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applestar
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Lesson learned right? It's good that you pointed it out though.

I believe the best place for the dregs is back to the compost pile. I leave them on my 4-layer burlap lid/strainer in the sun to dry out a bit first unless the compost pile is dry-ish and needs extra moisture mixed in.

I DO dump (and I mean evenly distribute) the dregs around my fruit trees on top of the mulched drip line, however. When dry, they're incorporated into the rest of the mulch.

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applestar wrote: I believe the best place for the dregs is back to the compost pile. I leave them on my 4-layer burlap lid/strainer in the sun to dry out a bit first unless the compost pile is dry-ish and needs extra moisture mixed in.
Im with you on this A_S, but i wouldnt let them sun dry. I thinking that the harsh sun rays would kill lots of beneficials, instead i would toss a even portion of browns with the mushy micro herd.

So far I have gave recipe’s for composted manure based tea’s and of course EWC tea’s. I will eventually be making a guano tea in the near future but before that, I thought I give out a wonderful recipe on a 100% plant based fertilizer.

So here is a basic alfalfa tea recipe,

4 -5 gallons of distilled water
1 cup (16 TBSP) of alfalfa meal or pellets
1 TBSP molasses
[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3555/3768683373_e684b4e44c_o.jpg[/img]

Brew for a minimum of 24 hours and this nutrient rich fertilizer is ready for application. I cant take credit for the recipe but boy does it work!! Used both as a soil drench or as a foliar feed. This also works extremely well as a compost accelerator; I mist or dampen my browns/dry (paper, cardboard) with this recipe to help break them down faster. (I like to think of it as saliva)

You can mix your alfalfa meal (or pellets) directly into the tea, or you can use the tea bag method. I find that both work well, it’s just a matter of personal preference. Note if your tea begins to smell, add more molasses.. alfalfa with water stinks :eek: but with molasses, it is actually kind of pleasant.

Like all tea’s, the recipe described can be used as a soil drench or in my case as a foliar feed. Foliar feeding uses fine mist sprays as a way to get nutrients directly to the plant through the very small pores plants breathes through. It is said to be the quickest and most effective way to correct nutrient deficiencies.
[url]https://www.gardeningtipsnideas.com/2007/05/foliar_spray_vs_slowrelease_fertiliser.html[/url]
(kelp meal, seaweed extracts, and fish emulsion are by far the best fertilizers to be used as foliar feeds)

A little more on alfalfa and molasses.

Alfalfa is a great alternative to other organic fertilizers like blood meal. With a high chlorophyll content, balanced NPK ratio 2-0-1 ,amino acids, high protein content plus traces of calcium and magnesium.
I find that alfalfa has just the right amounts of nitrogen for some of the more delicate plants in my garden. Being that that compost and tea’s are continually added to my soil. (When prepping soil for my peppers, I have come to believe that alfalfa meal gives the perfect amount of N for the life span of my peppers)

Molasses is also a great ingredient in tea’s because of it’s ability to help break down nutrients in a form that can be directly absorbed and used by the plants. This really improves the effectiveness of any organic fertilizer especially foliar tea’s! Molasses can also be easily used alone as a fertilizer, with average NPK ratio of 1-0-5 traces of sulfur, magnesium, calcium, protein and iron.

In my tea, I again decided to get creative. I remember reading about nutrition facts on companion plants like fennel and chamomile. Chamomile accumulates calcium, potassium and sulfur while fennel has traces of sodium, sulfur, and potassium. So im added them to my tea bag.

[img]https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2569/3769484126_0491365a92_m.jpg[/img][img]https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2578/3769484092_1f0262eb22_m.jpg[/img]
[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3439/3768683467_61518b78fb_o.jpg[/img]

Also in the alfalfa tea recipe, you can easily use comfrey as an alternative to alfalfa [url]https://www.allotment.org.uk/vegetable/comfrey/comfrey.PDF[/url]
Or add other high nutrient rich plants like borage, buckwheat, yarrow, kelp and so on. So its not only manure, guano and compost that us tea brewers can work with.

On another note, coming across a link A_S posted earlier on a thread on ACT. Here they mention alternatives to air stones
applestar wrote: I think all it takes is extra tubing (with holes -- thinking red hot needle -- a nod to your meat fork) and some T connectors.

I tried this and it didn’t work very well. But I did find out that soaker tubing works and that you can easily connect a air stone to seal off the soaker tube, making it even better. So heres some photos of the results.
[img]https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2552/3769483986_653180d2db_m.jpg[/img]
[img]https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2593/3768683139_07da29ecf5_m.jpg[/img]
[img]https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2569/3769483962_583d44eb5c_o.jpg[/img]
the length and flexibility of the soaker tube distributes air bubbles nicely thought out my tea brewer :D

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stella1751
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What does anyone think about milk in my next batch of compost tea? My Lemon Boys are breaking their hearts, producing like mad. After a recent three-day precipitation event, rare for Wyoming, two of them jetted out new growths (one each) with a disconcerting lavender tinge. All new growth since has been satisfactorily green, but I am naturally sensing a problem lurking below.

When I prepped the beds last fall, I worked in a goodly amount of bonemeal. When I again prepped them this spring, I worked in more bonemeal. They shouldn't be doing this. I suspect the reason for this is that they are producing an inordinately high yield. Right now I'm at 50-60 tomatoes per plant, mid-season, which will put me at 100-120 tomatoes per plant at season's end. Nothing to write home about, but considerably more than I expected, given their late planting (June 1).

I'm about three days away from their next fertilization. What can I put in their compost tea that will help them through these trying times?
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stella1751
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Got Milk?

