top_dollar_bread
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i feel you ther A_S
but we should be pushing for a change in energy, fuel, instead of avoiding goods from afar.
To many goods (not just fertilizers) come from far places and this shouldn’t be stopped!
We should be shaming and pushing the fast food and chemical synthetic agriculture companies to alternatives.
by just avoiding you are doing IMO a small part, if it really bothers you, more can be done.
Again opinions

When it comes to gardening thought, your absolutely right!, organic gardening doesn’t have to involve commercial products, fertilizing can be done with composting, top mulching with green manures, recycling garden waste, etc. its all on the gardener

A_S
instead of not using alfalfa, why not grow it? alfalfa is to good for me to let go, but thats me :P

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Wow! I came back to add to my post that I have two buckets brewing that will be ready in the morning -- I didn't even realize TDB had slipped a post in before mine already, let alone GeorgiaGirl's comments and TDB's second post.

I was going to say that the 1/4" soaker tubing that TDB posted about was inspired! I just got some -- made from recycled bicycle tires :mrgreen: -- a couple of days ago. Was momentarily frustrated when I realized I needed some kind of a coupler to connect to the solid air tubing, but ta-dah! inside straw of telescoping juicebox straw is the perfect size for slipping inside both the air tubing and the soaker tubing (you need to use a solid guide object (I used a leg of wire garden border fencing) for pushing into the soaker tubing.

One bucket is standard rainbarrel water, compost, molasses + wheat germ and a bit of sourdough starter. Second bucket is weed tea, compost, molasses + wheat germ and agar agar flakes (they're both pantry cleanup waste -- i.e. expired). Looking at my jungle of a garden, I'm not so sure I want to give them any :roll: Definitely giving some to the container plants and foliar spraying the pumpkins, melons, tomatoes, and apple trees. Oh, I do have to give the high nitrogen to the corn. :wink:

I AM growing some alfalfa -- I got a small bagful of sprouting alfalfa seeds from the healthfood store bulk section this time, if they don't do well (don't know if there are varietal differences for sprouting alfalfa vs. regular ground growing kind) I'll get some covercrop seeds. But the weed tea, supplemented with good weeds like nettles, chickweed, and sorrel are highly nutritious and really helps in that I no longer have to put weeds with seedheads/sprouting roots in the trash anymore.

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gixxerific
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Lot's of good info as usual. Got a question though about my ACT. It stinks with the lid on. I took the lid off to stir and OH MY!!! it really stank. Like an all green compost kind of stink. :shock:

:EDIT: Big time edit I had a big 'ol explanation typed up about to send and realized my very stupid mistake. Supposed to be 36 hours, for some odd reason I had it figured for 3 day's which would be 72 hours. Who knew there were two 12 hour periods in a day? :oops: :x

I guess it's trashed right. All that time and effort I screwed up bad. :oops: I was blaming low air flow I'm going to turn it off now there is a big storm coming in anyways.

What should I do with what I have? Pour it down the sewer, drink it to remind me not to ever do it again?

Help an idiot out please. :cry:

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Humus, humate, humic acid, fulvic acid and humin are all (from my knowledge) transformed from organic matter, humus stable or not can be done naturally or with compost.
Right, Top $, spot on. Compost is making your own. Without the exact knowledge of biospecific assays, it makes no sense to start adding expensive additions (see how much fulvic acid goes for? :shock: )
So it doesn't make sense to me -- living in NJ -- to seek out imported exotic bird poop from South America, bat poop from Mexico, fishing industry by-products from Alaska, or deposits from North Dakota or New Mexico. Even the Lobster Compost from Maine is on my ? list, though that one I might let pass.
I here ya, AS and the shipping does a bit of damage to Mother as well. Lobster is a great way to get chitin into the mix, but so is crab, or shrimp shells. What have you got locally? THAT'S the best stuff to use...
I dunno, Applestar. I disagree. Your theory assumes that Mother Nature creates the greatest, most productive soil in ALL areas. Organic gardening, for me, is creating the greatest, most productive soil in MY area, in taking a slab of clay and using it to create a masterpiece porcelain vase.
I hear what you are saying, stella, but I still agree with AS. NAture makes the most APPROPRIATE soil for a given area, based on the existing biology and weather patterns. A desert soil is just NOT gonna be a productive soil, so plants and biology are adapted and the ecosystem develops within these parameters. Along come people and now we want not just veggies but golf courses in the desert. We need to begin to recognize there are places we are just not meant to garden or live. Your clay soil, undisturbed by humans, would chug down the succesional road, with grasses giving way to forbs, to trees then evergreens. THAT is the natural plan I think AS was talking about.

