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Compost teas?

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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 3/13/2011, 5:15 pm

I am curious since I can't find a lot of info here on compost teas. Do any of you make tea, or do you just use straight MM? Is MM so perfect we don't need to go to the additional trouble of teas?
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Post  LlamaMomma 3/13/2011, 5:22 pm

Mel's book says the compost is all you have to do provided it is rich with at least 5 different sources. Having said that, my first SFG last autumn was enriched with daily llama tea, it does not burn and I had 32 gorgeous heads of broccoli. I felt like a veggie Goddess! Sorry Mel but I could not resist using my llama tea gold!
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Post  Lavender Debs 3/13/2011, 5:29 pm

I use tea, my compost bins make it without my help. I use a turkey-baster full of tea in a two gallon water can. Sometimes I mix it with fish juice.
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Post  quiltbea 3/13/2011, 7:00 pm

I mix 1 cup of compost or well-composted manure into an old lemonade pitcher with lid, fill it to the top of its 2-quart size with sun-warmed water, stir with a skewer, put the top back on the lemonade pitcher which has a sieve pouring spout, and pour directly around the base of my plants. When the water is gone, I refill with more water only. Most of the compost is still in the pitcher. Stir it up again. I can refill this several times.

If you don't have a sieve spout, you can stick some netting over the spout.

I do NOT let it sit for a week to age. I use it freshly made.

Note: Last year I also experimented with week-old aged manure tea and my plants didn't do any better with that than with the freshly poured tea and this way I don't get the odor or the mucky muck.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 3/14/2011, 2:04 pm

Thanks for the responses, guys.

quiltbea wrote:I mix 1 cup of compost or well-composted manure into an old lemonade pitcher with lid, fill it to the top of its 2-quart size with sun-warmed water, stir with a skewer, put the top back on the lemonade pitcher which has a sieve pouring spout, and pour directly around the base of my plants. When the water is gone, I refill with more water only. Most of the compost is still in the pitcher. Stir it up again. I can refill this several times.

If you don't have a sieve spout, you can stick some netting over the spout.

I do NOT let it sit for a week to age. I use it freshly made.

Note: Last year I also experimented with week-old aged manure tea and my plants didn't do any better with that than with the freshly poured tea and this way I don't get the odor or the mucky muck.

This is very similar to what I was thinking. There is no way I'm going to grab buckets and aerators to steep the stuff for days and do it again in 2 weeks when I have taken the time to make "the perfect soil."

However, I thought a little boost would be nice in case I don't have enough compost in there. The more I plant, the more I see peat moss. I didn't take notice last year and everything was spectacular. So, it's likely me overobsessing about things.

But, a chunk from the compost heap in a pitcher with a strainer on it can't hurt things. And, when done with the chunk, it can go back in the garden or into the compost pile to finish itself off.

Thanks again for the input. I knew I could count on a couple of you for something more sensible than what I've been reading.

Oh, and bea, if I ever come over to your house on a hot day.....please don't offer me lemonade. I think I'd prefer soda from a can now....lol.
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Post  camprn 3/14/2011, 5:26 pm

We used to put composted manure into buckets, added water, stirred then let it sit for a while, then watered the garden after the solids settled. after watering the dregs went back into the general compost.
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Post  boffer 3/14/2011, 6:21 pm

BackyardBirdGardner wrote:I am curious since I can't find a lot of info here on compost teas. Do any of you make tea, or do you just use straight MM? Is MM so perfect we don't need to go to the additional trouble of teas?

Yes.

When it comes to gardening, I am ignorant, lazy, and not very interested. I use MM exclusively. Why do more? Weather permitting, it provides more veggies than we can eat, preserve, and give away.
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Post  miinva 3/14/2011, 8:54 pm

I don't do anything extra because I have to, although the tomatoes are getting some extra attention this year since they're such heavy feeders. A man I used to get worm castings from told me that aerating a bucket of water with castings in it for a few days would make awesome compost tea. I've considered trying it by the bucket, just to see if it makes a difference. We'll see what I have time/energy for. I'm also planning to get a bag of azomite and put that in my MM this year.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 3/15/2011, 12:45 am

camprn wrote:We used to put composted manure into buckets, added water, stirred then let it sit for a while, then watered the garden after the solids settled. after watering the dregs went back into the general compost.

I was afraid when I read that letting it sit would lead to anaerobic bacteria. Did you ever notice a smell? I assume not since you likely already know that stuff.

Thanks for the replies, guys. I may try something, but it's nice to know I shouldn't have to. I just get a little paranoid I didn't get enough compost in there this time.
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Post  camprn 3/15/2011, 9:48 am

BackyardBirdGardner wrote:
camprn wrote:We used to put composted manure into buckets, added water, stirred, then let it sit for a while, then watered the garden after the solids settled. After watering, the dregs went back into the general compost.

I was afraid when I read that letting it sit would lead to anaerobic bacteria. Did you ever notice a smell? I assume not since you likely already know that stuff.

Thanks for the replies, guys. I may try something, but it's nice to know I shouldn't have to. I just get a little paranoid I didn't get enough compost in there this time.

Well, of course I noticed a smell. Smile The manure smelled like manure that wasn't hot any more. The mix sat there for an hour or two & I suppose there could have been anaerobic processes beginning before pouring off the liquid.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 3/15/2011, 1:26 pm

camprn wrote:
BackyardBirdGardner wrote:
camprn wrote:We used to put composted manure into buckets, added water, stirred, then let it sit for a while, then watered the garden after the solids settled. After watering, the dregs went back into the general compost.

I was afraid when I read that letting it sit would lead to anaerobic bacteria. Did you ever notice a smell? I assume not since you likely already know that stuff.

Thanks for the replies, guys. I may try something, but it's nice to know I shouldn't have to. I just get a little paranoid I didn't get enough compost in there this time.

Well, of course I noticed a smell. Smile The manure smelled like manure that wasn't hot any more. The mix sat there for an hour or two & I suppose there could have been anaerobic processes beginning before pouring off the liquid.

I guess I was after a definition for "awhile." Those sites talking about it from Google really get anal-retentive with the micromanaging. I can't imagine it's that difficult. And, from what everyone is saying here, it's not. Thanks for clarifying.

Sounds like....put compost in bucket, stir, let big chunkies fall to bottom, strain and pour. Then, discard compost back into original pile....or for extra credit work it into the MM. But, BBG, you are ridiculous because MM is already so perfect you are only creating more work for yourself....lol.

I can live with that.
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Post  camprn 3/15/2011, 4:52 pm

BackyardBirdGardner wrote:
camprn wrote:
BackyardBirdGardner wrote:
camprn wrote:We used to put composted manure into buckets, added water, stirred, then let it sit for a while, then watered the garden after the solids settled. After watering, the dregs went back into the general compost.

I was afraid when I read that letting it sit would lead to anaerobic bacteria. Did you ever notice a smell? I assume not since you likely already know that stuff.

Thanks for the replies, guys. I may try something, but it's nice to know I shouldn't have to. I just get a little paranoid I didn't get enough compost in there this time.

Well, of course I noticed a smell. Smile The manure smelled like manure that wasn't hot any more. The mix sat there for an hour or two & I suppose there could have been anaerobic processes beginning before pouring off the liquid.

I guess I was after a definition for "awhile." Those sites talking about it from Google really get anal-retentive with the micromanaging. I can't imagine it's that difficult. And, from what everyone is saying here, it's not. Thanks for clarifying.

Sounds like....put compost in bucket, stir, let big chunkies fall to bottom, strain and pour. Then, discard compost back into original pile....or for extra credit work it into the MM. But, BBG, you are ridiculous because MM is already so perfect you are only creating more work for yourself....lol.

I can live with that.
LOL, Exactly!! What a Face
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Post  ralitaco 3/23/2011, 12:33 am

There is a organic type gardening store in Wilmington, NC that offers 1 gallon of FREE compost tea on every visit - you just have to provide your own container. They have a large vat that circulates the liquid and they add some kind of super compost that sells for a pretty penny. Now I haven't tried it but if I can keep my plants alive this year I might.
I don't know if I can post the name of the store so, if you want to know the name of the store you can PM me
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Post  westie42 3/23/2011, 1:10 am

Well in his revised and upgraded book Mel tells us to add compost at the conclusion of each growth cycle in each grid section. That makes sense but kinda steps all over never doing anything again too. I have a bucket bubbling away .
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Post  middlemamma 3/23/2011, 2:50 am

westie42 wrote:Well in his revised and upgraded book Mel tells us to add compost at the conclusion of each growth cycle in each grid section. That makes sense but kinda steps all over never doing anything again too.

