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Yeah, the only plant I know higher in saponin is soapwort (Saponaria), so this one might well foam a bunch. Forewarned is forearmed...

Couoldn't find but [url=https://www.waterfilterreview.com/images/contaminants/h20_contaminants_200/fecal_coliform_200.jpg]one pic[/url]that showed coliforms like you see them in a scope we can afford, but plenty of them [url=https://www.great-lakes.net/beachcast/images/pix_fecal.jpg]gram stained under million dollar electron scopes[/url](he said, humming "If I Had A Million Dollars" by the Bare Naked Ladies as he typed). Note the rod shape, end to end division, and when you see these guys, they are soon a massive colony, especially under low oxygen situations (most are facultative anaerobes that survive oxygen and thrive in no oxygen. This is why anaerobic "composting" is not recommended... if these guys are dominating your culture, dump it in the compost heap (where the existing aereobic cultures and protozoa will soon sort them out but proper) and start over...

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Scott Reil

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How did the tea’s work out?? Georgia did the tea help with your fungus problem??
I didn't think it made much of a difference, because much of my front lawn still has a yellowy tint to it among the green, but then I went over and checked a spot where I had just dumped the last bit of tea (there was actually quite a bit). I dumped it on that spot because it looked pretty much dead... just one big brown patch.

When I went over to check it out a few days ago, I had trouble finding the spot, it was already blending in with the rest of the lawn so well! When I looked closely, I could see pure rich black soil and some small clumps from the clumpy dregs of the tea, as well as a bit of the old dead grass, but then lush green growth coming up. AMAZING!! I've never "healed" a patch of grass before! :lol:

I took advantage of the Great Flood of 2009 (we had over 16" of rain over the weekend) to fill up all my buckets with rain water... I was itching to brew up a new batch today but was out all day. First thing tomorrow, I will be brewing some AACT!!

BTW, this one statement just gave me a light bulb moment:
It does not surprise me so much to find alfalfa in the non-foaming category as it is such a bacterial food that it might have kept the fungal mass low.

I couldn't understand why my first batch didn't foam really at all. I was going for a fungal brew but there was almost NO foam. Well, duh, I had thrown in a couple of large handfuls of alfalfa... so that would explain it. This time I'll skip the alfalfa so that trichoderma fungus can thrive and hopefully turn the rest of my lawn green like that one patch did!
Julia in Georgia

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Julia, it is important to remember that a lot of the benefit here is the inherent soil biology as well, so while trichoderma is a good culture for curative effect on fungus, it also predates our good guys as well. Just like pesticides, we must be aware of the impacts of our interference to the natural order. In a conversation we had, Dr. Ingham was very suspicious of the increased culture of this one organism, stressing to me that soil biology is about a biodiverse system rather than specific organisms, and over reliance on one can lead to monocultural situations. Glad to here it cleared up your summer brown patch; I am not suprised, but perhaps corn additions only when specified? Note the simplicity of Dr. Inghams recipe; most of hers are very simple and not species specific. Words from the master...

HG
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Julia, it is important to remember that a lot of the benefit here is the inherent soil biology as well, so while trichoderma is a good culture for curative effect on fungus, it also predates our good guys as well. Just like pesticides, we must be aware of the impacts of our interference to the natural order.
Im with HG, grasses I believe prefer bacterial dominant soils and if going to address a problem with biology you should use with caution. I see nothing wrong with culturing fungi dominant tea’s when used properly (addressing problem or for ferns/some tress ect)..
do you have any pictures of things that you don't want to see in ACT? its easy to know what you do want, not so much what you don't.
here’s a link from the SFW that may help [url=https://www.soilfoodweb.com/03_about_us/microscope_pics.html]link[/url]

and here’s a new poster manual that you may help as well

MICROBE POSTER AND MANUAL -- QUALITATIVE ASSESSMENT OF MICROORGANISMS
by Dr. Elaine Ingham and Dr. Carole Ann Rollins.

A 17.25 by 39 inch poster is now available, showing what microorganisms look like using a microscope. The microorganisms in the 32 full color photos on the poster are those typically found in soil, compost, worm castings, and compost tea. Special photos are included showing quantities of bacteria in different photos. This will enable you to look at the poster, while looking at your sample, using the microscope, and to more easily be able to estimate numbers of bacteria you see qualitatively.