Time to fertilize again. Tonight's compost tea was designed based wholly upon my determination of plant needs: A potential calcium deficiency and periodical nutrient replenishment. I bought a two-quart container of organic milk for $4.79. Pretty pricey, but I was concerned about a possible calcium deficiency in my Lemon Boys. I think they are working too hard. Each one has over four dozen tomatoes now. Two weeks ago, some new growth on two vines had a slight lavender tinge. I gave 'em some Epsom Salts; it went away, but I consider this a sign that BER could be in my future if I don't pay heed to this cry for help. My recipe for the compost tea now brewing:

Two large handfuls of composted manure
Two small handfuls of cornmeal
Five Tbsp molasses (guessed)
Eight Tbsp Fish Emulsion (guessed)
Two quarts organic milk
One quart Sea Magic concentrate

Topped off with rainwater, a happy accident. After making my last batch from a 5-gallon pail of water I had let sit for two days, I forgot to put it away and left the 5-gallon pail by what must be the lowest corner of my house. We actually got rain, a rarity in Wyoming, and that puppy filled in no time!

I love making compost tea. I will never go with a standard fish emulsion or seaweed compost again, not when I can tailor my tea to my perception of the plant needs!
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GeorgiaGirl
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Stella, all that sounds fabulous! Keep us posted on how they respond, although it sounds like your "medicine" for them is working just great!

I tried to buy alfalfa pellets this afternoon but could only find a bag of alfalfa hay. I'm guessing pellets are made from the alfalfa hay? I hope so because I am *DYING* to finally brew my first batch!!
Julia in Georgia

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stella1751
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I will anxiously be awaiting a response to this one, GeorgiaGirl. I had forgotten all about that. Where is the least expensive place to purchase alfalfa pellets with the least amount of salt? Would that be rabbit pellets or range pellets?

Back online. I'd forgotten that I wanted to find some bat guano :lol:
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top_dollar_bread
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stella1751 wrote:What does anyone think about milk in my next batch of compost tea?
What can I put in their compost tea that will help them through these trying times?
I never used milk in my tea's but i would love to hear on the results. I know milk is considered a colloid and colloids are important to soil. But i haven’t come across any research done on milk and compost tea's?? I Have used milk as a foliar spray but that was for mildew(works great by the way)

As for what you put in your compost tea to help, I know im a little late but im still going to point you to some nutrient rich plants. Im guessing you want calcium so

•Chicory, wild and cultivated, is high in potassium and contains calcium and vitamin A.
•Comfrey leaves are a good source of calcium, phosphorus and potassium, and contain vitamins A and C, as well as other trace minerals.
•Dandelion leaves contain vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and potassium.
•Nettle leaves are packed full of nutrients from vitamins A, C, K, B1, B2, B3, B5, calcium, magnesium, phosphate, phosphorus, potassium, boron, bromine, copper, iron, selenium and zinc
•Perilla leaves are loaded with iron and calcium.
•Watercress contains vitamins A, C, E, B3, B6, calcium, manganese and iron.
•Chamomile accumulates calcium, potassium and sulfur
[url]https://www.herbcompanion.com/Gardening/Plants-Need-Tea-Too.aspx?page=2[/url]

Adding more then one ingredient rich in calcium should increase the available calcium in the tea and create a nice diverse buffet for the microbes. Also gypsum is rich in calcium, can be added to the soil, ( i have never used it in compost tea ) & molasses has a nice amount of calcium too witch is great for tea's...

I would also try using the tea as a foliar spray, in the morning...It wont hurt to try and im positive the plants will absorb the nutrients faster. :mrgreen:

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Interesting posts, TDB, thanks! I called the local feed store. I can pick up a 50# bag of alfalfa pellets for $11. I asked about the salt content in them, and the fellow said they are nothing but compressed alfalfa with no additives. I should run out and buy a bag today.

That last batch turned out really well. I was worried that the milk would spoil, being out in the hot sun aerating for 36 hours, but it didn't. Oh. I should have mentioned it was fat-free organic milk. That might have added some to the price.

I have a new pot brewing now that's pretty much the same recipe but no milk. This one's for the back yard garden, and I haven't seen any signs of possible calcium deficiency there.

Applestar's suggestion about using rainwater--I think it was Applestar--was well-received. I now have rain collection vessels at the two drippiest corners of my house. It rained for five minutes yesterday, and I was able to collect 6.5 gallons, more than enough for a pot of tea and a new gallon of seaweed concentrate.

BTW, I love this forum. I have been gardening for twenty years, and I have learned more new stuff this summer than I learned in any summer past! Thanks to everyone for the great advice!
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This is a great thread! I've never used any sort of compost tea or foliar spray. I've always been aware of other people using it, but I never felt the need to do it. After reading the thread, I plan on giving it a try starting with next springs garden. I may actually get things together in time to use it on some of my winter plants.

I noticed in the thread that the three products mentioned most often were molasses, alfalfa pellets; and composted manure. My local farm and ranch supply store has all of it, but the molasses is in a granular form rather than a liquid form. Is the granular form the referenced product for the teas?

I also noticed the amounts of most products used in a five gallon batch of tea are modest. They seem to be measured in a few table spoons per five gallons. I was wondering if the quantities can be increased with more aeration for a longer period resulting in a more potent concentrate. I would of course dilute it more when used.

