[permaculture] [compost_tea] Dispensing tea - spray or dribble?

Rev Dele wearenaturesfriends at gmail.com
Sun Mar 31 17:22:35 EDT 2013


I don't know if the other email has this on it........


On Sun, Mar 31, 2013 at 4:28 PM, loren luyendyk <loren at sborganics.com>wrote:

> Bacterial tea is less troublesome to apply than fungal from what I hear.
>  Fungi are a lot larger and more susceptible to pressure and filtration.
>  Darren Doherty recommended a very simple extract/tea application system
> which consists of 50 gal drums mounted on an a-frame or preferably the
> frame of the Keyline plow.
>
> If you have a Keyline plow or other type of non-inversion chisel plow you
> can set up the drums to gravity dribble the tea into the furrow directly
> behind the plow tine (make sure you plow following the Keyline!!).  If you
> are keen you can also drop seed into the furrow to spread the microbes via
> roots to the surrounding soil (Darren calls this the Keyline Super Plow:
> https://plus.google.com/photos/117745392570544689225/albums/5834666411829292785?banner=pwa).
>  This gets the goodies into the soil where they can colonize and not dry
> out.
>
> You might as well throw some micronuts/biofertilizers in there too while
> you're at it.  Check the soil for what is lacking, though kelp and humic
> acid won't hurt.  I am also using Effective Microorganisms in my brews.
>
> happy plowing!
> Loren Luyendyk
> 805-452-8249
> Permaculture Design and Education
> ISA Certified Arborist #WE-7805A
> www.sborganics.com
> www.globalpermaculture.com
> www.surferswithoutborders.com
>
>
> > Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2013 18:02:36 -0400
> > From: venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
> > To: compost_tea at yahoogroups.com; permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org;
> marketfarming at lists.ibiblio.org
> > Subject: Re: [permaculture] [compost_tea] Dispensing tea - spray or
> dribble?
> >
> >
> > >> On 3/28/2013 5:22 PM, bberryvp wrote:
> > >> I plan to apply bacterial tea to some pasture I am trying to improve.
> > >> I will probably make a dispenser for my tractor, since about 10 ft
> > >> wide is all I need. Rather than spray, one thought is to basically
> > >> dribble the  tea out of a manifold, with holes closely spaced such as
> > >> 1/2 inch apart. I can solve issues such as manifold pressure
> > >> distribution to keep it pretty even. Since the tea is basically an
> > >> inoculant (as I understand it), could it be that dribbling might be
> > >> equal or better than spraying, since when spraying most of it will
> > >> not make contact with soil.
> > > On 3/28/2013 9:41 PM, venaurafarm wrote:
> > > If you don't intend to do foliar spraying then dripping it onto the
> > > ground seems like a good idea, if you can control the distribution rate
> > > without clogging the system. Will it be gravity flow or pressurized
> > > lines? Beyond a certain point the microbes can be killed by being
> forced
> > > with the tea through a system that uses too much pressure.
> > > Here's a person who knows all about this and has designed and built a
> > > large truck-mounted spray rig with sensors and controls to prevent over
> > > pressurizing the lines: Frank Schultz
> >
> > Frank sent me this reply:
> > <>
> >
> > Yes, you are quite correct: Microbes are fragile and easily destroyed by
> > impact or crushing.
> >
> > General Notes -
> >
> > 1.    Pumps - use only a diaphragm pump.  The lower the speed, the
> > better.  Other types are very destructive.  Centrifugals are the worst
> > (giving you “bug purée”).  Note that manufacturers of most diaphragm
> > pumps specify a 50-mesh inlet screen to avoid clogging or blocking the
> > valves.  Large diaphragm trash pumps require no screen (they’ll accept
> > chunks up to several inches) - however, their output pressures tend to
> > be very low (a few feet of head).
> >
> > 2.    Pressures - The lower the better.  25 psi max.  The problem is
> > de-compression.  When suddenly released into the atmosphere at high
> > pressures, the cell walls explode.  I use nozzles rated for 15 psi min
> > (for proper spray pattern) and try to stay close to this pressure (just
> > a little over 1 Atmosphere [Atm.]).  Do not use a pressure relief
> > (pop-off) valve to regulate pressure - High velocities into right-angle
> > turns!
> >
> > 3.    Piping - To keep fluid velocities low, I use piping larger than
> > what would normally be recommended for the flow rate.  At turns, I try
> > to use hose with wide, sweeping turns.  If an elbow or tee is required,
> > I adapt up to the next larger size, then reduce back down.  If you’re
> > using PVC piping, you can use Schedule 80 electrical (pulling) ells to
> > also reduce the K-factor.  Even though they are not pressure rated, I’ve
> > had no problems up to 100 psi.
> >
> > Please do not dismiss the many benefits of foliar application.  While
> > spraying is a completely different proposition from drip, foliar feeding
> > can achieve the fastest response time from your plants - especially if
> > there are disease issues or obvious nutritional problems.  Also, since
> > we field (broadcast) spray here, most (80%) of the spray mix goes on the
> > ground - and most of the other 20% then runs off the leaves - onto the
> > ground.  Don’t limit yourself by thinking in terms of biology only.  We
> > recommend the addition of blackstrap molasses, humate, seaweed,
> > micronutrients, trace elements and other things to the mix (depending
> > upon the deficiencies found).  These things are readily taken up through
> > the leaves.  Note: Don’t overdo the molasses - 1 quart/acre max.
> >
> > With a few exceptions, anything sprayed has to pass a 50-mesh screen.
> > We design soil fertility and crop nutrition programs for [generally
> > large] growers all over the world.  For irrigated growers, this involves
> > a combination of spray and fertigation (through pivot or drip).  In
> > addition to biology, we always recommend some combination of nutrients.
> >   Some soil chemistries rapidly tie-up some of the nutrients - and in
> > fact, the only way plants can get these nutrients for any length of
> > time, is foliar.  Accordingly, when a plant shows deficiencies in some