There are a series of photos showing fungal hyphae diameters. These should help you decide if you have beneficial or non-beneficial fungi in your materials. There are photos of ciliates, flagelletes, and amoebae to help you distinguish which ones and how many of which ones are in your material. There are a group of photos depicting bacterial-feeding versus fungal-feeding versus root-feeding nematodes, to help you distinguish the "good guys" from the "bad guys."

There is a 31 page manual that accompanies the poster with extremely detailed and scientific explanations of each photo on the poster, with arrows and letter labels to help clarify what you see in each photos and your microscope.

The poster and manual are a set that retails for $49.95 plus $14.95 shipping in the U.S. For international orders please email for pricing. Please contact Nature Technologies International, P.O. Box 1519, Novato, CA 94947, 415-898-5895, 707-225-5762,https://www.nature-technologies.com, naturetech@.... Checks or money orders can be mailed to the above address, or credit cards can be used with phone orders or send your info in an email, name on card, billing address, cvc code, exp. date, mailing address.
(hope its cool to add this??)
At T$ request, here's Elaine Ingham's Fungal Tea Recipe (for 50 gal.s)
Awesome HG,
Big thank you but can you help me with an alternative DIY to humic acids. I don’t want to go out and buy a bottle of just humic acids,so can earth worm compost leachate work??
And will fish meal work instead of hydrolysate fish?? Or can you or any one recommend a good reliable company witch makes and sales hydrolysate fish or humic acid?? And can you link or give more info on Elaine’s book??

Gix
Glad to hear on the results bud, glad to see the recipe is doing others rite :wink:

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T$, I am always cool with promoting Dr. Ingham; I count myself lucky to have gotten the time with her I have and feel she is the cutting edge of this science, so giving folks like that a boost is most definitely cool 8)

Yeah, the humic thing. Leachates would be a fine sub I think; not really a sub at all just differrent sourcing (even coffee with it's high carbon content would be usable). Another great fungal food is oatmeal; the baby oatmeal works best (very fine), buit there's that foaming thing again. Mostly fungal is just about a good place to grow hyphae on; any suspended solid will do, but preferably high carbon. Some folks think mining brown coal (humate) is a good way to go about moving humic acids around but it's still mining coal and putting a mineralized carbon back into the atmospheric carbon cycle; a poor idea in this day and age of global warming. I think the use of local humus for humic acids makes considerably more sense in the grand scheme of things. It's what compost is really about in the first place; keeping the fertility of the soil by keeping it's products on site. Leachate should be just fine...

HG
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soil
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well i was making a batch of ACT today for some plots ready for planting. thought i would post a recipe for how i do things since im new here. also keep in mind i don't measure much, these are estimates on what i eye out.

50 gallons stream water (collected on property)
1 gallon garden compost
1 gallon vermicompost
half gallon fungal compost
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup plant meal( dried yarrow, nettle, dandelion, chamomile)
1/2 cup rock powders (locally collected from 5 sources)
half an old beer

aerate like a mofo for 24 hours.

of course this is not set in stone, i change it up to increase diversity i add to my soil.
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Not sure about the beer, but that's because it's a half beer less if I happen to drop by, more than anything else...mmm...beer... :lol:

Nettle is getting more and more looks from me; it seems VERY biologically reactive; my friend Lisa had great luck with a a nettle tea she made (without aeration; said it got "stinky" but kept the late blight off her tomatoes a dream, and really boosted her soil fertility. I was SUPPOSED to get some to try out, but she used it all). Chamomile I use for MY late night tea (sipping some now) but hadn't thought of it for compost tea. [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfrey]Comfrey (Symphytum)[/url] has long been a great tea plant, known from some of the first gardening books back in the Middle Ages, and I know that horsetails (Equisetum spp.) have been a part of the [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodynamic_agriculture]biodynamic system[/url]for decades (very high in silicates, which gives the fungal side a nice place to grow), so you might try those as well...

