[permaculture] Compost Tea
aerlandson at bigfoot.com
Fri Jun 18 19:20:42 EDT 2004
I made compost tea in a home made kit bought at the Seattle Tilth Fair from a man named Mont Francisco. His kit consisted of a 5 gallon bucket and a lid with an opening for the tubes, an air pump, filter bag, tubing, check flow valve (in tubing), and ceramic air stones. The ingredients he recommends are: 3 gal water, 2 cups high-quality finished compost (esp. vermicompost), 3 T molasses and 1 T liquid kelp. The last two are concentrated microbial nutrient sources. Starting with clean equipment, fill bucket with water, fit filter bag over bucket lip and secure with lid. After fitting airstones to the end of the tubing from the air pump, lower stones into the bucket. If using city water (chlorinated), aerate for a couple of hours before proceeding. To make the tea, add molasses, kelp and compost and run for 24 to 36 hours or until molasses smell disappears completely. When done, remove lid, stones, and filter bag (with compost solids). Dilute if desired. Use a hand pump sprayer to spray tea on foliage, roots, stems and soil. He recommends applying every 2 weeks.
I did compost tea as above for one growing season and found it to be quite fun. I didn't notice much in the way of obvious results, but then I've only been gardening for a few years and don't feel that I have enough experience or pay enough attention to draw any conclusions one way or the other. I've also not had very many problems with insects or diseases (that I know of) with or without the tea.
"We do not inherit the Earth from our parents;
we borrow the Earth from our children." - Anon
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