Molasses In Compost Tea?

sandhill_farms(10 NV)August 8, 2008

I'm setting-up my compost tea barrel again and I have a question for you. It's been a few years since I've gardened, and I seem to remember reading something here about using molasses in making compost tea. As I recall some were for it and some were against it, so what's your take on it?

Greg

Nevada

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

My personal take is that adding can be beneficial in that it feeds beneficial bacteria already in the tea and increases them.

BUT that is assuming no manure in the tea to begin with. I won't add it to manured compost tea because it also feeds any potentially hazardous bacteria and I don't need or want proliferation of e-coli, etc.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 9:52AM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

Actually, I don't understand why anyone would want to add molasses to compost or manure tea. The purpose of adding the molasses is to increase the number of microbes to break down the debris. I can see adding it to a compost pile or even directly to soil, because there is stuff for them to break down. What is the point of adding it to the teas?

Sue

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 3:12PM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

Sue wrote:

"What is the point of adding it to the teas?"

Yes, and that's what I'm trying to re-learn myself. It's been some time since I've gardened and I've forgotten some of what I knew back then. Has nothing to do with age...It's just an overcrowded brain - LOL!

Greg
Nevada

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 3:33PM
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esther_opal

molasses feeds the microbes causing them to multiply.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 12:12AM
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bluesky_girl(Z6a)

If you are wanting good beneficial bacteria, have you considered trying ACT - activated compost tea? If it's been a while since you done compost tea, this method is a lot better to get the 'good bugs'.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 11:31AM
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bluesky_girl(Z6a)

Never mind that last remark. I just saw your other post. That's quite some setup...:-)

There's a Yahoo group that has lots of info on that topic - called 'compost_tea'. If you want to get back uptodate, I suggest checking out this book at your local library - "Teaming With Microbes: A Gardener's Guide to The Soil Food Web" by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis. It's pretty good.

Here is a link that might be useful: link to book on Amazon

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 11:58AM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

Thanks Margie. Yes, Aerated Compost Tea or (ACT) is what I'm brewing in my barrel. I decided to skip the Molasses and just added composted horse manure, (I have a mountain of the stuff), and alfalfa pellets. It's been brewing for (48) hours now and looks and smells good. I shy away from buying things and opt for utilizing what's available to me for free.

Greg
Nevada

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 1:32PM
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terran(zone10/Sunset20 CA)

Here's the info that you are looking for.

Pay particular attention to the section, 'Start with the right kind of compost', and under the heading 'Tea Time' the direction to use "unsulfured molasses". Sulfur is antibiotic, so it is counterproductive to use in ACT.

Sulfur is supposed to be a trace element in agriculture, and in order to alleviate its undesirable effects must be incorporated in the sulfate form as part of a compound - Iron sulfate for example, or some other compound depending on what is determined to be deficient by soil analysis.

Terran

Here is a link that might be useful: Brewing Compost Tea

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 4:18AM
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