Looks like a good recipe but I would still like to see more humic in there DIY sources could be coffee, powdered chocolate, compost or vermicomposter leachate. Humus is where our critters live, and only about 2-3% of an average soil (5-6% would be better), so more humic content is more habitat to populate. Kelp is ALWAYS a good add, bacterial or fungal, and a SMALL bit of fish hydrolysate can really boost bacterial and therefore protozoal (say three/four tablespoons in your 50 gal. batch) but also offers things for fungal side. Another good balanced food...

HG
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i have used old stale,left over beer (if theres still some left :lol:) to feed my worms. Some one told me its good for them??? doesnt seem to bother them from my observation :P
Wish i had some nettle's, i hear good things and now HG...
chamomile is great stuff, i too drink it my self with a dab of honey :) and used it a tea recipe a while back

ive been trying to grow chamomile from seed but man im having a tuff time...
comfrey is another plant i want for my garden, been trying to collect plants for tea's and my vermicompost.
but im having trouble finding seeds locally :?

soil
your recipe looks good
have you used old beer before in tea's??
and you wouldn’t happen to have nettle or seeds available would you??
ill trade yea if you do :wink:
or any body really

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i have been using stale beer in my teas for over 2 years. been checking teas with a microscope for a year, old beer has done nothing but helped as long as you don't add too much. its usually the foamy leftovers that get left at the bottom of the bottles(some people more than others :evil: ), whatever is left is what goes in so there is no specific amount really.

yes nettles, i use all those biodynamic plants and grow some of them myself for self sustainability. the anaerobic tea does smell, but it works wonders. i don't know where you live but its very common all throughout the states and elsewhere in the world. i use chamomile, comfrey, dandelions, horsetail, lavender, and a few others as well. all are good additions to teas in the right amounts.

my garden compost and vermicompost are high enough in humic acids for me, my composts are of VERY high quality. teaming with life. kelp, well i live too far from the beach now, but it was good when i used to live on the seaside no doubt. i have tested with those materials you mentioned many times before and like to use what i have locally instead for a few reasons. I test all my teas with a microscope and i can say my free local replacements work just as good if not better in most situations for me. i appreciate the advice though :D that is also a pretty basic tea, it changes depending on what i will use the tea for and which plants the tea is going on.


top_dollar_bread - you can buy comfrey root cuttings online for cheap and from there its easy to propagate your own. make sure you get the bocking 14 variety, it doesnt go to seed and spread like normal comfrey, which is a pain in the you know what to get rid of when its in the wrong spot. chamomile grows wild here, so i am lucky. every year we get carpets of chamomile covering vast areas ( and i collect like crazy ). i am collecting nettle seed in a few weeks, ill let you know i can easily collect some for you if you want, i have tips on growing it yourself ( it makes real strong rope too)

off too the garden, lots of work to do today.

[/quote]
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top_dollar_bread - you can buy comfrey root cuttings online for cheap and from there its easy to propagate your own. make sure you get the bocking 14 variety, it doesnt go to seed and spread like normal comfrey, which is a pain in the you know what to get rid of when its in the wrong spot. chamomile grows wild here, so i am lucky. every year we get carpets of chamomile covering vast areas ( and i collect like crazy ). i am collecting nettle seed in a few weeks, ill let you know i can easily collect some for you if you want, i have tips on growing it yourself ( it makes real strong rope too)

off too the garden, lots of work to do today.
:D thanks for the advice on the comfrey, i did a quick search of rooted cuttings of comfrey and found the bocking 14 for 2 dollar plus shipping... :lol:
big thanks for that!!!

and if you can collect some nettle seeds for me, that would be awesome :!:
you can PM when you collect and on tips because i could use them.
can never have to much info IMO (when it comes to gardening)
again big thank you soil
also PM me,to let me know if you wanted to trade, I got a small collection of seeds

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No, no -- please post growing tips! I want to know too! :wink:
I have been wishing for nettle, and this year, my wish was granted -- I have two volunteer nettle plants in separate parts of the garden, and I'll be collecting seeds. 8) Comfrey advice was timely as well -- I'll be looking into that myself. :D

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"Very Happy thanks for the advice on the comfrey, i did a quick search of rooted cuttings of comfrey and found the bocking 14 for 2 dollar plus shipping... Laughing
big thanks for that!!! "

if your getting it from the company im thinking of, they are real good about there business, i ordered 5 cuttings and got 8. best part is, is its soooooo easy to turn those few into hundreds given some home propagation. not that anyone needs hundreds of comfrey plants lol! will shoot ya a pm later, so much to do today, have over 600 starts to plant for fall veggies.

applestar - good to hear, i was excited like no other when i found the patch i use now( since i moved i went 5 months with no nettles, it was killin me!!!!) hopefully you get a male and a female or you will have no seeds! i could give too much info, id rather keep this thread for ACT because its so great. but like i said if you really want to know something or have questions just pm me. it will be a lot easier.

just another quick tip for ACT, from my experiences. rotten fruit ( the stuff that fell on the ground and you were too lazy to pick up) has helped the fungi in teas. i just mash it up and toss it in. when the brew is done its GONE and the fungi LOVE it.
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, i did a quick search of rooted cuttings of comfrey and found the bocking 14 for 2 dollar plus shipping... Laughing
big thanks for that!!! "

if your getting it from the company im thinking of, they are real good about there business, i ordered 5 cuttings and got 8.
May I ask which company this is? I have searched online for comfrey and I could only find them in 6" pots for $5 plus a heap of shipping!
Julia in Georgia

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soil
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search for "bocking 14 comfrey" its the first link in google for me.
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soil wrote:search for "bocking 14 comfrey" its the first link in google for me.
Thank you!! :)
Julia in Georgia

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i hope i didn't kill this thread :?

well its raining, its pouring, its windy and i am inside brewing some compost tea.

[img]https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2500/4009049536_162d4380e3_o.jpg[/img]
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soil wrote:i hope i didn't kill this thread :?

well its raining, its pouring, its windy and i am inside brewing some compost tea.

[img]https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2500/4009049536_162d4380e3_o.jpg[/img]
nice tea
i should be getting rain, cant wait to collect
I don't think you killed this thread, by the way whats the tea made up of?? :?:

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soil wrote:i hope i didn't kill this thread :?
Why would you think that? :? :)

I haven't made any tea in several weeks, it has been so wet out. It's raining now and we just got 6 inches a few day's ago. :shock:

Is there any reason to make tea if everything is always soaked? I figure it will just make everything wetter, but typing this I am thinking maybe all that rain is washing away something that I should be replacing. Any thought's on this?

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Water is a component, but that's about where tea and water part ways. Sure plant's derive sustenance from H2O; we all do, but water is just the solvent and delivery vehicle in compost tea. Tea offers lots of goodies besides; humus and fulvic components, some chemical nutrition, but most importantly, a LOT of biologicals like fungii, bacteria, protozoa, nematodes (encysted form) that are how Nature fertilizes. Hopefully there are NOT a lot of the above in your usual water source :P

Here's another question; is there a benefit to using compost tea in conjunction with chemical fertilizers? Is anyone doing this and if so how's it going?

HG
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That's kind of what I was thinking Scott. I kinda answered my own question while reading through a bunch of info I got from TopDollarBread on a PM regarding worm-castings and their benefits. I will start making tea again all winter just to feed my soil and houseplants. I will make this newer garden the envy of the neighborhood (oh wait it already is :D ).

Heck if I didn't than my sig would have been in waste.

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nice tea
i should be getting rain, cant wait to collect
by the way whats the tea made up of??
its actually just some wormcastings i harvested the other day, honey and chamomile extract, real simple yet effective. right now it is dumping rain and super windy. i have a small collection system setup.
Why would you think that? Confused Smile
i don't know, i guess i got impatient for someone to post lol.
Is there any reason to make tea if everything is always soaked? I figure it will just make everything wetter, but typing this I am thinking maybe all that rain is washing away something that I should be replacing. Any thought's on this?
for the main veggie garden i don't really brew teas for the winter. this time of the year is when the greenhouse is where its at. i have a 16x20 greenhouse full of veggies that are waiting for some fresh tea later today. i wouldnt really be worried about things washing away. though im sure it is happening, it is most likely on such on a small scale.


Here's another question; is there a benefit to using compost tea in conjunction with chemical fertilizers? Is anyone doing this and if so how's it going?
i don't know anyone using them together, but usually the most miraculous results are the ones where chemical grown plants get ACT.
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The Helpful Gardener wrote: Here's another question; is there a benefit to using compost tea in conjunction with chemical fertilizers? Is anyone doing this and if so how's it going?