THAT said, AS, we CAN find items from elsewhere that have value. Greensand is a fine example, rock phosphate another. Just because we are organic doesn't mean we need to eschew non-native additions completely; what about BT, nematodes or milky spore? Outside additions to be sure, but still quite beneficial and not going to be found in the numbers in your soil that you can temporarily attain (while adding diversity to your native populations, I might add). Where do we draw that line? DO we start worrying about regional genotypic variances when adding nematodes? I like good tools in the garden, and some of these are good tools... bat guano from Chile is NOT Ba good fix for us when we can develop nitrogen in the soil biology. We cannto develop chitin in that manner (without a serious bug infestation, which is what chitin helps us avoid), so maybe lobster compost from Maine is o.k. in Connecticut. Maybe even Jersey... :wink:

HG
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stella1751
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HG wrote:
NAture makes the most APPROPRIATE soil for a given area, based on the existing biology and weather patterns.
Millions of years ago, Wyoming was part of a great ocean. Today, I use fossilized mussel shells, always handy, to secure ground and plant covers from her winds while I order crabmeal from one of the new marine areas.

Millions of years ago, Wyoming was part of a vast jungle, the origins of the North American eohippus, or dog horse, a small animal that fought its way through miles of thick foliage closely resembling this year's squash. Today, two mammals roughly the same size and build walk beside me while I restore my small patch of Wyoming to that jungle by using dung from one of the new jungle areas.

The face of Mother Nature is ever changing. I disagree that Nature makes the most appropriate soil for a given area, based on the existing biology and weather patterns. I believe Nature is limited, restricted, by the existing biology and weather patterns. Wyoming adapted to its present condition over millions of years. The ocean gave way to dry land; the jungle yielded to sagebrush. Forces of nature were responsible for this adaptation: Glaciation, Volcanoes, Earthquakes.

I am, we are, the new force of nature, its willing acolytes. We are nature's latest secret weapon, its new glaciers, volcanos, and earthquakes. Yes, it will take a million years with millions of us working side-by-side, and none of us or our children or our grandchildren will live to perceive the difference we are making, no more than that fossilized mussel holding down my tarp can perceive that it is no longer enveloped by the ocean.

My amendments to the soil are no more or less natural to the state than was the first lava that rained down upon it millions of years ago. I bow to the volcano, and it returns the courtesy.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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stella1751
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Since writing the above, I've thought about the narrowness of the perspective. Yes, there is a new force of nature, and yes, the organic gardener is part of that force. However, the role of the organic gardener will likely prove far less pervasive than we would hope. We are naught but a gnat on the hide of corporate greed, and it is mankind's corporations that are now altering the face of nature.

I do believe that nature is limited by her biology and weather patterns, but the environment in which we work is increasingly altered by deleterious global effects set into motion by mankind. I think, however, that this awareness, an awareness of a world gone topsy-turvy, virtually mandates experimentation on our parts. I don't think we can limit ourselves to local amendments while perched on the cusp of geological and meteorological evolution and regional adaptation. What was once considered local may now be wholly appropriate to a different region 8)
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

top_dollar_bread
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Stella’s got some good points.
Many have found evidence that earth was once, one huge land mass Pangaea around 250 million years ago, they also speculate that ther had probably been other land masses before Pangaea but that fact that all the continents were once one huge land is the point.
It wasn’t till continents started to drift that then formed the oceans and land masses or biology and weather, that we live on today. Oceans and weather have not restricted us humans and IMO we should use what we can, when needed, & most importantly responsibly!
nature is limited, restricted, by the existing biology and weather patterns.

I agree stella but I also agree that
Nature, makes the most APPROPRIATE(balanced) soil for a given area, based on the existing biology and weather patterns.

This doesn’t mean we/humans (part of nature) cant or shouldn’t help the existing biology.
Nature uses what ever she can from its limits/restrictions/existing biology and this IMHO is what life is all about.