LOL...Mel never says you don't have to ever do anything again...his claim is merely that using his SFG system, grids, raised beds, and his MM that gardening is easier and WAY less work. Of course you have to do something!

The compost is the FOOD..it feeds the plants what they need to grow and produce. Adding it as you replant replenishes those nutrients so the next plants have what they need to grow and produce. Different kinds of compost has different nutrients...Mel says get 5 so you are nearly guaranteed to get the whole spectrum of nutrients for your garden.

The idea is that for each box you don't have to make Mel's Mix again...the vermiculite and peat don't grow your plants they allow water retention and airiness so that the roots can move freely to get to the food they need. So if you just have to add the nutrition each time you don't have to add all the other helps each time. I guess it's like buying dinnerware. You have a fork a knife and a spoon...but you have to put the food on your plate each time. Smile

Compost tea is just another way to bring the food to the plants if you are so inclined.

Mel's system is just the right amount of work for me...I like doing something to grow my garden but I get to just DO the fun things, a scoop of compost, add the seeds, water, watch, pluck a stray weed now and again that pops right out because the MM is so easy to pull them from, harvest, and enjoy!

Jennie...who never interpreted Mel's book to say we never had to do anything again...LOL
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Post  walshevak 3/23/2011, 9:03 am

ralitaco wrote:There is a organic type gardening store in Wilmington, NC that offers 1 gallon of FREE compost tea on every visit - you just have to provide your own container. They have a large vat that circulates the liquid and they add some kind of super compost that sells for a pretty penny. Now I haven't tried it but if I can keep my plants alive this year I might.
I don't know if I can post the name of the store so, if you want to know the name of the store you can PM me
Jim

This forum seems to allow gardening sources, so I think you are ok to post the name of the store and the type of compost it offers.

Kay

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Post  camprn 4/17/2011, 12:53 pm

This fella has his compost tea system down and monster veggies to show for it!
OMG!!! Shocked Shocked
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Post  camprn 4/17/2011, 1:00 pm

Brewed or steeped? 🐱
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Post  FarmerValerie 4/17/2011, 1:06 pm

Thanks Camprn, I'm headed out to stick some corn seeds in the ground (as soon as John Denver is done singing Sunshine on My Shoulder). When I come back in for a break I'll make a glass of tea and enjoy these. I made a note yesterday to start looking for compost tea ideas and tips. Thanks again.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 4/17/2011, 1:13 pm

FarmerValerie wrote:Thanks Camprn, I'm headed out to stick some corn seeds in the ground (as soon as John Denver is done singing Sunshine on My Shoulder). When I come back in for a break I'll make a glass of tea and enjoy these. I made a note yesterday to start looking for compost tea ideas and tips. Thanks again.

C'mon, Val. You're not supposed to drink the tea yourself.....it's for the veggies! Wink
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Post  quiltbea 4/17/2011, 7:18 pm

I make mine like the 2nd video.
I just put a cupful of compost or composted manure in a lemonade pitcher, stir it around, then pour it around my plants. The pitcher has a strainer in the spout to catch lemon seeds so it strains it a little. Some comes out with the water but I don't mind. I leave it around the plant. It'll then be fed a little more by rainfall.

When the pitcher no longer has water in it to pour I refill it with water and stir again. There's lots of compost still in the pitcher.
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Post  Old Hippie 4/17/2011, 7:55 pm

BackyardBirdGardner wrote:
FarmerValerie wrote:Thanks Camprn, I'm headed out to stick some corn seeds in the ground (as soon as John Denver is done singing Sunshine on My Shoulder). When I come back in for a break I'll make a glass of tea and enjoy these. I made a note yesterday to start looking for compost tea ideas and tips. Thanks again.

C'mon, Val. You're not supposed to drink the tea yourself.....it's for the veggies! Wink

REALLY?!?!?! Shocked So that's why it didn't work!

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Post  FarmerValerie 4/17/2011, 8:54 pm

Actually it does work, you just need to shave more, just kidding, I could not resist. I meant Sweet Tea, the House Wine of the South....... I spent the whole day out there, I'm going to bed in a few, just need to put my seeds away.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 4/18/2011, 10:26 am

Steeped tea FTW!! Thanks, Camprn for finding and sharing that video!!
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Post  walshevak 3/22/2012, 10:26 pm

We have a lot of new folks. Though I'd bump this old thread. Shows both ways to make compost tea.

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