Help with Compost Tea

Page 1 of 2  
I'm making some compost tea and want to be sure I'm doing this right. I've taken a 5 gallon bucket and added two shovelfuls of compost. I've taken an old aquarium pump and run an air line to the bottom of the bucket to aerate the tea. Then filled the bucket with water.
QUESTIONS:
How long does this tea have to steep? I've read everything from overnight to two weeks. My tap water is chlorinated. Will the chlorine kill off beneficial bacteria in the compost? If so, will adding chlorine remover used for acquariums help? Is it really necessary to have the air line plugged into a gang valve for multiple bubble streams, or will one good stream of air bubbles do the trick?
Thanks for the help.
-Fleemo
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

1. Tea should steep 1- 5 days. It depends on what you feed the "herd". 2. Chlorine kills. No need for a chlorine remover when stirring it every few hours for 24 hours will do the trick. 3. No need for a gang valve. The microbes get oxygen from the water's movement at the surface. Thus one air stone is sufficient.
Try here: http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/soil/msg0813080726617.html
Also read the FAQ at gardenweb.com : http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/soil /
hth, Fito
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

All testing for maximum diversity clearly shows 18-24 hours with adequate oxygen is ideal.

Chloramines are persistent and may not be volatized.

NO NO NO!!! The dissolved oxygen needs to stay of 5mg/L and will not stay at that level from the surface movement MORE AIR IS NEEDED!!!!

THE GARDEN WEB INFO IS JUST PLAIN WRONG AND CONTRARY TO ALL TESTING!!!!
www.soilfoodweb.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Not all compost tea is the same. The state of the art tea is made aerobically. The aerobic tea made at my favorite garden center:
http://www.naturalgardeneraustin.com /
...sells it for 5 dollars per gallon, 6 if they have to supply the jug.
When diluted it can cover 7500 square feet. What you are doing is adding beneficial organisms to soil, and leaf surfaces to prevent and in many cases cure certain diseases and pest infestations.
If the compost tea they sell has been on the shelf for a while, it is not aerobic tea. It also probably has some sort of bacterial suppressant so the bottle doesn't explode from the organism growth.
That said, what type can you buy?
opined:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well, it sells, like you say, for about five dollars a gallon. You bring your own jug and save a few cents. They fill it from the contraption it's "cooking" in.
So, do you have to use all of it within a few days? Does it die if some is left in the jug for a week or so?
karen

