Tea starter compost

kelleynelsonApril 16, 2007

Hey gang,

I am interested in trying out compost tea this year. I'll probably build a Duely's brewer. However, making my own compost this year will probably be more work than I can balance with everything else going on.

My question is, if you aren't making your own compost, what is the best source of finished compost to use in the brewer?

I've also seen talk of using worm castings in compost tea. Are castings also considered finished compost?

Third question - I have to think freshness is an issue since we are dealing with living micro-organisms?

Thanks, I continue to find this forum full of good information and discussion.

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greenjeans_il(zone5 IL)

If you're looking to buy compost on-line, look for the ones that have SFI lab test results. If the results are bad they won't advertise them so ask before buying. I like Alaska Humus and will provide a link for info. It's expensive but is considered the best and you won't need much.

The second best, or so I've been told but have never seen SFI results, are worm castings. There is some debate over whether worm castings are considered "finished". Worm castings can in fact be re-cycled through a worm bin but not without additional food being added. It will also reach a point where it is cosidered harmful to the worms. I don't think there's an exact science that can call any castings "finished" compost, but it all contains some good microbes.

My thinking is: if I'm going to the trouble to make the tea, why not use the best microbes I can find? Some of the most beneficial tea in the world is made from Alaska Humus and that's what I want for my soil.

Greenjeans

We are in no way affiliated with alaskahumus.com
No worms were harmed in the making of this advertisement
: )

Here is a link that might be useful: Alaska Humus...

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 12:41PM
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kelleynelson

Thanks for the info! I wish they sold in smaller quantities than 30lbs. Wouldn't 30 lbs be enough for 150 gals of tea?

My reading lead me to believe 5 gallons of tea is enough to treat 10,000 square feet of turf.

I don't think I could really 'drench' 10,000 square feet with 5 gallons. Do people typically dilute their tea concentrate with dechlorinated water before applying to turf?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 3:54PM
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greenjeans_il(zone5 IL)

I like to do the "sponge" thing where I'll water for 1/2 hour, apply the concentrated tea, then water again for another 1/2 hour.

Another trick I've learned is to find a hose end sprayer that will adapt both sides to a water hose and fill it with humic acid and fish hydrolysate/seaweed extract if you're concerned about the chlorine when watering. The humic acid will neutralize the chlorine and the fish/weed will feed the microbes. I use this between the spigot and the hose when watering the grass.

ALSO, I think I may have found another source for Alaska humis that is well tested and significantly cheaper. I'm still trying to finalize details but hope to hear something soon. So if you can, and if you want, to hold off on purchasing any I'll keep us posted on details as I learn. It could help all of us that use a lot of ACT save a significant amount of $$$.

Greenjeans

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 4:57PM
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kelleynelson

Sounds good to me, it's probably still too cool here in NJ to start using tea anyway ;) I was just going to start getting the brewer put together.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 11:23PM
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