Ted
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Hey Stella,

I have actually had a conversation with Elaine Ingham about milk in biological supplements and she wasworried that the antifungal properties and generally ubiquitous nature of Lactobacillus (the milk's most likely culture) might inhibit other development and become dominant. That said, she was more concerned about overreliance on ANY one bacteria or fungal strain, and if you were mixing it up, it shouldn't be a problem, but ANYBODY can make a bacerial tea; fungal tea is the real trick. The godd Dr. Ingham likes humic acids, kelp, fish hydrolysate and high saponin plants (yucca, aloe, soapwort) for fungal development, but starts with a fungal compost. My favorite fungal compost? A pile of fine wood chips, aged a year or more. Start yours today...

HG
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tedln
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Scott,

I just purchased 6 cubic yards of sawdust (fines and chips) mixed with horse manure and urine. It has alread aged about one year and will be 18 months old when I use it in the spring of 2010. Will that work for the compost for the fungal tea? Will the horse manure and urine inhibit the other properties of the wood compost?

Ted
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stella1751
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HG wrote:
My favorite fungal compost? A pile of fine wood chips, aged a year or more. Start yours today...
How odd is that? I went to the local livestock feed store, seeking alfalfa pellets, and came home with a 50# bag of those, a 50# bag of alfalfa cubes (for the compost bin), and a package of wood-chip livestock bedding. So, I just stick some of those in a pile somewhere? Should I add anything to them or just let them decay away?

I've been using kelp meal every other feeding and corn meal (or flour) every feeding. I'll look up humic acids and fish hydrolysate; I don't think we have any yucca, soapwort, or aloe up here. However, a person can buy aloe at the plant store, I think.

Thanks!

Oh. Here's something interesting I have discovered, long as I'm back on this thread: Plants are crazy for alfalfa pellets, but I don't get a good head of foam on the top of pots. When I'm diluting it with water in a jug, it bubbles up nicely, but there's not that standard golden molasses foam in the tea pot :?
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Hey Ted,

The urine and bacterial components from manures will balance this compost so it would NOT be a fungal compost per se, but it will be a fine balanced compost, and that ain't bad... :)

Fungal is best for trees and shrubs, balanced is good for veggies and flowers and SLIGHTLY bacterial is good for lawns and grass. Remember Nature is always trying to move from bacterial to fungal; that is the process of natural succession. Highly bacterial soils favor weeds, so obviously we don't want to go there. Moderation in ALL things... even the fungal recipe will support SOME bacteria, as would a bacterial recipe (heavy on mollasses and fish) also support some fungii. Most plants need both to some degree, but evergreen needled plants are almost entirely fungal (taiga forest is 99 to 1 fungal to bacterial) for example. How you add to your tea would make it more or less fungal, but you may need nothing else for your crop. Teas should be crop specific, or a simple balanced tea covers all bases...

HG
Scott Reil

top_dollar_bread
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tedln wrote: I noticed in the thread that the three products mentioned most often were molasses, alfalfa pellets; and composted manure. My local farm and ranch supply store has all of it, but the molasses is in a granular form rather than a liquid form. Is the granular form the referenced product for the teas?

I also noticed the amounts of most products used in a five gallon batch of tea are modest. They seem to be measured in a few table spoons per five gallons. I was wondering if the quantities can be increased with more aeration for a longer period resulting in a more potent concentrate. I would of course dilute it more when used.

Ted
granulars work fine or you can just smash them down to powder.
And yes you can increase the quantities of ingredients, just be sure its aerated properly and keep your nose out for smells. Good tea should smell sweet and fresh, when it starts to smell some thing is off balance and you probably added to much food.
1-2TBSP of amendments to a gal is what i recommend for problem free, balance tea. you can find witch ingredient helps witch microbes in page 1 or 2 of this thread

HG
thanks for the info on the milk, oh and is mushroom compost a good fungi compost?? i don't know about other gardeners but mushroom compost IMO really is some outstanding stuff!! i believe it may be the fungal microbes that could be its claim to fame.

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stella1751
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The Helpful Gardener wrote: ANYBODY can make a bacerial tea; fungal tea is the real trick. The godd Dr. Ingham likes humic acids . . .
I just ordered the following from wormsway.com. It's called SaferGro Humax and is described as follows:

"Listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), Humax all-purpose additive encourages nutrient uptake, enhances nutrient availability, increases the water holding capacity of soil, and promotes overall plant growth. Humax concentrated liquid humic acid, known as the black gold of agriculture, is extracted from natural deposits of leonardite. Add Humax to a hydroponic nutrient solution or apply it to soil."

Once it arrives :shock: I will be replacing my corn flour with this, right? How much does anyone recommend I use? Like 5 Tbsp?

Thanks! Oh. I ordered some Peruvian Seabird Guano--it was on sale :D

Another question: I only purchased products that said, as above, "listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute." I translated that to mean certifed organic.
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top_dollar_bread
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stella the bottle should give directions on how to use
if not add 1-2 TBSP to the gal
i sure do wish you had PM'd me on humic acids, cus i know of a product that is very well known for its superb combined ingredients..
its called liquid karma, and this stuff rocks!!
you can use on seedlings or through any stage of growth, and it works extremely well in tea's, it contains humic acids and other very well put together ingredients that will benefit our tea's. (look it up, its got a good rep)
[url]https://www.rosemania.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/product57.html[/url]

the EN EA i mentioned earlier is another great product, contains humic acid but also works as a inoculant, making are tea's more populated with beneficials including fungi!!
[url]https://health.bigelbach.com/333750-Earth-Nectar-Earth-Ambrosia-EN-EA-Two-Part-Plant-Invigoration-Mixture-32-fl-oz-each-HY/flypage.html[/url]
ther are other inoculants as well on worms way, these will add live beneficial microbes, like fungi and bacteria and are good products for tea brewers..
compost can have these but inoculants guarantee’s them..

by the way, i have a side by side test going on with peppers
one is grown with ACT the other with water, guess who's doing better??
i also will be posting guano recipes, with pictures..
when i get everything together..ill post
trying to keep this thread alive!!

