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molasses and compost tea

Posted by annafl z10a FL (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 2, 06 at 21:42

Recently I read that you should not put molasses in compost tea if the brewing temperature is over 75 degrees. Can anyone tell me why?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: molasses and compost tea

maybe shoulda posted where YOU read that? just a thought hey


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RE: molasses and compost tea

Obviously Darkcloud doesn't know the answer and his/her response is reflective of that...

Anna, I don't know the answer either, but do hope that someone chimes in to answer your question in a most respective and intelligent manner.


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RE: molasses and compost tea

I don't know the answer, but I think from what I have read it probably has to do with biological activity and oxygen consumption.

Regardless of temperature the more active the bacteria are the more oxygen they consume. In theory then the bacteria can deplete the oxygen faster than it is being introduced.

As temps go up, the bacteria become more active as well so the sugar high they get from molasses might be counter productive. In a sense they end up reducing oxygen and thus their population drops rather than increases.

That's what I have read anyway. Most stuff dealing with *aerated* teas I take with a dump truck full of salt though. You kind of have to because if one listened to all the things about how to make it properly one would conclude it could only be made with specialized, purchased compost and one would need expensive commercial brewers with oxygen meters and an HVAC system to maintain temps in the 'optimal' range of +- 1 degree.

Don't really want any of those wussy bacteria in my garden. I prefer the tough as nails, self sufficient type ;-)


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RE: molasses and compost tea

It may be to feed the bacteria you are trying to grow.

I think what dc was tryin to say is to ask the person who posted it. Make sense to me - we are only guessing here.
Gumby_CT


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RE: molasses and compost tea

hello good humans! molasses promotes the growth of "bad" bacteria in the compost tea. i foliar with molasses straight to boost sugar. there is a ton of stuff on the web concerning do's and don'ts with compost tea. be well


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RE: molasses and compost tea

Darkcloud, if I remembered where I read that, I would have gone there! Senility rears its ugly head again. I'm not sure it was even on GW. Just don't remember, so I thought you folks might have an idea.

Username 5, that makes good sense. Probably the reasoning behind it. Do you imagine that one could compensate for the molasses driving the bacteria too fast by decreasing the brewing time so as not to use up the oxygen, or is it the rate of oxygen supplied is not as fast as the rapidly growing molasses-fed bacteria are requiring it, providing a deficit no matter what the brewing time? Now you've got me thinking.

Swampfarmer, by "bad" do you mean anaerobic or just a certain type of bacteria that thrives on a sugar solution?


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RE: molasses and compost tea

annafl,

I've read the exact thing... I'll put the link below. Maybe that is where you heard it? Doesn't really matter anyway... experience is the key - which I don't have yet.

Here is a link that might be useful: compost link


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RE: molasses and compost tea

annafl , please accept my apology. it was not meant to hurt anyones feelings. Only to point out the obvious.

Sacrasm is just another FREE service I offer. Of course I failed to read the part where you couldn't remember where you read it, ha.

if it is the link above, I would say dchall is "the man" to ask or even bruce.
thanks for understanding.


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RE: molasses and compost tea

Found this -
"Add 1 once of unsulfured molasses to provide a food source for the beneficial microorganisms."

Found here...
http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/airwaste/wm/recycle/Tea/tea2.htm

Here is a link that might be useful: or here...


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RE: molasses and compost tea

Thanks, Tammy. That's where I got it from!

Darkcloud, no apology required. My feelings don't get hurt easily. I think I will take your advice and see if I can ask dchall. Username 5 I'm sure is right, though.


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RE: molasses and compost tea

Here I am!

username was right. I used to hang with people who made 200 gallons of compost tea daily, 365 days a year, for a 500 acre farm. They are VERY into the details and use a microscope to analyze each batch of tea. They also use a "dissolved oxygen" meter to test the tea while they're making it. This is all very chemistry lab stuff. Anyway, water can only hold so much oxygen. Warm water holds less than cold water. Between 70 and 80 degrees F is when you start to lose so much oxygen that the water itself cannot support the beneficial biology. When the dissolved oxygen drops too low, you start to favor the anerobic (smelly and often pathogenic) microbes. When you add molasses, the bacteria breed like crazy, and with tea that is what you are shooting for. But you don't want to get rid of all the oxygen by growing too many microbes. This is why you want to aerate the tea. Tea temps in the 60s are really good for adding molasses and really multiplying the quantity of good microbes. At least this is what the professional tea folks tell me.

This probably clarified the issue for some and confused it for the rest.


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RE: molasses and compost tea

Dchall, thanks. I just made a batch of tea over the weekend and put a bit of molasses in it. It frothed up nicely and smelled good and fresh when I used it a little over 24 hours later. However, I remembered reading something about the temperature of the brew and not to use molasses if over 75 degrees. I'm sure my brew was in the 80's, so I won't use molasses next time. To resume the molasses in the late fall.


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RE: molasses and compost tea

Ive used teas made up to 80 degrees or so. I use only a tablespoon of molasses for every two gallons of h2o. Base mix is 1/4 cup of my compost, 1/4 cup of earthworm castings, and 2 OZ. Alaska fish ferts. The micros that grow are producing verry quickly, feeding on the N from the fish ferts, and the small amount of sugar from the molasses. The key here is to only aerate for a time equal to the temp. If your aerating at 60 degrees, it takes much longer than at 70 degrees and so on. Your teas and oxygen availability can only support a microherd of a given size, over that then a massave die off happens. I always use molasses in teas, and have never lost a batch, but some are ready in 14 hours or a bit longer depending on the temp. Good Luck Root Doc


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RE: molasses and compost tea

You can always spray molasses directly on the soil or plants.


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RE: molasses and compost tea

Can someone post a recipe for foliar feeding molasses on plants, namely tomatoes. Any wetting agents?

Does too much molasses in teas create alcohol?

And I have read MANY times that aphids cause mildew probs because they secrete sugars as 'honey dew'. Would not spraying molasses do the same?

What about honey?


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RE: molasses and compost tea

bobcat,
water is the wetting agent. I know of one commercial cotton farmer who applies 1 gallon of molasses per acre, 4 times a year. That translates to 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet. So if you measured out 1,000 square feet on your yard, poured 3 ounces of molasses into your hose end sprayer, filled it up the rest of the way with water, and sprayed inside your 1,000 square foot area until the sprayer was empty, then you would have applied exactly 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet.

I'm not doubting that you read what you read so many times about aphids, but I would like to see what a microbiologist had to say about the cause and effect of mildew. I have not had mildew on my roses in years, ever since I started scattering a heaping handful of corn meal on the soil under the roses a couple times a season.

I believe alcohol is the result of yeast eating carbohydrates. If you don't have any yeast in your tea, then you should not have any alcohol.

I would love to see some experiments using honey as a carbohydrate source. Honey has its own antibacterial components, so that would be interesting.


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RE: molasses and compost tea

Dchall,
I just have to comment on what yousaid about corn meal on soil ina season. WOW! YOu are full of good information. It is great for us gardeners to do this. PROPS to you!

For everyone else, I had heard before where b/s molasses is so good for soil, gives minerals and microbes food. WEll, I have some echinacea insomewhat clay soil, not real bad though. ANyway, I noticed the flowers were so dull and lifeless (strange being that clay has good nutrients). I sprayed just a bit of b/s molasses on the soil and leaves, not much, and man after that, THe flowers were as gorgeous and bright as could be!
Just some food for thought (and microbes)! Thanks for the info. ~Karen, Ky


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