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There are many negatives to consider. Looking on the web, most websites about compost tea are selling products or services & are riddled with myths, exaggerations, & outright lies designed to sell, not to inform. Anecdotes are used in place of evidence, & there are "it worked for me" testimonies up the wazoo. What most gardeners know of compost teas they learned at local nurseries invested in building a clientelle for a high-profit-margin product (dirty water) the components of which the nursery cannot actually predict or control, promoted as good for sundry benefits that are not actually proven. Tjere are many things about Compost Tea that are potentially very harmful but all the "customer" is told is it's an organic miracle doing only good.
The majority of claims for Compost Tea have not been validated by any scientific study. Some few values have been proven, but generally not in exactly the same way as promoted by nurseries & vendors.
"Lessons" & "workshops" at nurseries are designed to sell you stuff. You will not be taught very much that is certainly true, & you will not be able to sort out what is factual or at least possible, from what is completely fabricated & baseless.
Harmful side effects are possible with Compost Tea. The majority of harmful side effects are circumvented by using topcoatings of compost & avoiding compost tea.
If a gardener is ALREADY doing everything properly & has well-balanced soils that result from proper organic gardening practices, then loading on compost soups can actually harm plants by duplicating already completed processes -- it can be like adding fertilizer on top of fertilizer until plants are cared for to death.
Because vendors want to sell multiple products, they rarely give good instructions about what Compost Tea applications replace. So the gardner can be encouraged to just that sorry outcome of "loving your plants to death."
Top coating mulches provide a healthful slow-release fertilizing & even low-Nitrogen fertilizers feed the microorganisms (slowly) so that the microorganisms will produce the required nitrogen. Topcoating composts feed & encourage healthful microorganisms at exactly the rate the soil requires & which the soil can sustain long-term. By contrast, dousing a garden with mulch soups will transiently (potentially dangerously) overfertilize & may backfire, causing a rapid decline in microorganism health, injuring plants, & inviting pathogenic microorganisms.
Bacteria (even healthful bacteria) produce waste products toxic to themselves, including waste products beneficial to plants which by taking in the nutrients keep the soil balanced for the continued health of the microorganisms. When concentrated in liquid, this is a little bit like having a population of a thousand mice in a cage big enough for only a couple mice. Here again, the attempt to suddenly expand the microorganism population can have the opposite effect. Slowly (hence safely) restoring soils that are damaged, or not over-treating soils that are already well balanced, is not achievable with compost tea.
The science does not support the common claim that these teas function as organic pesticides. Exaggerated claims to the contrary seem to be based on the ability to drown aphids with compost tea -- which could be done as readily with plain water. Compost tea does NOT function as an organic pesticide & any vendor claiming it does is proving only their own willingness to lie to you -- who knows about what all else.
A good healthy compost mulch includes essential organic matter for the garden. Compost teas have very little organic matter hence meets fewer of a garden's needs.
The microorganisms in organic teas are frequently NOT beneficial, or are the same microorganisms already in the soil in sufficient quantity.
One of the hugest claims for compost tea is when it is used as a spray, the healthful microorganisms out-compete pathogens on the surface of plant leaves. To date, no science quite supports the claim that compost tea cures or prevents pathogens in the garden. To quote Dr Chalker-Scott, a horticulturlist at the University of Washington, "In the peer-reviewed literature...field-tested compost tea reported no difference in disease control between compost tea & water." In an update on new science, Dr. Chalker-Scott found that the best "evidence" for pathogen suppression is to be found only in articles that are not peer-reviewed & so not creditable. There are, however, some few narrowly definable positive effects from compost teas & pathogens but not as formulated by or for gardeners. For instance, some wood barks contain chemical components that retard human as well as plant diseases; a tea made of the right kind of bark may have actual medicinal qualities. We can expect this kind of finding to be misrepresented by vendors as proof that their teas cure or prevent things that have never been cured or prevented by compost teas.
Further, because the microbes in compost teas are never isolated & identified, even if one batch did manage to have some microbe in it that competed with, say, apple scab, the next batch would not have the same microbial content. This probably explains why one German study found MARGINAL benifit for apple scab, & a better peer-reviewed study found none.
Another fatuous & elaborate claim is that compost teas repair anaerobic soils making them aerobic. Vendors like to toss in a few fancy words so they sound scientific. The reality is that anaerobic soils are caused by poor drainage or overwatering, or by compacted soils, or high clay content. You could put compost teas on them till the cows come home & not help one bit.
The only proven benefit of compost tea is rapid insertion of microorganisms into soil, which may or may not be needed by the soil, which may or may not survive in the soil whose overall conditions are not likely to be altered by such rapid infusions. All other claims for compost tea should be regarded as vendor mystifications as yet unproven. Some may turn out to be true; most will be roundly disproven but the claims will nevertheless be made by vendors whose only goal is to party ou from your money.
While unneeded microorganisms may abound in the tea, microorganisms that might actually have been needed might not be present at all. Indeed in all likelihood the missing microorganisms will also likely be missing from the compost usedto start the tea.
The actual chemical properties, pH levels, chemical & microorganism components, in compost teas, changes dramatically from batch to batch. All claims of specific values or predictable effects are false. All claims of specific uses for one "variety" of compost tea vs another "variety" cannot be substantiated by predictable properties of the teas. Often the microorganisms will not actually be beneficial.
Compost tea even at its best is inferior to a quality composted mulch of organic material, both as a fertilizer & for its capacity to sustain a maximum population of healthful microorganisms.
Compost teas are more likely than compost mulchings to pollute groundwater.
Topcoatings of compost release nutrients that are entirely used in the garden. Compost teas wash out of the garden & contribute to the eutrophication of watersheds.
Beneficial microorganisms that live in the organic component (not the liquid component) of composts are known to inhibit the splash, spread, leaching, or dispersal of pathogenic microorganisms. Compost teas FACILITATE this dispersal!
Gardens self-mulch with leaf fall. Horticultural station studies have shown that gardens never fertilized at all maintain themselves by self-mulching. Permitting fallen leaves to become leafmold in the garden does vastly more for a garden than removing them. A garden can permanently recycle its nutrients if not interferred with. Compost Teas are by contrast temporary fixes, supposing they even fix anything.
Garden centers brewing teas in your behalf do not as a rule have water tanks in which to age the water & permit the chlorines to evaporate out of it before they start their tea batches. They are selling you dirty water alleged to be chock-full of beneficial microorganisms that probably don't exist when "brewed" in chlorinated water which kills microorganisms. If you made it at home you could let the water sit a day or two before mixing in some compost & starting your tea.
Vendors have learned that by promoting a mythology about compost tea, they can profit from easily duped gardeners who want to be organic gardeners & are by & large suckers waiting to be clipped. Generally the nursery owners have first convinced themselves so that they can feel honest promoting stuff that is a mix of unproven, disproven, harmful, no better, & frequently worse than older established methods of properly dressing soils with organic composts.
Claims of nematode content are nearly always false. As well, nematodes have to be introduced to soils undver very specific conditions & temperatures & times of year that have nothing to do with compost tea.
Compost tea vendors like to call themselves "brewers" which is further mystification of a simple process over which they have inadequate controls for predictable outcomes. They want you to think what they sell you is as predictable as the flavor of your favorite brewed beer, when there is no uniformity of product at any level beyond how much fits in a gallon milk jug. It is part of the smoke & mirrors with the intent of befuddling you into doing something you probably wouldn't do if you were permitted to think too long & too clearly: Don't pay good money for dirty water or "brewing" equipment when you already have everything you need to do it for free at home, or which frankly shouldn't be done at all when mulching with compost does everything compost teas does, but vastly more safely & better.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
paghat wrote:

A whole lot more snipped.......
Amazing! It only takes one, albeit your typical overly wordy and highly opinionated, posting such as this to negate whatever potentially positive input I begin to feel you may share with this group. While you are very quick to jump on the 'down with the evil, money grubbing, environmentally raping and pillaging Monsanto' bandwagon, you hasten to adopt the self-same righteous indignation regarding the benefits of compost tea as those you castigate with respect to the safety of glyphosate/ RoundUp - despite mounting evidence to the contrary (and yes, that includes a LOT of closely controlled and monitored ongoing scientific trials), you dismiss it as a lot of snake oil hocus-pocus and yet another wild conspiracy by shoddy nursery owners to dupe the unsuspecting customer.
What you don't know about compost tea is startling and you obviously have not bothered with any firsthand practical experience to reflect on (no way those sneaky nurseryowners are gonna pull any fast ones on you!). And you continue to demonstrate a remarkable lack of knowledge regarding the retail nursery industry in general.
Your garden is obviously stunning and your plant knowledge impressive, but your understanding of the professional aspects of horticulture leave a lot to be desired. Stick to the plants, ratgirl. It's what you know best.
No group hug necessary this evening, Tom :-)
pam - gardengal
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pam wrote:

I thought it was refreshing to see a criticism of "organic" hoakum for a change, instead of the usual manifesto about the evils of Monsanto, Ortho, and Scotts. Ratgirl moves up a notch or two in my opinion -- not that my opinion is worth much...
Just be very careful and somewhat skeptical when the experts giving an opinion about something are the same folks trying to sell it to you.
As seen on TV, Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

positive input

to jump

to the

Evils being all relative, toxic chemicals promoted by industry are apt to be far worse than "organic" options. But anyone who seriously believes anything labeled "organic" is automatically good is going to make a lot of bad choices.

