Does anyone have good resources on making compost tea? A generic formula to start with? How much compost, how much water, how long to aerate, rate of application? Thanks!
Thanks Darren this is great, I appreciate having a basic recipe to disseminate. I will send it to DK, who contacted me requesting some basic information as you have provided. Below are other resources I found on compost tea I sent to her:My typical formula for a general use compost tea is
Per 5 gallons of de-chlorinated water:
-1/2 pound quality active compost
-2 Tbls Molasses
-2 Tbls Liquid Seaweed
-2 teaspoons Fish emulsion
Brew for 24-48 hours, use air stones to make smallest bubbles possible for more surface area, and use the tea within 4 hours for best results. If it smells bad, don't use it.
As far as rate of application, depends on what you are trying to accomplish, foliar spray, soil drench, new compost starting inoculation etc.
You can brew more specific microbes with numerous types of feed specific formulas, but this formula worked well for general use.
Dr. Elaine Ingham and the resources she offers are a good starting point.
Thinking about this... and the main issue that comes to mind is pathogens. Fully composted material has been, if temperature and aeration is maintained, brought to temps to eliminate pathogens. I am not sure the process of using the feedstocks you mention and making a tea would ensure this. If you use this method, I would be careful to use the tea on non-edible plants or as a soil drench.In absence of good compost, would it be feasible to use partially aged bedding pack consisting of corn stalks, waste grass/alfalfa hay, millet hay and sheep manure to make an extract or tea to apply to seed?
Good point, Mike. As your post hints, the way we handle manure has huge impacts on the whether we are creating pollutants or soil nutriments. The best way I've seen for manure to be beneficial to soil, the climate, and in many cases our pocketbooks, is through bale and swath grazing. I know you're already using this practice with good results.Thanks Lee. I would be using it as a seed treatment or soil drench. The other concern that I thought of is, Dr. Christine Jones says applying raw manure is as potentially harmful as applying commercial nitrogen. So that may negate what we are attempting to do.
Linda,Anyone with advice for building a brewer on the cheap? I see your last reference above includes information on building a brewer, Lee, but I'm looking for something I could cobble together from items on hand. Don't laugh too hard, but I've even wondered if it would work to assemble the ingredients (along with several buoyant sticks or balls) in a tightly covered 55 gallon drum, secured in the back of my pickup while I drive around on our washboard gravel roads for 2-3 hours (basically a trip to town and back). It wouldn't be enough time to go anaerobic and the sloshing should provide a lot of aeration -- maybe?
Okay, go ahead and laugh, but I'm a shepherd and we make money largely by not spending it! 😊