Compost Tea recipe...Overkill?

greenepastures(9)January 22, 2013

Hi folks. I've been a consistent user of compost tea, paricularly the areated version with the fish pump. I'm in year 2 of my OG experience and I wonder if I'm overdoing it. Here's what I usually put in my tea recipe. In a 5gallon bucket, I apply:

compost, worm castings, bat guano, composted chicken manure..all of which are combined in a paint strainer.

In addition to that I add a cap full of feather tea, a tablespoon of kelp meal, 1/2 cup of liquid fish fertilizer (5..1..1), 2tblsp of molasses & 1/2 cup of Organic Bio-Grow liquid fertilizer. 2..0..6 and 2 tblspn of apple cider vinegar.

I brew for 2 days and apply at full strength via spray and soil feed. Am I overdoing it? What should I scale back on?

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Dr. Elaine Ingham who developed the concept of and methods to brew compost tea apparently did not think it necessary to add a lot of other stuff.

Here is a link that might be useful: brewing compost tea

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 7:20AM
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You get much fancier than I do, with only blackstrap molasses and maybe some fish emul. in with my compost and bait fish aerator.

One thing you might consider varying is the time period. I fill my gallon jugs of tea out of the five gallon bucket in stages. After 1 day I strain tea into the first third of the gallon containers. After day two I strain tea into the second third of the gallon containers. After 3 or 4 days I strain the five gallon bucket tea into the last third of the gallon jugs.

A bit of reading on compost tea leaves me with the impression that the benefits of tea change a bit with the 'brew' time. So each finished jug has tea with three different 'brew' times.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 5:08PM
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HMMM! I didnt know that! Usually after I finish it all goes on the plants & in the soil immediately....So when is the benefit best/worst?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 11:12AM
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Not really a case of best or worst. Rather, short brew times improve A more than B and longer brew times improve B more than A (where A and B are benefits).

Read Monte's FAQ on Compost Tea. Keep in mind that a FAQ may be just one persons opinion, and may be heavily edited by others not listed. The two GW Compost FAQs I wrote changed quite a bit over the years.

Search for Compost Tea articles outside of GW, say 'Compost tea basics' or 'Compost Tea Variations'. Avoid the first few who pay for advertising and sell their own products.

There was a New South Wales based experiment article that looked pretty good (from 2007?). My search today did not find an article I remember from several years ago that gave all sorts of opinion on tea brew times and ingredient variations.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 6:24PM
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Found the article I was looking for, or at least one just as good. Dr. Elaine Ingham 80 page article is titled something like 'The Compost Tea Brewing Manual' 5th edition. Wasn't until I googled 'compost tea, weed tea, manure tea' that I found it.

Kimmsr's link just led me to the first page of a Dr. Ingham article, the subsequent pages were not found.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 2:44PM
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Robert, down toward the bottom of that first page, just under a grren lione about sunscribing to Fine Gardening magazine, you will find links to other pages. Just click on 2,3,4,etc. to get the rest of the article.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 6:50AM
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Kimmsr, I found the rest of the article today. One Feb 6, a error message was displayed. Hopefully, it was just a temp glitch.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 3:19PM
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