All I want to know is what to add to the 5 gal bucket besides the worm castings in a mesh bag and a pump for aeration. Please will someone advise me? TY
Just molasses I believe. I read a recipe that called for 2C
And don't forget to add Water :-))
I'm also almost ready to make my first batch ever and would like to get off on the right foot. I've only had a worm bin for about a month, but have some finished yard waste compost I could use to supplement my lack of worm castings. What should the ratios be? I will be mixing in a 5 gallon bucket.
How much worm castings/compost should I use? I wonder if I even have enough...
What is the purpose of the molasses again?
Can I use an old tube sock for the "tea bag" ?
How long should I aerate?
Don't know about the ratio of compost to vermicompost.
Molasses feeds the good bacteria. I brew a gallon at a time and use about 1 tablespoon of molasses to about 4 or 5 tablespoons of compost.
A tube sock should be fine, I use an actual large tea ball to suspend the compost in the water.
I usually brew for about 24 hours. By then there is a good head of foam on top of the tea. I always take that to mean that it 'worked' and is ready to be used.
I have read that "unsulfured" molasses is suggested. Why is this? Is standard molasses harmful to the bacteria?
I just brewed my third batch of AVCT this season. I use a 4-port 15LPM air pump with 4 large stones in a 5 gallon bucket. I have been using 1/2 gallon castings and 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses, brewed 12-30 hours, depending on temperature. Sulfer will kill what it is you are trying to grow in your tea.
After it foams up like a rootbeer-float, I pour it through a 5-gallon paint strainer in another bucket. The strainings usually go back in the bin as a very special worm treat. The tea is diluted as needed up to 5:1, and added to plants as a foliar/ soil drench with my watering can.
In past batches, I have added a local fish/kelp liquid organic fertilizer, instead of molasses, and it did not foam up! IDK? Used it anyway and heard no complaints
Happy tea brewing!!!!
I just started a batch last night based on a recipe I found online that had quite a few ingredients. I used a small amount of worm castings (since i'm just starting out) and a few handfulls of yard compost. The added ingredients were small amounts of: bone meal, kelp meal, poultry manure, cat food (yes, cat food), liquid fish fertilizer and molasses.
I used 4 gallons of distilled water (from my dehumidifier) and am using an aerator that I normally use in my bait bucket when fishing.
No foam apparent yet this morning after about 12 hours, but I have read that the foam is unpredictable and indicative of nothing essential.
My tea bag is only about the size of a large softball and I used approx 4 gallons of water. Do I need to dilute this before applying to plants and soil?
What with a small amount of worm castings in 4 gal of water, it sounds like your tea is already diluted, even before you start.
Besides that, the combined smells of the poultry manure, cat food and liquid fish fertilizer will probably have every cat in the neighborhood cruising in your garden. Why not add catnip as well?
Actually, we have a catnip plant in a pot nearby, so I've taken care of that. Better to have cats in the garden, than squirrels and rabbits!
Started applying the tea last night. I can definitely smell the fish fertilizer. The foam hasn't showed up after 36 hours, so it probably isn't going to. Maybe due to the fish fertilizer and molasses? Maybe my aerator is too weak... i'll keep the aerator on today and apply the rest this evening. is it possible to over-apply this product?
Not possible to over apply this product.
Not sure about the additions though.
Use non city water or remove the chlorine by aging water for 24 hours in a container open to the air or the choramine, if that is what your city used, by using purchased chemical from the fish hobby store.
Apply product just before or after a fine rain if possible.
How do I know if my aerator is providing sufficient oxygen? I use a plug in aerator that I normally use for keeping bait alive in my bait bucket while fishing. it has 1 circular stone about 3" in diameter. It seems that alot of brewers have 2-3 or even 4 bubble stones churning up the pot. I wonder if my system is sufficient??? is there any way to determine this?
Microscopes are some peoples' choice to assure themselves that they're maximizing the brew to.....perfect (?).
When I started, I used the trial and error method, watched the plants, tweaked a little until my lawn and plants were screaming at me that they were satisfied with the formula, and I've left it exactly the same for these 15 years.