HG
Seems like you spoke to your own question pretty eloquently awhile back. (8/14 to be specific) Here's a quote from you:

Just adding cow poop does little because you are killing off the best part of it with the ferts. The only biology that DOES benefit from chems is bacterial, which are nitrogen intensive!

Any chemical fertilization retards the process of better soil. Soil is succesional; first bare rock then lichens then moss them weeds then grass, on up to climax forest, right? Every plant has a specific set of parameters it does best in, tailored to the specific chemistries of that stage of soil, decided (in organics and nature) by the biology of the soil. Acididty decides how much trace and mineral element gets etched from the minerals part of the soil, and pH is decided by the fungal to bacterial ratio of our soil. When you kill the fungus and bacteria, no more etching, so no new nutrients from the rocks; in fact we have now created a soil that will lock up nutrients, which is why chemical fertilizers use such obscene amounts of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. They HAVE to.

...

When we don't feed with salts we get higher Brix levels in our food, a measure of sugar in the plant. It is interesting to note that at higher brix levels plants actually become less palatable to insects and disease and actually immune to either at very high levels. Nutrient densities increase as well, especially in root veggies. This too is succesional, but in organics we are working within the succesional framework and can get our soil right where we want it before we interrupt the succession; in chemical fertilization you are usually starting around the spot that weeds grow best and beating it down from there. You are not building soil you are depleting it. The cow poop will help, but not much. Stop poisoning it and it will...

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=90112&highlight=#90112

I know in that post you were talking about the use of manure with chemical fertilizers; in this question you are asking about the use of ACT with chemical fertilizers, but is there any reason to think that all of the above doesn't apply to ACT as well as "cow poop"?

(I had to search for the above quote, but I did the search because I remembered you saying it. Are you impressed? :) )

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Soil wrote
i hope i didn't kill this thread
Never. I'm still reading it and learning, but I have nothing to post, not anymore. The highs last week were in the 20s. My garden is dead and gone, and I won't be growing anything until seed-starting time, next March. Keep posting. We're all reading, but we're not all doing.

Lovely tea, BTW :lol:
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Thank you RBG. That is indeed what I think but I wanted feedback from other folks as well. I have had some folks tell me that they DO see better results using both, but I tell them they are measuring against a poor yardstick of chemicals alone. But one step at a time. If we can get folks to compost tea we can get them to organic culture very easily; the results speak for themselves. I was showing the next door neighbor the worm castings on my garden rows yesterday; scooping them up in handfuls. Then I had him look at his garden soil. Then I was quiet... :mrgreen:

Worm poop speaks volumes...

HG
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The Helpful Gardener wrote: If we can get folks to compost tea we can get them to organic culture very easily; the results speak for themselves.
HG
Very true, I haven't been on this forum very long but I have learned much. Taking what I have been doing all my gardening life minus the chemicals, plus what I have learned here, has made my 2 yr old garden something to admire in a very short time. I have a few neighbors with gardens close to me, they are all amazed at how mine is doing compared to theirs which have been going on for longer. My one friend calls me the expert gardener, yeah I wish. Still I'm the advice guy, I'm trying to change their way's of doing things.

It is only the beginning of a new era in my life. Thanks to all of you, keep tuned in for the wonders that await.....I hope at least. :lol:

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Thanks Gixx. That's the sort of post I had dreams of reading when I started doing this a long time back. That you are taking it to the streets does this tired old heart good; keep it up... :D

HG
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Here's another question; is there a benefit to using compost tea in conjunction with chemical fertilizers? Is anyone doing this and if so how's it going?



Put plain and simply; No.
Chemical fertilizers which are normally made from salt or other compounds tend to kill beneficial soil organisms because of their salt contents. In doing so, they not only break down soil structure (formed not only through inorganic and organic complexes formed by non biomolecules but, also by beneficial soil organisms and secreted muci and other biomolecules.
Furthermore, compost teas can be used simply as a fertilizers but, a better application of compost teas is as a foliar spray to re-establish healthy biota populations on the leaves and stems of the plants. This not only provides the small amounts of nutrients for the plants (and the nutrient capacity for an average aerated compost tea is actually quite large) but, it helps the plant to combat disease through the introduction of beneficial biota the the leaf surface.