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stella1751
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TDB wrote:
i sure do wish you had PM'd me on humic acids, cus i know of a product that is very well known for its superb combined ingredients..
I bookmarked it for next spring, TDB. I would have wanted to try this Safegro Humax, anyway :lol: And, in my naive North Dakota heart, I keep thinking that other stuff will come, that I did not get ripped off, that I simply bought from a Mom and Pop operation that's not big on communications. If so, I've spent plenty this month :shock:

Today I will start a pot using the old recipe. I have some old rainwater I need to use up because I do believe we might get more rain today! I've been putting a little gypsum at the bottom of the rainbarrel and rinsing my compost buckets and tools out in the water, so I want to start out fresh. When this stuff comes, and I will be hoping it gets here by Thursday, I will make up a batch using this and the seabird guano.

TDB also wrote:
by the way, i have a side by side test going on with peppers
one is grown with ACT the other with water, guess who's doing better??
My peppers may well be the plant to have responded the most enthusiastically to this ACT. Remember how in an earlier posting I told you I was seeing tons of new growth two days after each dosing? Well, that's pretty much been the story all summer. Lately I've been wondering whether the Looky-Lou's driving slowly past are there for the tomatoes or for the peppers. They are now 30" tall and covered with hot cherry peppers that have just started to change color. These are very happy peppers :D
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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gixxerific
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I know you all use compost among other things. But what about semi fresh manure. I have been wanting to make come ACT but have no finished 'compost'. I do have some semi fresh manure that I spread on my garden last week. Would that work? I tilled it in the soil a put down a thick bed of grass on top.

My compost might be a bit before it's done. So unless I go buy some which i plan to do just not until maybe next month.

Thanks

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stella1751
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I'm using composted manure in mine, Gix. (I started this thread because I wanted to hit my front squash with a rapid-release of nitrogen. From small desires come big rewards :lol: ) It cost me about $2.50 for a bag at Ace Hardware, and I'm still using the same bag after countless pots of tea. I have heard that fresh manure can burn the plants' roots. TDB?

BTW, I think I will post before and after photos of my peppers if the sun comes out today. You will be amazed! Naturally, soil prep plays a big role, and I did put peas in this bed last year, but I don't believe I've ever seen peppers--my favorite of all veggies to grow--respond this quickly to anything I've done in the past.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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stella1751
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Before and After

See whether you think the difference is as striking as I think it is. These photos are 27 days apart. I started using ACT four days before the first shot.

My hot cherry peppers on July 27:

[img]https://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy292/mitbah/Peppers.jpg[/img]

My hot cherry peppers on August 23:

[img]https://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy292/mitbah/peppers_2.jpg[/img]

What do you think? Am I imagining that this is really extraordinary growth? They are also producing like crazy :D
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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gixxerific
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Holy moly that is one BIG jump there Stella. Nice :D

So you are making it with just a bag of manure compost bought at a store? I thought most of that stuff would be sterile and not productive. There is composted cow manure and mushroom compost and maybe another type at my local store. All of which I have put n the ground but didn't think it would be good for tea, tell me I'm wrong. :) and I'm out the door to get some goodies my lettuces are not doing well at all most of everything has went south for the most part. :x :cry:

Thanks

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stella1751
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I tell ya', Gix, this is all made with composted manure for compost. I swear. That's why I got the title of the post all wrong. I thought there was a difference between manure tea and compost tea :oops:

My own compost is in too big a pile (the bins I posted way back when in this thread) for me to dig into the center for compost. That's why I started another thread on mini-composters; so I could make some for my tea instead of continuing to use my composted manure :lol:

I wonder what mushroom compost is :shock:

I warn you, though, Gix, making tea is really addictive. Once you get started, you just can't stop.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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gixxerific
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Alrighty than I went and got some "Black Kow" composted manure. And a 5 inch wet stone. Just wait till you see my set up at the end. :lol:

I'm going to start maybe today Can't remember how much compost to put in I'm going to have to go through 4 pages to find out. :shock: Another thing is they say to let your tap water sit for 24 hours right. I have a fish tank and the needed purifier for that. It takes out the chlorine and chloramine. So I'm thinking I don't have to wait till tomorrow to start what do you think?

Not sure if this pump I have is strong enough so I might have to get another one. I was going to get a 3 way gang valve and run three wetsones in it which I have the stones. But I would have had to get more tubing which made the 5 inch stone more cost efficient at about $5

First off here the site for Black Kow seems like a upstanding place the reason I purchased it was it is certified by the "Mulch and soil Council"
https://www.blackkow.com/index.htm

Here's my setup sort of thought I had some tubing here but I didn't. But me being me I came up with a way to improvise notice the tubing.
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/DSC02722.jpg[/img]

Yes those are crazy straw glasses in between the pump and the stone. :lol: I actually removed the glasses part and just use one of the ear pieces to connect the outer clear pieces, I'm going to have to get some real tubing soon. Still :lol: when in a pinch steal your kids crazy straw glasses they don't even know they are still here.

Thanks Stella sorry so long, no I'm not.