I only use dechlorinated water (use my aeration bubblers on city water for about an hour prior to brewing), unsulphured molasses (Grandma's is good unless you can find it in larger containers), and aquarium aerators.
Brew it 24 hours, spread it with an end-hose sprayer with an in-line filter, use the least water pressure possible to get the stuff delivered, and get ready to mow 4 days after the previous mowing.
Wanna see some comparison pics?
do you have any specifics on the aerator that you use?
Are you saying that instead of letting water sit out 24 hrs (to evaporate the chlorine) that it's possible to just bubble air through it for an hour and that does the same thing? If so, then that is one Fantastic idea and sure saves a load of time.
Yeah, infusion of O2 into the water will remove the chlorine. My wife even uses de-chlorinated to water her plants. (Plants respond much better to it. Think of how much better they respond to RAIN).
Minnesota: pics to come.
Thanks very much. Great idea.
Sorry to be so dense. I am on bin #3 in my start to worm composting. Bin #1 is almost completely empty of worm action and ready to be used. As I understand from this thread - I should take the compost that is in Bin #1 - put in some sort of sack and then put the sack into a 5 Gallon bucket filled with water and an aerator and some molasses and let it churn for 24 - 30 hours. Then the liquid is ready to be used and the compost goes back into either Bin #2 or #3.
Again sorry to be dense - but this is my first time around and I do not want to mess up 3 months of worm effort.
Thanks - Mike
Note: Call the water company to find out if they use Chlorine or Chloramine. For Chlorine 24 hours or a blubber for one hour, apparently, I believe it, will work. For Chloramine a product is needed that says it removes that. Usually just a few drops of product are needed.
Wih a limited supply of VC, and being a newbie, you might wanna brew your first few batches in gallon milk jugs....if you have aquarium aerators.
Put a cup of LOOSE vermicompost in a milk jug of de-chlorinated water, one bubbler wih 2 hoses. Add about half a cup of diluted unsulphured molasses and percolate for about 24 hours.
Spread that tea on a selected part of your lawn/plants/garden with a sprinkler can or delivery device that'll minimize contamination of the tea with chlorinated water.
Better to do this in cooler times of the day. You're stressing all that biology you've created enough without throwing them into hostile territory.
Most important thing you wanna create is self-confidence that what you're doing is actually working thru proof. And be patient because this ain't instant like chemo's.
BTW....the dregs left in the jug should be put around a plant or in a potted plant.....it's good stuff.
Pics I promised Minnesota:
This one shows the property line between my yard and my neighbors'. There was an area-wide infestation of TAKE ALL PATCH that decimated the lawns in a 4 block area....all except mine.
AVCT and VC inoculate.
Another pic of take all patch in my neighborhood
Wow! what a difference!
My yard has a few patches similar to what is shown in the second photo and I have been trying to diagnose and treat whatever is causing it. Did you just apply the AVCT or was there other treatment?
Really great looking lawn!
Great pictures Chuck! It would be great to see the difference between a non-fertilized plant vs. a VC fertilized plant vs. a commercial fertilizer. Once I have enough I am going to try this experiment.
Disclaimer: Regardless of the amount of VC or tea you put on your lawn, you still have to give it what it really wants, which is water. Without proper and regular watering it won't matter what you put on it.
Never put anything on it except AVCT and VC in the 15 years I've owned the place. And when I got it, the soil was bad with lots of clay.
New member here. But have been brewing tea for 20 years. I learned the hard way years ago to add a handfull of regular compost with some small uncomposted material to the casting. This helps to aerate better. Also don't use to much or pack your tea bag to tight. It should be loose so that the bubbles can get to all of the materials in the teabag. For a 5 gl. bucket of tea I'm using maybe 3/4 of a cup of castings, and 1/2 cup of compost with 2 tblsp. molasses and a shot of liquid kelp for good measure.
Some sites on the web recommend just throwing ing in the bucket no bag needed. I have followed that advice last couple brews. Seems like bubbles have an easier time of getting the job done.