continue to

but your

Again, to quote horticulturist Dr Chalker-Scott of the University of Washington, "In the peer-reviewed literature...field-tested compost tea reported no difference in disease control between compost tea & water."
That's the fact of it! If YOU as a vendor of this stuff never promoted it for disease control, but only as an organic fertilizer rather less predictable & inferior to mulching with compost, then good on you, you'd be the only one. That your angry commentary on my having negated anything postive I've ever only almost done is very amusing, especially as I posted only what could be gleaned from the actual science. If I was selling it at work as you've done, I might feel more disposed to disbelieving the science & preferring vendors' sales pitches. I won't go so far as you have gone & suggest all the good you've done is now no longer any good because you are also in favor of a fraud. I will say that when you decide to be wrong, you can are quite often VERY wrong.
Because the uninvested, peer-reviewed science just isn't with you on this. There are a few positive studies for which outcomes could not be duplicated or which though positive still were inferior to topcoating composts & other practices. For pathogens, control studies comparing compost teas to plain waters tend to find them identical in effect. For impact on microorganisms, the effects are slight & temporary & even when effective, inferior to compost mulching.
Thousands of COMMERCIALLY motivated enterprises, including your vaunted nursery trade, are saying LOTS of stuff that is outright false about the values of teas. They exaggerate what is actually good, they trump up scientifically unproven additional good, & they leave out useful information on what is negative & needs to be taken into consideration before selecting this option. Nursery interests have allowed themselves to be convinced of many falsehoods in order to retain some self-respect while duping others as they have been duped. But as the science IS accessible, this self-deception that preceeds duping others is not a very good excuse for what is ultimately dishonest & self-serving foremost, helpful to gardeners as a distant third.
Pop-articles in journals that sell advertising to vendors praise it. Nurseries that sell it praise it. Thousands of amateur & commercial websites & bulletin board posts praise it. Alas for all these, the peer-reviewed science looks for evidence & finds it by & large lacking. Sadly for the gardening public, science ends up in journals read only by other scientists, & pop bullshit is all most people tend to see. Falsehoods begin to look true by weight of repetition -- but the fewer ctual field studies conducted with controls do still trump the thousands of promotionals & personal testimonies that deny the science.
It's a fertilizer sure & can be as good as other fertilizers. But effects on pathogens turn out to be roughly equivalent to regular watering -- & very good in preventing pathogens on THAT level. The slow chemical action REQUIRED by both plants & microorganisms are achieved with topcoatings of composts & natural leafmold, not by dousings with teas. The desire for short-cut repairs that work instantly is threatening to watersheds; the teas not retained in soils for long periods of time. You seem even to dismiss such patently false assertions as teas functioning as pesticides when they do not, including beneficial nematodes which in reality are not credibly a part of the nursery preparations, stopping pathogens when they in reality do so mainly at the level of proper watering, or repairing anearobic soil problems which teas in no way do even to the slightest degree. Yet these are standard claims despite that they are completely baseless.
I don't dismiss that it is a liquid fertilizer which IF properly produced at the correct temperatures & without chlorinated water & used very quickly has microorganisms in it. I do maintain that better & more lasting results can be had by other methods, particularly with organic topcoatings & proper watering. Multiple peer-reviewed studies show that the teas leach out of soils too rapidly to be of more than transient benifit, & find their way into watersheds as would not occur with compost topcoatings.
There are two overviews by Chalker-Scott which compare the pop beliefs & promotional claims versus the peer-reviewed science. And your attitude complete with your catchy advertising jargon like "decanting a brew" when describing dumping some manure-water out of plastic milk jug -- just don't hold up as all that truthful or real. You represent the vested interests of the nursery trade & so favor vendor-generated beliefs & editorializings over the science, holding on to profitable delusions. Chalker-Scott herself is an organics advocate -- like myself she has found ways of maintaining the fertility of her soils without much fertilizer at all (though she uses some bone meal & I will not dump rendering-plant products in my garden), & is an activist against commercial pesticides, always advocating natural alternatives (but alarmed when she sees vendors claiming compost teas are one of the pesticide alternatives).
Certainly she is not invested in savaging a profitable fad on the basis of it being a good idea she wants to ruin for no reason at all. Compost tea is a mediocre-to-good idea with some positives & some equally real negatives & a vast number of completely false claims for it that the science does not substantiate. That's what she has stated in the context of the extant science; it's what I find vastly more creditable than your vendor-perspective that Paghat is a menace to gardening for dissing a profitable product.