I remember reading an article on rock dust. It explained that places like Europe, north America, and Russia have such rich soils simply because the land have been renewed; I think it was ten times in past million years. From climates changes, ( the end of ice ages) when the ice melts it grinds the crust of the earths surface and leaves behind fertile pulverizes rock dust.
But places that were close to the equator couldn’t be covered by ice, so we labeled the land as unfertile for certain crops. BUT still nature adapts and native plants found in these area’s thrive by looking for every last drop of certain elements.
The article goes on with failing to gain fertile land with synthetics but the point was that adding rock dust from other countries is what PROPERLY changed the fertility of the so called unfertile soils.
All we had to do is asked our selves what would Mother do??

Using what we got to the best of are knowledge is what , Nature our mother, our the teacher, the land, the ocean has been trying to show us. We owe everything to our planet, galaxy, the universe and everything that comes with it.
Places like the desert shouldn’t have golf courses and some places should be preserved for other forms of life but people do live in deserts, think of the Middle East. When I had drove to Vegas, I remember looking out my window thinking to my self, why not grow here? Why not build solar panels here?
Some of the greatest agriculture technologies actually originated in deserts, and still to this day people live ther.
To me its when people abuse good things that causes unbalances and crap hits the fan. Destruction of habitat, oil/gas production, unsustainable agriculture projects, etc.

Earth, life, energy is diverse and we can learn a lot from the diversity we see among us.
Golf course IMO don’t have to be so darn bad for the environments, I think things like AACT, guano, foliar spraying, IPM, rock dust (glacial, volcanic) can change the way we make nice golf courses or ball parks.

Young land masses like Hawaii are rich in volcanic minerals; I see nothing wrong with using these rock dust to help build soil. My home California is actually right next to a super volcano, so im sure volcanic minerals are no stranger to my soils biology (are any ones to honest).
But like A_S and HG I do see wrong in how its shipped and I am always concerned on how its obtained/mined.
But IMO a little goes a long way, this is why I use products that are made up of a little of everything. I look for products with good reps and good people behind it, people that arnt trying to abuse something great. Instead they are trying to use every organic, natural element to make a product worth using in small amounts.
Chitin can be found in cell walls of some fungi, and any thing with a exoskeleton or any thing who eats these, lots a lots of alternatives. Guano high in N doesn’t just add N, look at what they eat and where the guano comes from. Bats that eat insects have chitin in there droppings, guano sits in caves (rock minerals) and insects among other live forms live and die and dissolve in the guano. Guano shouldn’t just be looked at just for NPK value it does much more then that. You want inoculants, humus, humus acids, rock minerals, nutrients from fruits/oceans, etc guano is as diverse as the species of bats and birds!

Again I am a avid organic gardener and the soil is the soul of my passion. Ther for I don’t fertilize much and many of the products I buy, advice the me (the buyer) not too.
This a ACT thread and AACT, top mulching with compost/organic matter(green manures) is my main method of feeding my soil.
Adding ingredients from far places is done responsibly to best of my knowledge & IMO worth it.
If as a whole we push to change the way we fuel vehicles of transportation, then most wouldn’t stress on goods from afar

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DEEP THOUGHTS! Great discussions! Love it! :D

I'm just going to make a mundane comment that covering the 2nd bucket with double layer piece of floating cover, tied on with straw bale twine, worked beautifully. Tip out the tea with the cover on, and it's micro strained for the fine mist pump sprayer. :wink:

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Gixxerific, I got distracted by the philosphy behind the organic movement and the use of non-regional amendments in our teas. I'm hoping you got an answer to your question about your over-steeped tea. Just in case you didn't, I pulled the following from an HG post on page 5:
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...)
TDB, it's here! My Humax and Seabird Guano have arrived! I can't begin a new batch until Sunday. (I just fed the backyard on Monday and the frontyard on Wednesday.) However, I'm pretty excited to see the plants' reaction to this stuff!

Today I picked up a can of lime juice frozen concentrate. My new recipe for this, what may well be my last, pot of tea will be:

2 handfuls composted manure
2 cups seabird guano
5 TBSP humax (The Humax says 2 tsp per gallon for fertilization. I am thinking 5 TBSP per compost tea would be enough.)
2 heaping TBSP frozen lime juice concentrate
5 TBSP molasses

I've got to go back and research that list of four things you want to put in and make sure I've got all four. If I have to edit this post, I will mark it as edited :shock:

[Addition begins at this point]: Okay. I need
  • 1) A diversity of sugars for bacterial growth. Check. I've got molasses, corn fructose syrup, and sugar syrup.

    2) Citric acid to help buffer pH to the right level. Check. Haven't a clue what this means, but I know I've got it.

    3) Cold-water kelp (higher in nutrients) to serve as a source of micronutrients. Nope. I am using composted manure for my nutrients.