Sort of a long winded answer to your question Scott. ;-)
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I'll quibble that compost tea does just as much for rhizospheres as it does for phyllospheres, Opa, but other than that you and I are, as usual, completely on the same page. And folks, Opa knows soil biology pretty well. Good to see you here again... :D

That said I am interested to hear from folks doing both. I suspect the short term gains may be there, but I am particularly interested to hear from folks doing it a longer while. I know folks that swear by Espoma products which combine organic fertilizers with smaller doses of chemical ferts (notably they have been moving to a line of more stringently organic products, but the Holly-Tone still hits the shelves in big numbers).

While I do agree with Opa this is not a good long term solution as far as soil health goes, I know many of you are out there doing just this thing, and I am intersted to hear your results. So are a bunch of people still completely hooked on the blue goo, who aren't ready to buy into my hippy-dippy organic BS just yet, no matter how much science we throw at 'em. If we can get folks to stop using half of what they are now, that's a good start.

SO... consider this a casting call for fence sitters everywhere. Still got that secret stash of MG you only mix and apply after dark? Still using bridge products like Espoma? Tell us about it...

HG
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imo nature finds ways to survive. i doubt one could kill ALL the micro organism unless you dumped an unreasonable amount of fertilizers and that might kill the plant too. and even still i would think some would be able to adapt given the right circumstances.

that's not to say im all for doing it, i would rather see someone just go full organic if your going to invest time in making compost tea.
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Sure soil, and I think most of us agree with you. Yet the goal remains to decrease chem fert usage and the attendant damages downstream. Making people aware that there ARE downstream damages seems like it has fallen on mostly deaf ears; as one interviewee in my friends Paul and Brett's movie [url=https://www.pfzmedia.com/#/images/stories/screen/small/HomeDepot3.jpg]A Chemical Reaction[/url]says (after being filled in on all the bad things his lawn fertilizer does) "You just want your yard to look a certain way." He doesn't care about next door, or the stream down the block, or the pond a mile away or the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico; he just wants his lawn to look a certain way.

If we can find that way with HALF of the chemical inputs, and show these folks that they can do it cheaper, better and get better long term results with compost tea, they might change. Because telling them they are killing the planet seems to do no good at all. We need to speak not our language, but theirs...

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Sat Oct 17, 2009 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
Scott Reil

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Scott has is very right, i have tried to explain this to several and most people just don't care one way or another. The others that do somewhat care still look at you like your speaking a foreign language. But if you can beat it into just one person mind and they get one person the cycle begins anew.

I am certified crazy by my friends, when the Chemlawn people come by my neighbors next door and across the street i mumble or yell things at them. And sure as hell tell them not to spray my yard, especially my garden. Yeah I'm nuts. Activist even part timers always are.

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does ph matter

i usually don't mess around with ph but i decided run a few test while i was messing with my fish tank.
my tap water ph is @ 7.6- 7.8 and after brewing some fresh EWC for 24 hours i got a ph reading of 8.0-8.3...
i just wanted to ask if this high ph will affect my plants, especially my soilless container plants?
I read that a good compost tea should have a ph between 5.5- 7?? Any thoughts?

also would this high ph of water affect what microbes will thrive in my tea brewer??
i use rain water when i get some but most of the time, during our dry summers i use 24 hr aerated tap..
i can lower the ph simply by adding some homemade apple cider vinegar but i just want to know what your guys thoughts are??
will ph affect the life in my tea?
should i adjust ph to neutral before adding compost, food? :?
thanks

The Helpful Gardener
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Heightening of pH is a likely indicator of increased bacterial activity. Without breaking out ALL the organic chemistry (people get glazy when I try), in a bacterial soil our dominant form of INORGANIC nitrogen is nitrate, in a fungal soil it is ammonia (trees and shrubs, most particularly evergreen needles use ammonia almost straight up, while our flowers grasses and weeds like the nitrate better). While most of the scientific papers I dug up are still thinking old school chemical culture ("low pH stymies bacterial growth and the converse is true for fungus") they are missing the inherent reality, which is this is a chicken and egg thing, with some extra factors tossed in by the plants for good measure. Bacteria and fungal growth are RESPONSIBLE for pH to a large degree by their biological functions. And just to mix it up more, add anaerobic conditions to the mix (where pH can go to 3.0, as our CO2 just became carbolic or carbonic acid) and we kill the fungal so most of our ammonia volatized to the air and we just gassed away our fertility. But the pH is low... :roll:

So long story short, we need more fungal cultures here. Good forest leaf duff, old wood chip pile (years), stump dirt, you get the idea. But you need to move this fungal. Less molasses maybe? (It can really push bacteria). The other thing to remember is we need predators for those bacteria, and protozoa are our best bet. Hay can be a good source for ciliates, but they are less active in good aerobic situations, becoming more active in near anaerobic conditions. Flagellates are your best bet; these are the guys that [url=https://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/full/68/9/4539?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=flagellate&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=40&resourcetype=HWFIG]keep water purification sand filters from clogging[/url]; swampy slimy soils are anaerobic soils... and when protozoa eat bacteria they excrete...say it with me... ammonia! See how we begin to move towards the ammonia (therefor fungal) dominated soils? BIOLOGY! (Pond water (not swamp) would be a good source for flagellates...) Between increasing fungal and descreasing bacterial you should move pH towards the 5.5-6.5 we'd like to see...

So THAT'S why compost works and why chemically dependent soils don't (the latter always push away from ammoniacal towards nitrate heavy, therefor always towards bacterial, therefor anaerobic conditions)... it is the balancebetween the two that is our happy place for veggies, crops and flowers... If this seems complicated, it is. Nature has taken billions of years to set up an interdependent, interlocking cycles that all try to get us to equilibrium, or [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeorhetic]homeorhesis[/url]. That we think we can do better with test tubes and fossil fuels is likely to be the hubris that destroys our biosphere unless we smarten up fast...
One garden at a time, kids...one at a time... THEN the neighbors :mrgreen:

sorry if this loops around a bit, but THAT'S the nature of Nature; it's ALL loops... I'm sure there are questions, so shoot... but try to stay away from the organic chemistry please... :shock:

P.S. Or we can delve into the mystery a wee deeper, but it's gonna take serious thinking caps....

HG
Scott Reil

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does ph matter

Great post scott,
But I may have missed the answer to my questions??
Will the starting water with a high ph effect what microbes will thrive in my brew?
I understand the whole pushing to a more fungal side of grows but EWC and water is usually what I feed my young seedlings. Foliar and diluted soil drench..

The ph to my water is high as it is and when I add my casting the ph goes a little higher. I understand that this may be a indicator of bacterial activity but would it be better to adjust my ph to neutral before adding compost, organic matter etc.
I ask because I read a lot of reviews that temp, time, oxygen, food ect effects the end product and or life of my tea.
My question is does the ph of water effect my brew as well??
Im getting a reading of 8.0-8.3 with just water and casting.. i don’t know but that seems high to me and I am especially worried about applying that high ph to my container plants, who are confined in a certain amount of soilless amended media.

I was thinking of using APCV (containing acid-forming bacteria) witch I believe most are dead (mother) to not only change ph but to feed the microbes in my tea’s..
i read APCV is good too add to tea’s because of trace minerals but I also would like to use it to lower the ph of my tap water, witch I believe may be too high for tea’s on certain plants..
I bubble my water to help speed de-chlorination, should I also be concerned about ph of water??

I enjoyed your post and I for one would like to dig deeper in organic chemistry..
I know our best intentions would be to make more fungal dominant tea’s but the question im asking is, will a high ph effect fungal growth?
Not really a question on will I be able to brew fungal dominant tea’s with a starting high ph but more of a question, will a neutral ph of water benefit, speed up or get a better fungal growth for my tea???….

Also about flagellates, you mentioned pond water as a good source… I don’t have a pond but I do have a fesh water fish tank..i don’t add anything to adjust the water, I got some live sand that is said to keep my water safe for fish..all I add is tap water and the fish have been living in the tank for years…
Will the fresh water fish tank be a good source of flagellates??