Besides her two overviews of the actual field-tested, peer-reviewed, & published science world-wide (such as does not find compost teas the end-all vendors claim), she has also been involved in original studies at the University Arboretum testing compost tea against controls measuring the incidents of pathogens -- & found compost tea sometimes useful for a few things though never superior to surface composting, frequently inferior to surface composting, & for fungal pathogens no more beneficial than plain water (which is beneficial). She also outlines the reasons for how each batch has radically different mixes of microorganisms so that fully controlled studies are difficult, outcomes uneven, findings unduplicable -- so when vendors promise specific outcomes & values & specific values for various "brews" they are in essence promising that which is a practical impossibility.
The main thing I keep in mind is that comparative studies found that microorganism activity is best sustained by mulching with compost & proper watering, or even mulching with leaf-fall, & compost teas do not equal these other practices in effectiveness for sustaining a healthful microorganism population & correct level of nitrogen.
So yes, absolutely, I do placed the field studies of uninvested horticultural stations heads & tails above the vested interests of vendors. This is potentially a cash cow, turning cowshit into dollars, & it's going to be very hard on the industry to let go of the big lie that compost is an intermediary product on the way to being tea, that teas brewed by nurseries are worth blowing one's money on to get something better than can be made at home for free,
There are ten ways of doing most things in a garden. Teas have a place in the larger canon, but a place rather less vaunted than vendors require. If people continue to be flimflammed into believing its as great as you, a vendor, want them to believe, then its more limited but real value is diminished by overuse for all the wrong reasons.
For Chalker-Scott the "bottom line" was this: Be reluctant to add chemicals to your garden even if they are "organic," including compost tea. No one really expects the nursery trade to be quite that honest & tell people to "Go home & think about it, you probably don't actually need what we're selling." But consumers had damn well better be aware before hand that what they tell you -- that it retards pathogens, is an organic pesticide, & all the others extravagant fibbery, "You definitely need our product" is just one more thing that ain't necessarily so.
Would I ever use compost tea? I have made it, I have used, I will do so again. But only for what it has been found actually to POSSIBLY benefit. I have a few still-ungardened areas that I never water because there's nothing I've planted in those areas, the soil is compacted & poor. Someday I will enrich the soils, I might "blast" it with a heavy shot of microorganisms in a homemade aerated tea that'll cost me exactly zero pennies. But once the soil is charged I will expect good management to sustain the micororganisms without further need of teas, using instead the better maintanance of mulched composts & regular watering. If nurseries only sold this stuff for what it was useful for, they wouldn't even bother because they wouldn't be able to sell enough to pay for the time. And they'd end up telling people who might REALLY benefit from it how to do it easily & without cost.
-paggers
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've come to the conclusion when this newsgroup is relatively quiet, someone will post something verbose and ignorant to get the hackles up with people who know the information, and who actually are professionals in the horticulture industry. Anyone who owns a garden center knows that it's not a big money industry. There is a lot of loss and not much money left. High end garden centers do make money, but by a long shot not the way it's being described in the hugely snipped troll. I guess it got too quiet in here.
v
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Nope, no hope there. I got mine at the Cottage Grove Garden fair from my fellow ACT users.... Seems there's more and more stupid seed producers and farmers every day. I'm especially stunned by the ignorance of the 15,000 acre potato producer lessening his dependence on inorganic fertilizers and chemicals with compost tea. What dolts! I hope they see the error in their ways and go back to poisoning our food, or better yet support more GMO research!!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Aerobically brewed soul soup or compost tea has never been shown to have even slight or occasional value in suppressing plant pathogens. There is limited evidence of unpredictable benefits from non-aerobic teas. So OF COURSE what vendors have to sell as a pathogen-suppressor is the aerobic tea. Why do they do this when their claims might at least be justifiable as exaggerations if it was NOT aerobically brewed?? The reason they select the unproven is because it requires more equipment. You have to give them more money to follow their advice!
DISHONESTY OF www.SOULSOUPS.com:
www.soilsoups.com says: "Aerobically brewed SoilSoup is alive...whether you are inoculating weed free potting soil, conditioning your garden soil or foliar spraying for disease control, this simple to use system gets you started." Yes, this outfit will sell you everything you need in their SoulSoup Brewing System so you too can "innoculate" soils or make foliar sprays for disease control that no study has indicated works even occasionally for this purpose.
SoulSoup pructs are available in many nurseries.
Trust no one from SoilSoup or any vendor pitching SoilSoup systems. They are trained liars.
DISHONESTY OF www.AMERICANPLANTFOOD.com
"This concentrated liquid compost extract is the best way we've found to feed the soil. The microorganisms are responsible for producing robust plants, more resistant to insect and disease problems."
It is "a" way to fertilize -- the best way, no. No science supports the claim that aerobic soil soups retard plant diseases. And they are NOT pesticidal. So three lies in two sentences. Trust no one from American Plant Food. They sell not only teas & equipment, but also the seminars to spread precisely such lies & exaggerations as exerpted above.All these companies require seminars as seminars are ideal for spreading "training" gardeners to be easy marks believing sundry baseless claims. Be cynical of any vendor repeating American Plant Food fabrications & exaggerations or which are proud to provide flimflam seminars.