    4) Humic acids for fungal growth. Check. Not only is it a humic acid, it is derived from leonardite and probably mined in Williston, ND. Welcome home, my little acid friends!
So, what do you guys think?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

top_dollar_bread
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Gix, my bad
i was going to help but like stella got caught up
ok first as you probably already know by now, ther is 12 hours in a day :P
had too man sry, second what was your tea recipe?? you may have posted it but i cant seem to find it..
when the tea smells, its a good sign the microbes went anaerobic,
maybe your pump isnt doing so good you may need a better one or use two pumps.
Too much ingredients will also cause the tea to go anaerobic, especially food high in N, try not to add to much compost, i recommend 1 cup for 5 gals.

the smelly tea can be used for the compost, or try soaking shredded paper and cardboard in the tea, before adding to the compost.
I make my tea's in 5 gallon buckets so this is for 5 gallons of tea
1-2 cups compost/composted manure/EWC, alfalfa or bat guano
5 TBSP of fish emulsion
5 TBSP of kelp meal
5 TBSP of molasses
I let this mix brew with two air stones for 1-3 days and dilute it with another 5gallons of water before i use on the plants. The air stones are pumped with a cheap fish tank air pump and the tea can be used as a foliar spray if you add the dry/clumpy ingredients in a nylon sock. In the end you get 10 gallons of great organic tea for your plants to love.
i recommend this recipe! also stir the tea every now and then..this will help aerate it and brew the the tea for two days max try to avoid anything longer
2 handfuls composted manure
2 cups seabird guano
5 TBSP humax (The Humax says 2 tsp per gallon for fertilization. I am thinking 5 TBSP per compost tea would be enough.)
2 heaping TBSP frozen lime juice concentrate
5 TBSP molasses
stella IMO go with less seabird guano! When i use 2 cups of guano, its because i left out the compost, instead im making guano tea or manure tea
try 5 TBSP or less, everything else looks good!!
i have never used lime juice so please let me know how this works out!!
good luck
oh and PH is nothing to be to concern about, with tea's!!
applestar wrote:DEEP THOUGHTS! Great discussions! Love it! :D

I'm just going to make a mundane comment that covering the 2nd bucket with double layer piece of floating cover, tied on with straw bale twine, worked beautifully. Tip out the tea with the cover on, and it's micro strained for the fine mist pump sprayer. :wink:
like the idea's A_S
both tire and floating cover!! i use a nylon sock to strain but my kat got of hold of it :evil: oh well

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I forgot to mention -- my latest compost is heavy on blueclaw crab carcasses as DH has been back on his favorite summer diet of steamed crab dinners :>

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Stella, I question the need for the citric acid; a good tea should be pretty well pH balanced to begin with IF you are fungally/bacterially balanced. Perhaps developing fungal sides of the tea might be beneficial to you instead. I have heard good things about feather meal (while nigh in nitrogen it is also high in carbon; s'why feathers take so long to rot). While that might not be as available, I have heard good things about oatmeal as well; high mucilage content is good for both fungal and bacterial, a nice balanced food. The cheap instant stuff is more chopped and actually better... haven't tried either but they have been on the list... the real question I am asking is which comes first pH or fungal/bacterial ratios? If THAT is balanced properly, then the tea should be balanced. Is it your water to start with? Even that, unless it is way out of sorts (like 8 or higher), should be o.k.

In keeping with your thought on humans as a force of Nature, you forget one particular trait we humans bring to the mix; ration/irration. While it seems easy to rationalize the absolutely correct path for green sustainability, we must keep in mind that we are a species that has made handing small slips of paper back and forth our highest priority, and we are all too willing to damage vast swaths of Nature in the pursuit of more small pieces of paper. We also have a sense of the aesthetic that we don't see much in Nature (elephant painting is starting to sway my opinion on that) that causes us to move plant material and planetary products willy nilly about the planet, simply because they are pretty or help us make more pretty things, with little or no concern to the obvious and devasatating impacts these transigents have. We continue to feed ourselves by depleting soils that have taken hundreds of thousands of years to accumulate, to produce inferior quality foodcrops in ridiculous quantity, raising stock in conditions that not only result in inferior nutrition of the final product, but dishonor and degrade the very species we exploit. We continue to pollute our waters at an alarming rate despite the fact that we are in decreasing supply and increasing demand, sullying the very crux of life on the planet. We will trade polar bears for SUV's, jobs for forests and fields, and even other peoples of our own species to maintain the lofty heights to which we have risen in the First World (ask the Inuit or the Marshall Islanders what I mean by that). No other species commits these intraspecial crimes without being under high population pressure, yet we remain oblivious to this glaring reality and continue to breed unchecked despite growing evidence that we are beyond the sustainable carrying capacity of the planet. So a little commerce in the name of doing the planet right is hardly criminal in the grand scheme of things. I love your posts and agree that these tools can bve valuable in the search for soil health, but come back again to my point that we CANNOT do what Mother does, we do not see the million selections over millenia that have gone into comprising a functioning soil food web. We bring human hubris (which I hope my examples have identified as horribly flawed) to the mix everytime we step away from true natural models, and the localized species that just make the best sense. While I agree there are places for tools from other lands, we need to be reasoined and reasonable about how we do that.