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stella1751
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Your pump looks like the same size I bought, one for a 5 to 10 gallon container. Amazingly, after all the tea I've made, it just keeps on aerating :) I like the crazy straw, BTW. That is very ingenious 8) I wouldn't buy a new pump or new airstones or anything. What I liked most was how little this set-up cost. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I think my total cost, from start to finish, was $10. And I think my peppers look like a million dollars. That's an excellent return on my investment :lol:

Here's an embarrassing confession: I did not let my water sit out the first time. TDB didn't mention it. I think Applestar gave me the heads up on that one. Nevertheless, the first batch was lovely, so maybe we don't have as much chlorine in our water up here.

Oh. TDB assumed I knew I should stir the ingredients. (People often assume common sense on my part; go figure.) Applestar jumped in to give me the heads up on that one.

I've got TDB's initial recipe memorized:

Two handfuls compost[ed manure],
5 TBSP kelp meal,
5 TBSP fish emulsion,
5 TBSP molasses. I've been adding corn meal (or corn flour) to each batch for its anti-fungal abilities.

Other recipes I've experimented with:

Two handfuls (TDB probably said "cups") compost
Four cups alfalfa pellets
1/2 cup kelp meal
1/2 cup corn meal or corn flour
5 TBSP molasses

Two handfuls (TDB probably said "cups") compost
8 TBSP fish emulsion
1 quart Sea Magic concentrate
1/2 cup corn meal or corn flour
5 TBSP molasses

Two handfuls (TDB probably said "cups") compost
Two cups Alaska King organic fertilizer granules
1 cup gypsum
1/2 cup corn meal or corn flour
5 TBSP molasses

Two handfuls (TDB probably said "cups") compost
2 quarts organic, fat-free milk
1 quart Sea Magic concentrate
1/2 cup corn meal or corn flour
5 TBSP molasses

Two handfuls (TDB probably said "cups") compost
5 TBSP kelp meal
5 TBSP fish emulsion
8 TBSP Epsom Salts
1/2 cup corn meal or corn flour
5 TBSP molasses

TDB had many other ideas of things to use. I want to try them all, eventually. I like changing it a little bit each time. I reason that if I change it enough, I'll somehow satisfy any needs of which I am not aware. Yesterday I ordered humic acid and seabird guano. I can't wait to play with them when they get here!
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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Nice peppers stella :D , i love growing peppers and ACT makes it so rewarding and easy!!
stella1751 wrote:I tell ya', Gix, this is all made with composted manure for compost. I swear. That's why I got the title of the post all wrong. I thought there was a difference between manure tea and compost tea :oops: .
you didnt get the title wrong stella, when using composted manure, you are indeed making manure tea!!
there is all kinds of tea definitions
compost tea, compost extract, compost leachate, plant tea, and manure tea

as for using fresh manure, it can be done but i wouldnt advise it!!
manure usually smells, this smell is anaerobic microbes, these are usually bad guys and by bad i mean, can be bad for soil,plant & our health.
This is why we aerate are compost/ACT, to prevent microbes from going anaerobic and help breed & feed aerobic microbes (who are the good guys)
stella1751 wrote:I wonder what mushroom compost is :shock: .
i think?? mushroom compost is compost left over after mushrooms have been harvested, some may have chemicals so use ones that are certified!!

for those who wish to learn more about mushrooms, here's a great link on 6 ways mushrooms can save the world :shock:
[url]https://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world.html[/url]
had to add the link!!
gixxerific
glad to see you joined us, love the creativity :D
be sure to tell us on your results!! remember a little molasses is a good add and other soil amendments can be added as well
stella has listed some recipes that should keep you busy for a while, and you can always make your own..just keep your nose out and stir it every now and then....my bad stella!!

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gixxerific
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stella1751 wrote: I like the crazy straw, BTW. That is very ingenious 8) I wouldn't buy a new pump or new air stones or anything. What I liked most was how little this set-up cost. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I think my total cost, from start to finish, was $10. And I think my peppers look like a million dollars. That's an excellent return on my investment :lol:
All I need is really nothing maybe tubing if this setup doesn't leak than I spent $5 so you owe me $5 don't ask how I came to this, I can send you my address so you can send check. :P Thanks for the recipes all nice and organized, I love organization.

I didn't have to buy anything really but I have been researching and heard the MORE air the better. Some people were saying the three way air stones were better for more air flow. Being a gear head I agree more airflow more power. We shall see.

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gixxerific
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TDB thanks for the kind words and the welcome.

Be careful like TDB said with mushroom compost. Make sure it "Organic Certified" There are some places that use assorted 'cides' the bad additives. Another thing is the salt levels can be high in these which would affect young growth and especially seedlings. Though I use it I always mix with soil or other amendments. Do some research on it there is a lot of info on mushroom compost. Another thing is that mushroom compost is considered "used up" after about 3 mushroom crops that is why they get rid of it and start anew. But it is made with a bunch of good starting ingredients, so it can't be all bad plus it will loosen soil.

Great vid link TDB very interesting I have watched it twice.

I will keep you all informed and inform others of my findings as well. I have Kelp extract and fish emulsions i think I will add to the first batch. But what about regular syrup as opposed to molasses is that the same will it work? I actually was looking at molasses the other day at the store but I'm broke and can't afford to buy frivolous things unless I need to. Which I guess would make them not so frivolous now that I think about it. :)

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Good question about the molasses, Gix. When I went looking for a bottle, I had to go to three different stores: Everyone was out. I told my friend there must be a lot of people making compost tea that week :lol: I think molasses is the only deal-breaker in the mix. TDB posted a molasses hyperlink early on in this thread; I read it and it explains why molasses causes the aerobic reaction. However, in another thread, I think I read something about Applestar using brown sugar for something similar. Hmm.