From ANN LOVEJOY, voice of nursery ownership, pitching the SoilSoup company's brewing equipment which she never mentions she sells for a living:
"This aerobically brewed tea can help reduce or eliminate pests and diseases....can protect foliage from many diseases, is the greatest invention since compost, and that goes back thousands of years. The miracle machine that makes this possible is a small, sturdy bioblender that pumps oxygen into compost tea. I predict that within five years there will be a tea brewer in every nursery, if not every garage."
Truth: The science indicates that NON-aerobically brewed tea MIGHT have SLIGHT benefits in defense against some pathogens for some plants, but aerobically brewed teas have never been shown to have these benefits. This is why Ann has to call it a "Miracle" since it certainly isn't science, & hyperbole about it being the greatest advance in gardening since the middle ages is just badly written ad copy pure & strange. Her strong focus on aerobically brewed tea for disease control -- one of the things it is NOT good for -- shows the level of dishonesty deeply ingrained into these self-deluded experts at retail & wholesale.
Lovejoy is very knowledgeable in many things so I cannot believe she has failed to read at least the abstracts of the actual published science on this, such as shows everything she has claimed here for AEROBIC compost tea to be either false or unproven. Yet she says it because she has controlling interests in a very nice nursery that sells brewing equipment and teas. I strongly suspect she has investor interest in the SoulSoup Company itself, since she never mentions any other company though hundreds have sprung up as happens when any flimflam is new & easy to get off the ground. So while on the one hand I'm sure she has DEEPLY convinced herself she's not lying, & is in general not a bad person, this conviction of the greatest miracle since halfway to Jesus originates exclusively in her self-interest as a vendor, is not supported by any science whatsoever, therefore is not a forgiveable type of accidental misinformation.
HERE'S WHAT LYING WANKERS HOPE TO GET OUT OF YOU JUST FOR STARTERS:
$300 for a SoilSoup bioblender kit. No tub; just the part that aerates. A fifty-cent aeration stone from a petshop would do the same job, if the job even needed to be done.
$25 for Bottle of nutrient solution, which you'll have to buy regularly, making you a captive client (except not really -- you'll use this piece of shit "system" a few times before it sinks in what a dupe you've been & it goes in the back of the garage forevermore as impossible to get even twenty dollars for at your next yardsale alongside the Magic Sandwich Presser you bought off that tv ad).
$25 Tea bag that hangs on rim of tub. It's not like all you you're such a loser you might just get by with a hunk of cheese cloth or worn out underwear, you gotta pay $25 for a special sack you sweet all-day-sucker you.
$50 "SoilSoup System Plans". You can't even get the instructions without extravagant fee!
$25. Ten pounds of their compost to make the tea which is just bound to be WAY better than your crappy good-for-nothin' compost.
You still have to buy a mixing tub, an extension cord, hose hook-up, a ground fault interupter (or this overpriced cheaply made piece of shit will electrocute you). If you want it all as a kit complete with the tub but a smaller motor, that'll be $500, but will exclude the $50 System Plan since you won't have to put it all together yourself. And even then you still need to buy some extra stuff! However, if you want the tiny version that only makes about a paint-bucket's worth at a time, that's still a whopping $325. So you can spend much more or slightly less, but on average a typical system to do it at home, lacking everything you need, is $425.
It would be hysterically funny if not so appalling, but once you've dragged this $325 to $500 pile of shit home, IT CANNOT BE USED OUTDOORS!!!! Honest to shit! SoilSoup company warns to use it only in a covered location (which is why Lovejoy announced it should be in every garage) because the motor housing must never get wet! Holy cripes; & this warning after another warning to use it only where it's okay for the entire floor to get soaking wet. Just what we need, the garage floor soaking wet, standing in our garden shoes in a puddle beside a bubbling vat of water that can electrocute us if it gets wet.
All this amazing expense for crapola just to make compost tea which will be inferior to non-aerated, & which you could've made for free in an old laundry tub or plastic barrel with absolutely no need for special equipment unsafe to use if wet, magic nutrients, extra special our-brand-is-best compost, & a happy smile from hornswoggling vendors.
And with that $325 to $500 entry price, you have the reason for all the lying about protection against disease (just for the biggest of the many lies), followed up with lies about all the pricy equipment that should be in every nursery & in every garage. Well, maybe in the back of the garage never again used. And good leaping jehosaphat what a scam.
I still remember when Magic Light Box Glasses were being sold all over the city. If you put the light box on your head & adjusted the flashing lights for specific colors, you could cure any disease, restore perfect vision, & become increasingly intelligent. But of course that New Age tinfoil hat style flimflam didn't simultaneously benefit a facilitating industry, the way the Compost Tea fad is facilitated by nurseries. This one I'm afraid will be ripping people off for a long time to come.
--paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I don't buy it, I make my own, and yes, I use it the day it's ready. It takes about 36 hours to brew and I make it when I know I'll have time to use it when it's finished.
opined:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gbsftgus.com screamed & scribbled:

the baby

Tch tch. When someone has not a leg to stand on & has read nothing whatsoever beyond some advertising claims, all they can do is resort to "you're a stinky baby!" or pretend that professional retailing is horticulture, or respond to specific & valid information with citation of source as "ignorant!" "troll!" Attempting that feeby to counter the ACTUAL field studies & research of ACTUAL horticultural professors who are careful to sort out what is myth from what is valid in amateur organic horticultural practices with nothing more rational than "ignorant stinky baby!" reflects badly on no one but yourself. Having reality on my side I don't have to resort to the contentless childishness of just calling you a trolly stinky ignorant infant.
So for now you're angrily committed to not sorting out what little is beneficial from the larger sales pitch the science does not support. Perhaps when you get over having your illusions shattered you'll actually read the research & see that it is quite different from the promo literature.
It IS interesting to see, though, that the anti-organic people who just LOVE chemicals are not always wrong about greenies not caring what is true. Fortunately most of the greenies I hang with do know the difference between evidence & a sales pitch & likely had their doubts about this latest fad. It IS a tragedy that the science doesn't support more than one out of ten of the wild claims for compost tea, but there it is, & you can put your head in the sand & call your betters names till the cows come home, but in this case (to put it at the intellectual level you're capable of) I'm right, you're wrong, neener.
-paggers
"In the peer-reviewed literature...field-tested compost tea reported no difference in disease control between compost tea & water." [Linda Chalker-Scott, PhD, University of Washington horticulturalist]

--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You've come to so few rational conclusions in your life haven't you. Now get the hell off the net & go stir your eency weency pile of compost that has defined your sole alleged expertise on UseNet. Sheesh, talk about the pot calling alabaster black.
-paggers
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Or at least analyzed further peer-reviewed data, which I also cribbed in the other thread's list of false claims & potential harm surrounding compost tea. The data is mixed for NON-aerated compost tea's impact on pathogens, but when restricted to peer-reviewed studies, the picture is clearer: Occasional benefit is observed in suppressing pathogens with NON-aerated teas, but outcomes are not uniform or predictable so that much of it amounts to "irrepordicible science," while for others the observable benefit is equal to the benefit of watering. AERATED compost teas show none of the insinuated values for non-aerated. And surface mulching compost DOES have many of the pathogen-suppressing benefits unproven or unpredictable even for the non-aerated teas.
Further, the risk to watersheds has been shown in six additional peer-reviewed articles to be very possible. That alone would be good cause to stick to the superior method of topcoating with compost mulch, which does not negatively impact the environment as compost teas could.
The concepts of organic gardenings should have provable & duplicatable results to be regarded as more than empty-headed fads. By and large organic principles result in healthier gardens BY FAR compared to people reliant on pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, artificial fertilizers, & all manner of toxins. But not everything labeled "organic" is harmless or effective, & compost teas can be problems for watersheds, besides failing to function in the garden's favor in the umpteen false or unproven areas vendors claim for it beyond merely fertilizing.