T$, nice post; I agree on the air thing. No such thing as too much air, and if clogging is an issue use bigger holes in the hose. While small bubbles have more surface, the best part of gas exchange in any liquid happens at the surface, and a bigger bubble has better lift, thus better circulation. Drilling PVC (a good example; not my favorite green product, but useful in this instance) can make a wonderful manifold for very little money. And get a good pump the first time; little aquarium units poop out pretty quick unless you rebuild them. Love these [url=https://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/10428/product.web]bigger aquariums pumps[/url]though... good price for this volume and pressure... [url=https://store.123ponds.com/air-pumps---aeration.html]pond pumps[/url]work great too...
Scott Reil

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I thought [url=https://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=15868]this[/url] or [url=https://www.thepondoutlet.com/home/tpo/page_3572_245/sunny_air_pump_solar_oxygenator.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=base&utm_campaign=ponds]this[/url] Solar pond oxigenator pump would be good for SUPPLEMENTING the aerating action during daylight hours. The issue I have with these listings is that there's no meaningful spec for the pump -- I don't need the dimensions, how STRONG is the pump?

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top_dollar_bread wrote: when the tea smells, its a good sign the microbes went anaerobic,
maybe your pump isnt doing so good you may need a better one or use two pumps.
Too much ingredients will also cause the tea to go anaerobic, especially food high in N, try not to add to much compost, i recommend 1 cup for 5 gals.
I make my tea's in 5 gallon buckets so this is for 5 gallons of tea
1-2 cups compost/composted manure/EWC, alfalfa or bat guano
5 TBSP of fish emulsion
5 TBSP of kelp meal
5 TBSP of molasses
I let this mix brew with two air stones for 1-3 days and dilute it with another 5gallons of water before i use on the plants. The air stones are pumped with a cheap fish tank air pump and the tea can be used as a foliar spray if you add the dry/clumpy ingredients in a nylon sock. In the end you get 10 gallons of great organic tea for your plants to love.
Thanks Ted, The above recipe is what I made sub Karo syrup for molasses. I now have some Blasckstrap Molasses. I made a new batch last night we shall see on sun morning. I knew it went anaerobic, but wasn't sure if it would hurt my garden. I dumped it down the street, it was raining so back to nature it went to get sorted out. My compost was too wet to put it in there. I'm also thinking my pump might be too small. I'm going to get another one soon, but I'm broke, really broke. :cry: I bought a 5 inch airstone which I also think I might replace with a gang valve and three separate stones, which brings me back to the desire for a bigger pump.

Again thanks Ted and Stella whom I PM'd earlier so as to not clog up this thread.

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It doesn't hurt to use a nice branch with some sturdy whisk-like branchlets on it to stir the bucket from the bottom. I keep one next to the ACT buckets just for this purpose and give the tea a good stir whenever I'm not too lazy to untie the straw bale string and take off the burlap/spunfabric cover. :wink:

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Applestar wrote:
It doesn't hurt to use a nice branch with some sturdy whisk-like branchlets on it to stir the bucket from the bottom. I keep one next to the ACT buckets just for this purpose and give the tea a good stir
I use a two-foot long screwdriver I received as a birthday present. I'd always wanted one--it is a very serious-looking tool--but I never knew what I might use if for. Now I know: It is my compost tea stirrer :lol:
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Okay. The new batch is now cooking. I will feed it to the backyard squash tomorrow night. That would be three days from now, Gix :lol:

Here's the recipe I finally settled on:

1 handful composted manure
1/4 cup seabird guano
5 TBSP Humax (humic acid)
2 heaping TBSP lime juice frozen concentrate
5 TBSP molasses

The backyard squash have given me a serious thumbs up on only one recipe thus far, the one using alfalfa pellets. I think they grew at least an inch overnight after receiving that. Therefore, I'm not expecting huge results from them.

Wednesday morning, I will give the same recipe to the frontyard squash, peppers, and tomatoes. The peppers have proven the litmus test for this ACT. Truth is, they tend to respond favorably no matter what recipe I use. My Lemon Boys, however, have stalled since the near freeze we had. (I think their blossoms froze.) It will be interesting to see what the frontyard garden thinks of this new recipe!
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stella1751 wrote:Okay. The new batch is now cooking. I will feed it to the backyard squash tomorrow night. That would be three days from now, Gix :lol:

Here's the recipe I finally settled on:

1 handful composted manure
1/4 cup seabird guano
5 TBSP Humax (humic acid)
2 heaping TBSP lime juice frozen concentrate
5 TBSP molasses
Laugh it up Stella. :P

My second batch came out much better. I was getting worried last night. It had a little stink but this morning is was lovely. I threw it on we shall see.

I was going to ask do you guy's have something to hold down the aerators? Mine keeps floating, not to the top but it keeps moving itself around in weird positions. In my fish tank I have my aerator under a big rock to hold it down or it will float to the top.

Thought a rock to hold it down or maybe some kind of screw in clamp than caulking the hole. Any ideas or experience with this?

Thanks

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gix
glad to hear your second batch is better
remember to dilute it before hitting the plants and a little stink isnt too bad..id just give it a nice stir and if i think its needed i add a little more molasses
i use a nice size rock to hold down my air stones, my tubing is pretty thick so the weight of the rock doesnt interfere with air flow..so rocks work for me
though i have to admit, its a little frustrating when i stir my tea, but the rock is free and works!

stella the recipe looks good,
remember when making any tea, try to aim for crop or plants requirements.
for example if the plant is young, its most likely using its energy to grow, try brewing a nitrogen rich tea, with some P and a little K ingredients.
If the plants are fruiting/flowering, aim to brew a tea with more P,K ingredients and less N.
thats what i try to do, while never forgetting the micro nutrients as well. they are usually present when using organic amendments :D
organic nutrients usually give nutrient analysis and they are worth taking a look at IMO

HG
good read, love the comments on the elephant painting :lol:
also the good advice on the air pumps, would love to get me one you listed but out of my price range.

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My super tech method is to wrap a stone in a scrap of floating cover or netted plastic bag lemons, etc. produce come in, then tie onto the 1/4" soaker tubing -- which is coiled 2 or 3 times inside the bucket. I guess I have 2 or 3 stones tied along the coil I also tie a big rusty nail (for adding extra bit of iron) on the end of the tubing where it's knotted to close the end. :()

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gixxerific
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TDB Yeah i split the batch, thanks though. Next time I might use a little less compost. It was roughly 1 - 1\2 cups. You said 2 cups in your recipe than later said 1 cup so I went in the middle.

AStar good idea on the nail. I actually threw the scraps of some of my tom cages in my compost for that same reason. I have some garden ties I will try to use to hold a rock down if I can find a rock. Oh wait I'll just dig at a random place in my yard about a 1\2 inch and find one. :lol:

GeorgiaGirl
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All righty, I have FINALLY gotten brave enough to start brewing my first batch!!!

This is the recipe I've been working on for a while... this is for my lawn only, and my lawn has been suffering dollar spot or some other kind of fungus, so this recipe was specifically designed to

1) fight bad fungi with good fungi, and

2) give my lawn an infusion of nitrogen and plenty of good microbes and micro-nutrients.

With that said, here's the recipe I am now brewing:

For lawn (nitrogen + trichoderma fungi):

- two handfuls of compost (bagged but from a reputable source) plus a small handful of rich soil from the floor of the woods behind my property
- a handful of alfalfa hay for nitrogen (mmmm, makes the tea smell SO good!!)
- tablespoon or two of moldy used coffee grounds (contains trichoderma - beneficial fungi that overtake bad lawn fungi)
- handful of corn meal (to feed the trichoderma)
- tablespoon of molasses
- T or two of kelp
- handful of Black Kow composted manure (I have read that this combats bad lawn fungi so I figured a scoop in the tea couldn't hurt)
- T or two Nature's Lawn liquid dethatcher (supposedly has beneficial microbes that help decompose thatch, so I figure a squirt of it in the tea can't hurt)

I haven't seen anyone else use UCG's in their compost tea, so we'll see how it works out... maybe I should rename mine compost COFFEE!!! :D
Julia in Georgia

GeorgiaGirl
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Hmm, after about 20 hours of bubbling (plus occasional hand stirring), my compost tea looks and smells good, but I'm only seeing a little bit of that foamy stuff rising to the top. I guess this means it's not nearly ready? I'm getting antsy to water this into my lawn because it's a cool overcast day (it seems unwise to apply on a hot, sunny day, but maybe that's unfounded).

Any harm in going ahead and using it even if it's not "done"?

I'm probably crazy but I'm going to try to apply much of this on my 10,000 sq. ft. lawn with an old-fashioned watering can. I have a backpack sprayer, but I'm concerned that the beneficial fungi I want wouldn't make it through the spray nozzle.
Julia in Georgia

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applestar
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It sounds like you've got pretty rich mix going so don't forget to dilute it before applying. With lawn, you can't carefully pour it AROUND the plant as soil drench. Hand stirring stirs down the foam too so I wouldn't worry about the amount of foam, though I gotta tell ya -- my last batch, when I opened the burlap cover, it was sopping wet from all the foam pushing up and the tea looked like a rootbeer float! :lol:

Hmm, another thought that just popped in my head -- when you're mixing a funcidally targeted mix, you could be suppressing growth of *some* fungi in your tea -- maybe that's why your tea (excuse me "coffee" :wink: ) is not foaming in wild abandon :?:

top_dollar_bread
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GeorgiaGirl wrote:Hmm, after about 20 hours of bubbling (plus occasional hand stirring), my compost tea looks and smells good, but I'm only seeing a little bit of that foamy stuff rising to the top. I guess this means it's not nearly ready? I'm getting antsy to water this into my lawn because it's a cool overcast day (it seems unwise to apply on a hot, sunny day, but maybe that's unfounded).

Any harm in going ahead and using it even if it's not "done"?

I'm probably crazy but I'm going to try to apply much of this on my 10,000 sq. ft. lawn with an old-fashioned watering can. I have a backpack sprayer, but I'm concerned that the beneficial fungi I want wouldn't make it through the spray nozzle.
recipe looks good georgia!
i asked about adding coffee grounds to a compost tea group and the people at the soil food web said it could be added but they have no experience using it.
I personally have made coffee tea for plants but it wasnt brewed. I just used the [url=https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2442/3842079555_c903fa5b1d_o.jpg]empty bag of coffee rounds[/url], that star bucks had given me and [url=https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3550/3842080577_fba33723c0_o.jpg]filled it up[/url] [url=https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3504/3842871214_f735c804b8_o.jpg]with water[/url]. the coffee grounds residue left on the sides, bottom of the bag made a nice very good smelling tea that i applied to my garden. No ill effects so IMO its safe to use :D
don't worry to much on the foam. AS i think your right, tea's very and not one tea is the same, even with the same ingredients. I find that cooler weather helps with foaming and i get a lot of foam with guano. I get less foam when adding corn meal or epson salt. So weather, temp, ingredients and more then likely other factors effect on micro population in the tea. If your aerating properly and the tea doesnt smell bad, the tea is good. Foam isnt a sign of good or bad, your better off following your nose..like toucan sam

top_dollar_bread
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before HG post i noticed that my tea's were giving me a slight anaerobic odor. So i began to stir my tea more often till i realized that my cheap air pump wasnt performing as well as when i got it.
(thnx HG) 2 years this pump worked well but since HG post i decided to get me a new better pump.
You get what you pay for and my pumps were 5$ so 2 years of good aeration is ok by me but i want more air!
My brother use to work at petmart so i went ther and talked to a friend of his. He pointed me to these [url=https://www.petsolutions.com/Images.aspx?ItemID=47468550]powerheads[/url] and said that they will also help aerate your water if you add a cheap air pump to them :idea:
he also just gave me the 20-25$ pump for free :D man i love nice people.
so i went home and connected the powerhead to my old air pump and WOW!!
this power head not only stirs my water for me but throws all kinds of air bubbles threw out my tea brewer..definitely worth the $ i didnt pay :lol:
so i got this power head submerged underwater with my cheap air pump helping pump air and stir my brewer nicely.
The powerhead is silent and IMO worth using, i believe now i truly am making AACT!!!
ill be putting this to the test after my water has been stirred for a day and i will see just how good this performs with tea's.
heres a link for more info, i got the 550 model that pumps 145 gallons per hour!!
ther are bigger ones for those who are interested but this works for my 5 gal brewer.
[url=https://www.petsolutions.com/Penguin-Powerheads+I47468550+C10313.aspx]penguin power head[/url]