BTW, three things I forgot to mention earlier:

1) I use two cups tea per gallon of water. You should get 16 to 20 gallons per pot. When I used alfalfa pellets, it looked like very weak tea, but I stuck to my two cups per gallon, and the squash thanked me for it. Anyone who is growing squash should know that a tea with alfalfa pellets in it is a big hit with squash. Just don't be fooled by the pale color of the base tea.

2) When I have extra tea, I dump it on my compost. I got this from rainbowgardener. I make a pot for the front yard garden and then a pot for the back yard garden. There are four raised beds in each section, and if the pot goes over 16 gallons worth, I have a bit too much tea. At first I gave the extra to my moss roses, but, really, how much do flowers need? Now I give the extra to my compost.

3) Dregs go on the compost heap. I was dumping it on top of the mulch on my peppers, but I think the soil suffered a brief nitrogen set-back, trying to process all the organic material, and my peppers closest to the dregs became a lighter green for about two weeks.

Regarding the molasses, in an earlier posting, you said you got along swimmingly with three of your neighbors. Back in the day, my day, people borrowed a cup of sugar from their neighbors. I would think 1/4 a cup of molasses ought to work; bring your own quarter-cup measure 8)
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gixxerific
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Sorry you couldn't find molasses I went to Deirberghs a local big name grocery store they had 5 different kinds. I will have to get some but I just got yelled at for spending to much money last week (mostly beer and gardening things). I haven't been working much but it's picking up.

I would think syrup or sugar or brown sugar would work. Basically it's the mass carbs I believe. I also believe molasses has the highest amount of carbs of the others mentioned which is probably why it is preferred. Again I'm just guessing here.

Couple more thing and I might let this thread rest a bit.

1. If i was making this recipe you say dilute it to 2 cups per gallon?

Two handfuls compost[ed manure],
5 TBSP kelp meal,
5 TBSP fish emulsion,
5 TBSP molasses. I've been adding corn meal (or corn flour) to each batch for its anti-fungal abilities.

2. It says 5 tablespoons kelp meal. I have kelp 'extract'. Which says if I remember right 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. I'm just wondering if 'extract' is more potent than 'meal' and maybe I should cut back on this ingredient?

3. Are you adding corn meal in substitution for molasses or as well as molasses?

And yes we do get along with the neighbors we are always borrowing form each other but I don't think they would have molasses, maybe one of them I will ask.
If I have extra tea it will go on my neighbors garden she is my student gardener, trying to teach to the right or more right way to garden.

Thanks Stella gotta go and help my neighbor build a deck, (for free :cry: but what are neighbors for. I'm a sucker for work. Be back in a bit.

Sorry it's getting long but one more thing does it have to be36 hours exact or so. If I was to start one right this minute it would be about 44 hours till I could use it would that be too much. I could wait till later to make it work out. I will be starting work again tomorrow.

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I would think syrup or sugar or brown sugar would work. Basically it's the mass carbs I believe. I also believe molasses has the highest amount of carbs of the others mentioned which is probably why it is preferred. Again I'm just guessing here.
I should just answer this one with a bunch of embarrassed smilies. I know next to nothing about chemistry or aerobics or carbs or anything. That's why I was so thrilled that TDB made it simple for me. I don't really understand why it works; I just know it does work. I'm getting the sense that everyone in this forum knows more about plant chemistry than I do :oops: :oops: :oops:
If i was making this recipe you say dilute it to 2 cups per gallon?
That's what I do. I think TDB suggested that amount, but I may have come up with it on my own. Here's a funny story, one I didn't tell anyone: The first time I used it, I didn't pour it on the base of the stem; I poured it on the ground about six to eight inches from the base. I was afraid it would burn them. Yeah, I was wrong. Anyhow, I just use 2 cups per gallon, and I like the results!
It says 5 tablespoons kelp meal. I have kelp 'extract'. Which says if I remember right 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. I'm just wondering if 'extract' is more potent than 'meal' and maybe I should cut back on this ingredient?
I think I can answer this one! I figure I will make a minimum of 16 gallons per pot. So, when I use my Sea Magic, which is a liquid seaweed concentrate that I normally use at 1/4 cup per gallon, I multiplied it times 16 to come up with how much to use: 1 qt. I don't think you need to use the full amount, either, 'cause you've got all those other things going on for you (nutrients from the manure, nutrients from the fish emulsion, even nutrients from the molasses and corn meal). I just think you wouldn't want to go OVER the amount you would normally use.
Are you adding corn meal in substitution for molasses or as well as molasses?
I'm adding both. Here's a very technical explanation of what I think the molasses does: It makes it foam. I got the impression I wouldn't get a decent foam without the molasses. A good head of foam is a sure sign you've got something aerobic going on, and that's what it's all about: stimulating the microbacteria with aerobic activity.

TDB assures me the corn meal has antifungal qualities. Because I'm a newbie to squash growing and because my research indicated their most prevalent problems to be fungal, I use it as a preventative measure. No powdery mildew at my place!

HG, however, suggested (back on page 3) that the same thing over and over in a fungal tea might encourage resistance in bad fungi. Truth be told, I haven't a clue what he really meant--it was all chemistry to me, not my strong suit. I got the impression, though, that he thought I should mix things up, fungus-wise. Therefore, when my brand new jug of Humax arrives, I will be replacing the corn meal with that.

