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
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
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
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
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