I've had some thoughts about why my peppers did not demonstrate the same degree of rapid growth this last time. Yes, it could be the time of the year, and yes, it could be that the plants are tired. However, it could also be the recipe. HG said I didn't need citric acid, which was advised to level out the PH of the tea. I wanted to try citric acid, anyway--I like experimenting--so I did.
I just pulled out the soil analysis I had done on my base soil. The PH was 7.2, which is pretty exciting in a state known for the alkalinity of its soil. No, odds are high that I didn't need the citric acid.
I also need to consider the merits of the seabird guano. That was, without a doubt, the stinkiest soil amendment I have ever purchased. I can't question the humic acid; it appears to have the same qualities, amino acids, as the kelp meal or seaweed concentrate used in previous recipes.
Therefore, to turn this last batch into a learning experience, I think the next time I make compost tea (sometime next summer
), I will avoid the citric acid and the guano and instead go with compost or composted manure, humic acid or a seaweed product, molasses, and one other ingredient, something higher in nitrogen, I think. The squash LOVED the composted manure, seaweed concentrate, alfalfa pellet, and molasses recipe; the peppers LOVED TDB's original recipe of composted manure, kelp meal, fish fertilizer, and molasses.
I'll probably mix it up between the two of those, unless someone comes up with another ingredient to play with
As for the foam on this last batch, it was airier and frothier and taller than on previous batches, bubbling over the side while cooking. The foaming on both pots (same recipe) began at roughly 12-18 hours of brewing and continued bubbling over the side until 24 hours. (Either it made enough space, or it was done with the serious foaming by then.) Based on HG's assertion that "foam ain't always something to jump up and down about," maybe that's another answer to why this batch didn't excite my peppers.
The only batch, by the way, not to foam, was the alfalfa pellet recipe. I think that's interesting
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this learning experience. A lady drove by my place one day while I was out front playing. She stopped and said, "You are quite the green thumb. Every time I drive by here, your plants have grown more." (I gave her a squash.) Although ACT can't receive all the credit, it definitely deserves some. I credit it particularly with having pushed my peppers from having an average year to them having a spectacular year.
Pre-ACT Peppers: July 27, 2009
Post-ACT Peppers: September 20, 2009 (roughly eight weeks later)
Close-up of Post-ACT peppers: