
Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
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wrote:

That's what heroin addicts say....
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On Mon, 26 Sep 2005 00:43:49 GMT, "Travis"

It's apparent you can't read so I'll leave it at that.
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What do you call what I am making and when can I put all of it (grass and all) in to my garden ? Drew
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"Grass tea".......... Compost is what you would have if you poured what you're making on some dried leaves and let it rot for a few months. I doubt it's of much use otherwise. If you used alfalfa meal, you can get some benefit as claimed here: http://www.nurserysite.com/clubs/peninsular/tea.html
Whether there's a benefit or not (and I respect paghat's opinion), it's fun to make, although the aeration is inadequate from an aquarium bubbler, in my experience. Use it after two or three days before it smells bad.
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Drew wrote:

I call it a waste of time. Put the grass on the compost pile or put it in the garden and turn it under.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
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I would love to do that. Work up a good sweat on a cool morning, However: I have Muscular Dystrophy and can just barely walk. That is why I have to come up with alternate ways of achieving goals.
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On Sun, 25 Sep 2005 19:18:01 GMT, "Travis"

Travis, you know nothing about it....one of your local extension retired is about to finish an article where tomato production was doubled with microbe injection and foliar feeding with compost tea. So far all you've done is pop off one liners and jump on Jessica's diatribe. You have no more than a flawed Chaulker Scott study...
compost tea is made with finished thermophilic compost, not green waste. A smelly brew of grass clipping could well be a culture of disease pathogens......
Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
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Tom Jaszewski wrote:

Publishing an article does not make something true. I want to see peer reviewed double blind studies.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
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Typical of Tom's idea of scientific data we get a nameless source (apparently not an actual researcher since "retired") who has not yet finished an article nor undergone peer review but is already a top source of info for crackpots who have found nothing for their side amidst the plethora of extant research that has met peer review standards.
And, of course, the PROPER use of "thermophilic compost" is to mix it into soil, not to soak it in a tub in order to just use the water. Compost's primary value is for the organic matter it adds to soil. Using it for tea is a waste of good compost.
As for commercially prepared thermophilic compost resulting in pathogen-free teas but other methods resulting in a brew of human pathogens, this came straight out of Tom's ass. That's just is another vendor claim -- that using their products is safe but doing it without their products is unsafe. There is no basis for this often-made vendor claim. Certain pathogens such as Salmonella are equally likely to turn up in compost teas made by any method, & has already been proven to be transferred to garden harvests like broccoli or lettuce representing a real threat to human health.
A 2002 study by Scheuerell & Mahaffee showed that human pathogens were less likely to be in compost teas only if there no fermentation (which the commercial products claim to increase). There is debate in England right now whether or not compost teas should be included in The Pesticides Safety Directorate because putting fermented dirt-water on vegetables to be harvested represent a real risk of e-coli & salmonella, especially when used as foliar sprays as vendors recommend.
A well made compost is not highly likely to have human pathogens no matter the source, but if it is brewed by wetting & aerating of fermenting nutrients, there is every opportunity for contamination. Even a "contaminated" compost would be relatively safe worked into soil, but not if smeared or sprayed all over something that is to be eaten. But at base, Tom retold a basic lie promulgated by vendors, these risks, however slight, are absent if you use their products with their directions -- in fact their directions take the very small risk posed by compost & increase that risk via the "brewing" process which unlike a good compost pile is not a self-heating method that kills pathogens.
-paghat the ratgirl
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