Compost Tea, will it benefit our container garden?

Congratulations folks, we have made it through yet another Monday.

Today I wanted to share a real milestone in our garden.
I’ve read tons of articles, plenty of books, and watched hours of videos on youtube for our little garden haven.
And as time progressed, I started to focus more and more on the microbiology of the plant.
This past weekend, Amy and I decided to brew our first batch of home made compost tea.

This is my first time utilizing compost spray so I can not really tell you what I know from experience. But from what I have read, compost tea is one of the best ways of increasing beneficial biodiversity in the soil and we take great measures to be sure that there are no anaerobic pathogens in what we introduce to the plant. We will be sure to keep you guys updated on how this affects our little garden.

We took tons of pictures of every step during the process so we hope that you guys find it useful.
It really is easier than it looks so don’t be afraid to give it a try!

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These were all the materials needed for the compost tea brewer. Total cost = $19

 

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I drilled a hole in the bucket to feed the air tube through

 

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Homemade vermicompost! Be sure to save the worms!

 

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Also tossed in some Sure Start. This will ensure that there is a diverse bunch of beneficial microbes in the tea.

 

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We used coffee filters and butcher twine to keep the bundles together and tossed them into the brewer.

 

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BLACK GOLLLLLLDDDDD from our vermicompost bin. (we will get into that later)

 

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Here we used a little bit of seaweed kelp to feed the microbes

 

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Fish emulsion, molasses, and crushed rock dust was also supplemented to the tea.

 

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Important note: Be sure to use UN CHLORINATED water. Chlorine kills microbes and that is exactly what we do not want!!!!

 

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It’s a brewin’

Lots of versions of “compost tea” say that the air stone/pump combo is unnecessary.
This is true, if you want to wait for two weeks while anaerobic microbes take over the tea.
Most pathogenic garden microbes are anaerobic (do not require oxygen to thrive.)
Using an air stone guarantees that the tea is continuously being aerated. This ensures that the anaerobic microbes will not be able to live in your precious tea.

Your tea should brew for no less than 4 hours, given your compost is fresh and of good quality.
The more time you give your tea to brew, the more time the beneficial microbes have to flourish and thrive.
Our tea was brewed for 8 hours and foliar sprayed onto our plants (this should be done early in the morning or later in the evening -Amy). We then added more water and allowed the tea to brew for another 24-30 hours or so.
By the end of the process, your tea should smell fresh, like moist and fertile soil.
You really can not over do this so be sure to get as much coverage as you can, as often as you can.

That about concludes our ventures with compost tea for the time being.
As always, we will be updating you during every step of the way.
Be sure to like and subscribe our blog as it really does encourage us to do better. Thanks!!

-Eugin

 

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