If your municipality offers free compost periodically (as does mine)
you can partially fill a vessel of your choosing -- whether just a
bucket or a (strong) trashcan -- add water, wait a few weeks (days?)
and voila - compost tea.
I'd recommend you make your compost first and then make your tea.
Plants themselves don't use all of the energy they make through
photosynthesis. For example, 60 percent of a vegetable plant's energy
goes to its root system, and half of that energy is exuded into the
soil. Of those exudates, 90 percent are sugars; the rest are
carbohydrates and proteins. When you think about these ingredients as
food, they're the makings for cake. This is high-energy stuff. Why is
nearly one-third of a vegetable plant's output going into the soil as
energy-rich food? To feed the good bacteria and fungi.
When we human beings kill off bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, and
other organisms, whether by polluting the air or by spraying pesticides
or even by using chemical fertilizers, we're reducing the population of
critters that plants feed. That's why one of the simplest and best
things you can do for your garden is to spray your plants with compost
tea, to bring back organisms killed by chemicals.
Brewing Compost Tea
How to brew compost tea
To brew compost tea, you will need a 5-gallon plastic bucket and a few
aquarium supplies: a pump large enough to run three bubblers (also
called air stones, I use 1), several feet of air tubing, a gang valve
(which distributes the air coming from the pump to the tubes going to
the bubblers), and three bubblers. You'll also need a stick for stirring
the mixture, some unsulfured molasses (preferably organic), and an old
pillowcase, tea towel, or nylon stocking for straining the tea (hardware
stores have nylon bags that painters use, I believe for filtering
paint). An extra bucket comes in handy for decanting the tea.
Don't try to make compost tea without the aeration equipment. If the tea
is not aerated constantly, the organisms in it will quickly use up the
oxygen, and the tea will start to STINK and become anaerobic. An
anaerobic tea can harm your plants.
There are several different levels of teas as well as different recipes
Level 1: Put a shovel full of good compost in a 5 gallon bucket of
water, wait one week, and apply to garden or lawn either full strength
or up to a 1:4 water ratio. This is an excellent source of ready
available soluble nutrients. NOTE: If you stir your brew daily or every
other day, it helps get more oxygen to the mix for better decomposition
and better aerobic microbial population growth.
Level 2: Do same as above, but now add to the recipe a few cups of
alfalfa pellets or some other cattle feed. Now you have extra nitrogen
and trace elements from the bacterial foods.
Level 3: Do all above plus now add the air pump bubbler. Now you have
more aerobic microbes to add to your soluble nutrients in the tea.
Level 4: Do all the above and now add a few tblsp of molasses or other
simple sugar products. Now you really maximize the aerobic microbes in
the tea, which in turn produce even more extra soluble nutrients from
the bacterial foods.
Obama is now backing a bipartisan Senate budget plan that would overhaul Social
The folks that "rewrote" the book also started the customary
"research Institute" based on their version of the circle of life.
PhDs gotta eat too. If not perhaps you can find one of their
"Certified Soil Foodweb Advisor(sic) " in your area ($$$$$) . What
ever that is. Personally I would stay stay away from any one who
claims their are a dirt or soil doctor. The infamous PT Barnum thing
comes to mind.
Dr. Chalker-Scott below has a quick summation. Just remember you
need a reliable source of pathogen free material especially if you or
yours have a suppressed or compromised Immune system. Note not all
anaerobic bacteria are pathogens and there are pathogenic aerobic
microbes as well. Bacteria breeds very quickly.
USDA: MICROBIAL ECOLOGY AND SAFETY OF FRESH ON-FARM ORGANICALLY
Dr. Chalker-Scott's view:
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