Note to HG: If this wasn't what you meant, please let me know :shock:

Note to Gix or TDB: If you have a second and can put his advice in layman's English for me, I'd appreciate it. That Humax is probably on a truck as I write, working its way out here :P
If I was to start one right this minute it would be about 44 hours till I could use it would that be too much.
Somewhere back in this thread, TDB came clean with all the dirt on time to let the tea steep. I think there was a great deal of flexibility on the times, something like "It won't help it to steep longer than 48 hours, but it won't hurt it, either." I came up with a 36-hour steep on my own, mostly because that's the longest I want to wait :) However, twice I have used it within 24 hours and once at 48. The weather is a big factor here. If you've got a thunderstorm rolling in, it doesn't make sense to begin an outdoor project that will take up to 30 minutes to complete. Wyoming rain drops can hurt.

I also try to time mine with my watering schedule. If I started a pot of tea and 36 hours coincides with my watering schedule for that block of beds, I will use the stuff earlier or later. For example, my tomatoes and peppers are on a 48-hour watering schedule for regular temperatures and 36-hour for hot temperatures or high winds, which dry plants out pretty quickly. I want to give them their tea eight to twelve hours before I water them. At that time, I reason, they are at their thirstiest, so they'll slurp down whatever you give 'em.

Probably doesn't make sense from a plant's perspective, but even though my daughter's in her thirties now, I know all the tricks to get someone or something to consume what's good for 'em :lol:

Sorry the posting is so long, and I wish I could give you a more technical explanation on the process, especially that regarding the molasses and the corn meal/humic acid. For me, gardening is all about the soil and encouraging it to be its best for the plants.

About a month ago, in response to a thread started by Tedlin, I wrote that I would have an average year with my peppers. Gotta be honest, you know, and that's what I thought. Then. Now, I think I could have an excellent pepper year, right up there with last year's Poblanos, which was a super pepper year. I don't believe in coincidences, Gix. I think this compost tea is making the difference between an average and an excellent year. Dunno why or how, just know it is :wink:
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Don't be hard on yourself we are all learning here.

But I believe what the theory on the same fungal treatment would coincide with human disease. Take the flu virus you give millions of people the same vaccine against the same strain of virus eventually the virus will evolve to where it is not affected or as effected. Same with the evolution of a species after a while it will evolve to overcome hardships. Hope this makes sense.

Oh and about the times there was basically 3 times to let it go. I don't have time right now (working on this deck next door) but can't remember off hand but at different time limits encouraged different types of teas. One was more microbial one was more fungal and the other can't quite remember but get he idea. Hope you understand and hope I explained it at least half right.

Thanks for your help, after I get this going I"ll be able to help you and the circle begins. :D

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Wow did this heat up fast... :D

O.K., here goes...

The sugar thing. SImple sugars are best; that's why we use molasses instead of more refined stuff. I was experimenting with a dried honey and getting good results, but way more expensive. And molasses doesn't make it foam (we see foam on surf and in rapids, right? Not a drop of the stuff in sight :lol: ). Molasses is an excellent bacterial food, which makes LOTS of proteins and THAT'S what foams. Yucca and saponins are also famous for foaming; if it get's to be an issue, just a wee drop of EVOO smooths the roiled waters...

Corn stimulates a specific fungus (Trichoderma) which in itself is antifungal. Like I said, fungus is the hard part in teamaking, so I'd skip the corn in the tea and do that directly on the leaves ONLY when I saw fungal issues. Trichoderma can be pretty aggressive and non-specific; it eats everything. I discussed this species with Dr. Ingham as an anti-fungal and her comment was she didn't like relying on any one organism for anything; a balanced ecosystem is what we are striving towards, so ANY dominant organism is a bad thing (Human beings, take note... :roll: ). THIS is why I like switching up and changing things; remeber the old lady who swallowed the fly? Let's be sure we don't have to get to swallowing horses, right?

Fish emulsion and hydrolysate are not really the same thing; emulsions are just ground up fish guts and bones. Hydrolysates start there, but use enzymes to further the breakdown and make a finer, more stable product (mineral contents from bones and such is more readily available). Cold processing is another key thing to look for; many of these products (emulsions AND hydrolysates) are by products of other industries, and a lot of the time there is cooking involved which makes things seperate a LOT more. I found an inexpensive hydrolysate from dogfish, but further investigation found they were cooking it to extract the shark cartilage, and it broke down way too fast and got stinky a LOT quicker, as well as being pretty oily, which doesn't help the tea one bit either. Cold processed is better for everybody, nose included...

Timing your tea; sorry to disagree with T$, but over 36 hours has been shown in the lab (Dr. Ingham's lab, among others) to gain nothing and often allow for food, or worse yet, oxygen depletion. In some cases there may be benefits (hard to extract foodstocks), but I have done hundreds, nay thousands of tea quality assessments under a microscope and 36 hours is almost always optimal, no matter what the recipe. Rolling a little of the last batch into a new one can be beneficial and I DID read a white paper about long brewing, actually letting it get slightly anaerobic and bringing it back to widen the facultative anaerobe population, but that's a little advanced for those without the professional tools to assess it and I wouldn't recommend it for home gardener's (if the tea goes bad, don't use it in the garden, dump it on the compost and turn it. The pile will sort things out...)

Stella, not surprised to hear you say tea is the difference between so-so and excellent gardens; it is the difference between so-so and excellent soil, or leaf colonies, or rhizospheres. It is Mother Nature's littlest helpers in vast quantity, and SHE knows what she is doing, unlike the rest of us. So you don't need to know the whys or hows; it just does it the way Mother has done it for millions of years. And YOU helped... :D

Go forth and spread tea...

