[Compostteas] first batch and aphids

John A. Perazzo jperazzo at lvcm.com
Thu Jun 20 18:29:15 EDT 2002

Dear group,

I have reconstructed the recipe from my first batch.  I used it against
aphids.  It was effective, but why, I don't know.  It was also early in the
season.  When I tried it again, my climate dried the tea and it didn't work.

I also thought it would be helpful for folks to give a bit of background on
their site to help with contextual understanding.  For example, my typical
soil is clay with little organic matter which my fiancée and I have built
up.  For me, spring begins at 40°F when my compost starts working again and
the aphids and caterpillars arrive.  This year (2002), that was February
12th.  Our climate zone is Arid (hot summer, > 100°F by end of May;
hopefully more rain this fall = desert).

[Salty, hard water note:  I collect the condensate from our refrigerated air
conditioning in the fall (monsoon season = high humidity "> 20%") and used
it for my tea.]

Recipe was from SFW website then (now changed).  I think it was an excerpt
from Elaine's book.  My version:
(dry measure estimate)
1 cup    Worm Gold® worm castings
1/2 c    Growmore® sea bird guano (10-10-1)
1/2 c    Whitney Farms® bat guano (10-3-1)
3/4 c    Growmore® Norwegian kelp meal (0-0-1.5)
1/2 c    Grandma's® unsulphered, mild molasses
10 gal    distilled water (above process)

Temperatures down to mid 40°F (low) and up to mid 60°F (high).  Circulation
and aeration was with a Beckett® M60A (60 gal/min) fountain pump through a
3/16 inch nozzle.  The pump was filtered to keep debris out and the water
was allowed to shoot up into the air and back down into the mix to give it

The need was the appearance of aphids on vegetables (red leaf lettuce,
turnips, Swiss chard, green onions).  Applied with RL Flomaster® Model 2602
sprayer with original nozzle under 25 pumps pressure to undersides of
leaves.  After 7 days, considered aphids no longer a threat to crops.

Tried recipe again in two months for aphids on tulips.  Now warm enough to
dry the tea on the leaves and petals that I could never seem to establish a

Presently attempting to reproduce tea recipe for testing.

John A Perazzo
Las Vegas, Nevada

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