> > of these (particularly the micros and traces) the surest and fastest way
> > to correct these is with foliar.  Be aware that many plant diseases are
> > caused by nutritional deficiencies - especially in the micros/traces.
> >
> > The really cool thing about irrigation is that you can continuously
> > feed, giving your plants the nutrition they need (and only what they
> > need) when they need it as their nutritional requirements change
> > throughout the growing season.  Performance and quality results can be
> > truly dramatic.  And - a nutritionally-balanced plant can require up to
> > 70% less water(!) (per university studies) - And a healthy plant is
> > subject to fewer disease and insect pressures!
> >
> > With respect to your drip (“dribble”) plan:  This involves a different
> > set of problems.  Commercial drip tape usually operates in the 8 - 10
> > psi range.  The total opening presented by the micro-emitters is
> > calculated for a maximum run length given the diameter of the tape to
> > ensure consistent flow from each of the emitters over the entire length
> > (same flow out of the first emitter through to the last).  The
> > electrical equivalent is presenting a number of very high-impedance
> > (bridging) loads to a very low-impedance source.  Tapes are usually
> > ploughed-in at a depth of about 8”; however, some installations have it
> > laying on the surface.  Systems are designed to deliver about 9 gpm/acre
> > - 24/7 in worst-case drought conditions.  Tape emitters are extremely
> > susceptible to plugging.  Accordingly, manufacturers provide fairly
> > elaborate filtration systems.  The allowable particle size varies
> > somewhat with the manufacturer but it is always quite small.  Tape,
> > especially buried, is subject to varmints.  This problem has not been
> > entirely resolved.
> >
> > For some row crops and often in orchards, an above-ground round trunk
> > drip line is sometimes used.  Many installations have a large buried
> > trunk line with risers and valves at intervals to which smaller, local
> > lines are connected.  With most all trellised crops (grapes,
> > blueberries, hops, etc.), the trunk line is suspended from the trellis a
> > few inches above the ground (but sometimes laying on the ground).  With
> > a manufacturer-supplied tool, holes are punched at desired intervals and
> > small [micro] drip lines are inserted.  These may be either open on the
> > end or have emitters attached.
> >
> > Flow through these open micro-drip lines is determined by pressure and
> > length.  The various emitters available have published flow rates.  You
> > may want to look carefully at these, however, as they may involve
> > internal sharp right-angle turns to regulate flow.  Also, some systems
> > offer emitters that are pushed right in to the trunk line.  These
> > components are most readily available through Lowe’s or Home Depot - or
> > other garden centers.  The rated operating pressure is 10 psi, I think.
> >   And there are also many commercial systems available.
> >
> > Again, consider trunk line diameter and length versus your flow
> > requirements.  The manufacturers have published tables to assist you in
> > this.
> >
> > Again, particle size is a consideration in these systems, so be prepared
> > to have a strainer with the appropriate screen mesh installed.  In the
> > case of compost tea, you may want to have several strainers of
> > progressively smaller mesh sizes.  And again, if you use one of these
> > systems, don’t use their pressure regulator!
> >
> > There are several ways to non-destructively regulate pressure:
> >
> > 1. Control pump speed.  This can be done electronically when a DC or a
> > 3-phase AC pump motor is used.   An expensive approach.
> >
> > 2. Maybe the best method is to have an overflow standpipe.  At 0.433 psi
> > per foot of head, this would be a pipe 23’ tall (for 10 psi static
> > pressure - much under 1 Atm.) – returning to the tank.  This might be
> > the most practical for you.  But whatever pressure is specified for the
> > system, it must be constant.  If use this approach, your pump must have
> > the capacity to provide at least some overflow continuously - to
> > maintain the static trunk line pressure.
> >
> > 3. A much less desirable method is to provide a bypass ball valve after
> > the pump to return excess material to the tank.  Not recommended –
> > possible velocity and impact issues - and variable flow rates.
> >
> > ABOVE ALL ELSE – Provide a washout fitting or valve at the end of each
> > line!  Sediments and growing things will accumulate in the system.  You
> > will have to periodically flush and clean (using bleach and/or Hydrogen
> > Peroxide (32% - Beware!)) the system.
> >
> > I suggest you make a trip to any of the above-mentioned stores and see
> > what they have to offer – might give you some ideas.  While there are
> > several manufacturers of these systems, the one that comes immediately
> > to mind is Rain Bird - but there are other good ones.  For me, there is
> > nothing like looking at the stuff in flesh and actually seeing how it
> > all goes together…
> >
> > AND – don’t overlook WATER QUALITY!  With drought in many parts of the
> > country resulting in falling aquifers, we’re seeing a dramatic rise in
> > serious quality issues - mostly bicarbonates - sometimes Manganese and
> > Iron - and sometimes salt.  If your water is from a public utility, ask
> > them for a water MINERAL analysis.  If you’re using water from any other
> > source, get an irrigation water test.  Depending upon where you are,
> > your water chemistry can be changing fast - even from a public utility.
> >   Depending upon your soil type and water, bad water can literally turn
> > your soil to stone.
> >
> > What’s in your water becomes part of your soil!™
> >
> > Finally, we strongly, strongly recommend AGAINST using manure compost
> > for teas.  There is much more to compost, itself.
> >
> > By the way, ACRESUSA published a book several years ago, titled, “Ask
> > The Plant”.  It is a very valuable resource.
> >
> > Frank Schultz
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-- 
*Rev. M. Dele*
*Nature's Friends Institute** *
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