S
Scott Reil

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stella1751
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Gix, on page 1 of this thread, Applestar posted a hyperlink to a discussion she had last year about ACT in the permaculture forum. The hyperlink to that discussion is

[url]https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9219[/url]

There are two great hyperlinks within this hyperlink that I found to be terrifically informative:

1) [url]https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9219[/url]

This one was about purchasing a compost brewer, but there was a tiny section in there that I found fascinating. It follows:
Alternatively, you can design your own tea recipe, but this will take some testing to make sure you are NOT adding too much food, and reducing oxygen, through the growth of the beneficial organisms, below aerobic levels. Foods that should be considered are:
 a diversity of sugars for bacterial growth, but realize that often the compost itself contains adequate bacterial foods to grow a great set of bacteria. Addition of more bacterial foods can just cause problems.
 Citric acid to help buffer pH to the right level, as well as feeding beneficial bacteria
 Cold-water kelp (higher in nutrients) to serve as a source of micro-nutrients (K, Co, B, etc, please check the label of the product you buy to make sure you are adding micronutrients you need. How do you know micronutrients are needed? A soil chemistry, or plant tissue test might be a good idea)
 Humic acids fro fungal growth, but realize that you want data to show you that this material can actually help grow fungi. Harsh extractants can make the humic materials very difficult for fungi, or anything else, to use.
I kind of sort of remembered as Applestar saying brown sugar was okay. (Hey, if I live long enough, she might say it! Who can know what the future holds?) GREAT list of ingredients, BTW, and verification of your thinking that corn syrup could be substituted for molasses :lol:

Talk to me, someone, please, about citric acids. Would this be like organic orange juice?
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Stella your on point with time of brewing, brew times can help breed a more diverse micro heard in tea’s but brewing for a long time will make a put-to-sleep tea.
Meaning many of the organisms in the tea have went dormant or died off.
(HG your right, over 36 hours, should be done by professionals with proper tools but I have to disagree on gaining nothing???)
explain more please

[url]https://www.soilfoodweb.com/03_about_us/approach_pgs/c_06_tea_definitions.html[/url]
here’s a link on tea definitions, by the great people at the soil food web
A short brew of around 12 hours will favor the growth of fungi, while a 24 hour brew will favor the growth of bacteria and a long brew of 36–48 hours will favor the growth of protozoa. Also that Molasses will promote the growth of bacteria and kelp and humic acid will promote the growth of fungi. Sphagnum peat moss or hay can be added as a source of protozoa, so there isn’t a real need to brew over 36 hours!!!

From page 2 of thread, taken form wikipedia

Here’s another interesting read
[url]https://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/brewing-compost-tea.aspx[/url]
brewing compost tea by Elaine Ingham, president, soil foodweb inc

gix
other sugars like brown sugar can be added but molasses is recommended and has been the secret to many bottled organic fertilizers for years.

You see molasses isn’t just a sugar/carbohydrate, it contains a nice amount of potash, sulfur and a variety of micronutrients.
This is the main idea of adding molasses because a balance supply of mineral nutrients is essential for microorganisms to survive and thrive. Micronutrients found in organic amendments like molasses, kelp, buckwheat, comfrey and alfalfa are all derived from other plants and ther for quickly and easily available to our soil organisms and our plants. The micro herd in our tea’s/soil depend on tiny amounts of trace minerals as catalysts to help break down organic fertilizers to a form our plants can use.
Molasses also works as a chelate, chelates (like humic acid), are known for unlocking chemical nutrients into a form that is easily available for soil critters and plants. It is also said that chelated minerals also help gardeners make dramatic cuts in fertilizer application, by locking minerals in availed forms and preventing soil unbalances.

last time I quoted this book, the admin hit me up and deleted it, so im going take another route and give out a link on the book “The Soul of Soil: a soil-building guide for master gardners and famersâ€

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Okay than way too much info I'm tired.

I said I saw about 5+ kinds of molasses at the store, one was unsulfered and there was a black strap version as well so next time I'm there.......

That whole thing on the timing is what I remember, I read that at Wikipedia myself it thought 36 was key for people like us.

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Sorry for overwhelming you, Gix. This compost tea excites zealotry. I suppose it's like being a reformed smoker; you want to convert everyone you see with a butt dangling from his or her lips :lol:
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stella1751 wrote:Sorry for overwhelming you, Gix. This compost tea excites zealotry. I suppose it's like being a reformed smoker; you want to convert everyone you see with a butt dangling from his or her lips :lol:
All I meant was way to much info to process since my my last post earlier today. What with all the links not including the ones you relinked which I have read several times. I will get back to it, never fear. :D I'm exausted and need sleep.

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top_dollar_bread wrote:Man was I disappointed, I read my bottle and it said in fine print that this is vinegar flavored as apple cider..now I got me a bottle of stuff I don’t know what to do with.
I actually wanted to drink REAL apple cider vinegar for the health benefits and use for brewing tea’s but I guess not.
You can use it to help make GOOD ACV. So as not to contaminate this thread, I'll go into more details in [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=92060#92060]this thread in Non-gardening Hoo-ha.[/url] Make your comments over there. :wink:

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Hey folks,

I am following this thread, but enough information has been forthcoming that I don;t need to ask questions at this point. I will be purchasing some of the base products listed at my garden supply store this week and giving the ACT a try.

I am curious if anyone knows why the text on page five of this thread suddenly stopped auto wrapping. On my computer, all the text is single line requiring scrolling from left to right in order to read a comment. The first four pages remain in auto wrap mode with normal page width. All other threads are normal mode. Are others experiencing this?

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

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Tedlin, I think it's the multi-line Googlebook Link. Some browsers can't handle that, though mine (Firefox v3.5.2 for Mac OSX) is working. I've edited it to embed the link. Let me know if this fixed the problem.

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