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T$ the answer was in there but just not definitively cuz it ain't a definitive answer; it's chicken and egg. Your water is somewhat high for good fungal development, but any chemical adjustment is temporary at best as you clearly have a bacterial reaction (which would be lessened by lower pH, but for how long?) Vinegar will break down water buffering for a while, but it would eventually pop back up unless you are providing a natural system to maintain it (like using peat in the aquarium filter to maintain Amazonian (low pH) black water; more carbon, y'all!) So yes, vinegar will help fungal growth and discourage bacterial growth, so have at it. I'd adjust to 6.5 to 6.8, get some more fungal inputs and see what it does. pH may not be a SoilFoodWeb assay, but it gives us a small window into what is going on...

As for aquarium water for tea, there will certainly be SOME flagellates but likely far more bacteria as what powers a biological filter in an aquarium is mostly nitrifying bacteria. The more complete natural system would supply more variety and quantity IMO; no data to support that and I have never looked at aquarium water on a microscope, but it's a closed system. Natural beats artificial everytime...

HG
Scott Reil

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time for another brew. heres whats in this one

rainwater
worm compost
garden compost
molasses
beer
rock dust
comfrey leaf powder

pics later
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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As for aquarium water for tea, there will certainly be SOME flagellates but likely far more bacteria as what powers a biological filter in an aquarium is mostly nitrifying bacteria. The more complete natural system would supply more variety and quantity IMO; no data to support that and I have never looked at aquarium water on a microscope, but it's a closed system. Natural beats artificial everytime...
i prefer to use pond water/stream water over fish tank. i always see more diversity under the scope and always get better results. i have found fish tank water is best used as is, diluted 1:1 water:fishwater and applied. plants just love it.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

The Helpful Gardener
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Thanks for confirming my suspicions, soil. I concur the stuff is lovely for plants, but that's simply high nitrate levels (not particularly great for fish, hence the water changes), not vast reserves of biological diversity. The latter holds true for (healthy) pond water...

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
Scott Reil

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really what i meant was simply that compost tea made with stream/pond water has proven more effective ( for me and my puny microscope ) than CT made with aquarium water ( which is best used as is imo) that's why aquaponics works so great.

i did not mean they have anywhere near the biological diversity that compost tea does. CT is on a whole other level, that's why we use it.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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Yea understood, but we need innoculant right? Compost offers some innoculants to be sure, but if we are doing just kitchen scraps and shredded paper under the kitchen sink, our innoculants developed there are likely to be pretty much bacterial, maybe a few airborne fungal spores, but it's under the sink... it's like yeast for bread; you open the little packet, add warm water and sugar and come back in two hours and WHOA! it's grown a thousand times what you left. Pond water offers more innoculation than aquarium...

Outside we get everything adding innoculum; animal feces, rotting twigs and leaves (that great "woodsy" smell in the fall is decay!), soil biologies borne and bred of the soil, for exactly the purpose of releasing and making available nutrition to plants. Sounds too good to be true? How about[url=https://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T6M-45JPGR6-1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1056918208&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=fe1bf0723c2e5a00d39580b80f691d01]Phosphorus Solubilizing Bacteria[/url]that specifically release phosphorus locked in soil? How about [url=https://www.springerlink.com/content/q24452718252806u/]micorhizhal helper bacteria[/url] that help the plant and micorhizae interface and exchange nutrition? How about them [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycorrhiza]miccorhizae[/url]? Where are we going to get those? Compost tea only cultures what we put in it.

Looking at soil's last recipe, there are some great ingredients to do just that. Worm compost (vermicompost) brings all sorts of goodies to the table; whatever is cultured in the worm's intestine, and that slime they make? It's a siren call to springtails, who eat nematodes who eat protozoa who eat bacteria... all releasing excreta every step of the way and that's nitrogen, folks... garden compost (done in an outdoor, open pile in contact with the ground) is exposed to all these things, so more there... Molasses gives us a bacterial boost with simple sugars...beer adds complex carbs (that need some fungal help breaking down)... rock dust adds potassium (sort of missing in the conversation so far, but necessary to plants), some sillicates (often found in cell walls in plants) and some trace elements, and comphrey has been used since the Middla Ages as a biological starter for composts. Seems like we are hitting on all cylinders here. But without the biological innoculation this stuff is almost useless. If you aren't creating the biology to unlock organic ferts, it will just sit and do very little...

So any diversity you can bring to the mix is a good thing, and the stream or pond is likely to be better...
Scott Reil

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