Yup, to quote: Under "The Myth": "The popular press and the internet have exploded with kudos for aerated compost tea as a disease control agent. There are well over 4000 dot-com hits on the Google search engine, compared with only 1900 two years ago. Numerous magazine and newspaper articles have featured compost teas as environmentally-friendly alternatives to chemical pesticides, claiming reduced run-off into aquatic systems among other benefits."
After a balanced analyes of the possible exceptions, the unduplicable science, the "best" outcomes being always from non-peer-reviewed sources, & the peer-reviewed science findng benefit in retarding pathogens equal to normal watering, & data non-aerated teas with specific qualities POSSIBLY suppressing specific pathogens, this was the "Bottom Line" of the accumulative science:
COMPOST MULCH HAS BEEN DOCUMENTED TO SUPRESS DISEASE (that much is certain -- so stick with that kids!)
NON-AERATED TEAS MAY BE USEFUL IN SUPPRESSING SOME PATHOGENS ON SOME PLANTS (evidence is mixed but some specific values are probable though outcomes may always remain unpredictable as to efficacy, a hit & miss method of disease control)
AERATED COMPOST TEAS HAVE NO SCIENTIFICALLY DOCUMENTED EFFECT AS PATHOGEN SUPPRESSORS (and that, alas, is the aerobically brewed stuff promoted by vendors selling the teas or selling aerobic brewing equipment .
So, surface mulching compost DEFINITELY GOOD, non-aerated teas POSSIBLY SOMETIMES GOOD, aerated compost teas "brewed" by nurseries or with pricy brewing eqipment NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER OF EFFICACY.
So while some specific, limited, but good values may yet be proven for compost teas that are NOT aerated in restricting some pathogens on some plants, the thing that is unquestionable is that topcoating with compost is the proven superior method for doing the same thing. The MYTH remains: "Aerobically brewed compost teas suppresses plant pathogens." No science supports that myth. There is no evidence as yet that this is even occasionally true. Yet vendors sell it for this purpose & arrange lectures & instructions orchestrated to sell "brews" or home brewing equipment for this purpose.
The additional problem of numerous outrageous false claims for compost teas from functioning as insecticidese to repairing anarobic soils to adding homeopoathic and alopathic value to veggies for human health to being a good source of helpful nematodes all stand as the extravagant flimflams perpetrated by the greedy on the naive.
An additional bottom line is you can't repair damage poorly maintained soils with this alleged quick fix, whereas if ongoing soil management techniques are correctly followed, then no reason to even wish for the quick fix.
That aerobically brewed soil soups can be one more of many valid liquid fertilizer is unquestionably true. It is not the best, nor the safest option, & does not do more than fertilize. But it is an option for at least that, & very likely a better option than liquid fertilizers cooked up artificially by chemists -- though that too would have to be proven. Its when the vendors get out there in left field with claiims for values beyond fertilizing that they lie or exaggerate & miss-educate, promoting false or unproven values hoping that for once crime pays & we'll give them our money for stuff not likely to be needed, & if wanted anyway, easily made at home for free without special brewing equipment (indeed, since aeration decreases its value, the aeration vats are more than an unecessary expense, they produce a tea of decreased value!)
-paggers

--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

August"
Bill I read the article. An odd thing is that Dr. Chalker-Scott refers to Roundup as a pesticide instead of an herbicide. This is a common lay-person mistake, but an academic should know better. Certainly when written as a professional paper. Compostman, Washington, DC, Zone 7
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I read the article. An odd thing is that Dr. Chalker-Scott refers to

With all due respect, it IS a pesticide. Calling it a pesticide is not incorrect for either professional or lay people. The specific type of pesticide it is, is a herbicide. Still, it's a pesticide and can be called such.
V
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In article <VPC7b.133178$0v4.9749357@bgtnsc04-
says... :) Roundup as a pesticide instead of an herbicide. This is a common lay-person :) mistake, but an academic should know better. Certainly when written as a :) professional paper. :) :) Pesticide is the overall group which will contain herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides, etc. Same as Citrus the group containing oranges, grapefruit, lemon, etc
--

http://home.comcast.net/~larflu/owl1.jpg

Lar. (to e-mail, get rid of the BUGS!!
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well, it's obvious that these are two superior minds who are permanently ensonced on their respective sides of the fence.
At this point, the main question in my mind is whether or not compost tea serves as a good nutrient boost for my garden. I wasn't aware of any cure-all claims for the potion, nor was I aware that it was even available commercially. I just want to know if I'm wasting my time in preparing a batch of the brown liquid if my primary goal is to feed my plants.
Thanks for your well-informed posts.
-Fleemo
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.