tedln
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I remember some folks discussing the correct water to use in brewing ACT. The common theme seems to be avoid chlorine. We have a water well which provides very good, very soft water, so I am not concerned about using our well water. About every two weeks, I pull the plug on the water trough our cattle drink from and let it refill with fresh water. Cattle are not the most sanitary animals and don't mind a little vegetation hanging from their mouths when they drink. After a couple of weeks, the water gets pretty rank from the rotting vegetation and algae in the trough. I can almost imagine using the water as compost tea, but I am wondering if it might serve better as the water I brew my tea with. It certainly has a high and varied aerobic bacteria content. What do you think?

We also place the large, round hay bales inside a metal ring for the cattle to eat. As they eat the hay, they pull small amounts of hay which drop to the ground. As they eat, they are leaving manure and urine in the dropped hay around the feeding ring. As time passes, their hooves grind the manure, urine, and hay into the mud resulting in a mix which I think should work well in a compost pile and possibly as a starter for the ACT. What do you think?

Ted
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GeorgiaGirl
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Thanks for the encouragement... this morning I diluted the compost tea with dechlorinated water and applied it to my lawn, mainly the parts that seem to be affected by dollar spot or some other type of fungus. I took a peek a few hours later to see if it looked any different :lol:... I think I need to grow some PATIENCE!! Can't wait to see if it makes a difference... I think I'll start another batch of tea, this time for my flowers... I can see how this could be addictive!! :D

T$B, interesting idea to just mix the UCGs with water and apply without brewing... I may try that too (I just picked up three more bags from Starbucks).
Julia in Georgia

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stella1751
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Wow. What a difference five days makes! I got ill, quite ill, seriously ill after making my last batch of ACT. Nothing to do with ACT, just stupidity in ignoring the early signs of illness. Anyhow, if anyone was waiting for results on that one, I Gixxed it. I lost all mobility and balance, couldn't even water my plants. (I think I lost two squash plants, maybe more.)

I'm still pretty sick, so I don't when or if I will be starting that recipe again. I think I'll have more fun sitting back and watching GeorgiaGirl play with hers :D
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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gixxerific
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I'm sorry to hear you are sick! :( I really hope you get better. :)

I'm getting ready to start another batch myself here in a bit, so it will be ready sat morning. I will make it in your honor.

Nuff said, Get well
Dono

p.s Did you have to turn my screen name into something that means you goofed on your tea. :lol: :P

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Sage Hermit
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Manuer Tea

Eww :oops: don't drink that!
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

The Helpful Gardener
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Ted, that sounds like a good watering for a compost pile, and it could be a START fopr aerobic brewing (brewing back from an anaerobic state favors facultative anaerobes, which I have long surmised could actually be beneficial in compacted soils). Still, the safest thing would be to water a compost heap with it and turn regularly; best of both and humus to boot...

Remember, tea is innoculant, so a little goes a long way. Drenching obviously diseased areas is great, but a gallon of good tea should innoculate 1000 sq. ft. of turf (half that in gardens where we are covering more vertically). But the beauty is there is no too much, and it's just Nature to begin with...

HG
Scott Reil

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applestar
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I was about to post these photos of my current batch (well actually last batch when the 1/4" soaker tube aerators went in to show how well the bubbles are swirling) :() :
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image5102.jpg[/img]

and the current batch containing drowning weeds (as well as punky brown apple bits, crab rich compost, and molasses) to show how the foam is pushing up the floating cover lid. I have two aerators in this one (a triple coil 2000 in the bottom and a double coil 1000 near the top) to compensate for the weeds stuffed in the bucket obstructing bubble-flow.
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image5276.jpg[/img]

... and my brain finally made the 2+2=? connection :oops: to wonder if this orange bucket, prominently marked "all purpose...paint bucket" is really what I want to be using. :eek: Shouldn't I be using at least a "Food Safe"/"Food Storage" bucket?

A quick google yielded this thread at a home brew forum: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/5-gallon-buckets-lowes-ok-54937/

I think I'll be heading to a nearest bakery or bakery dept. for a 5 gal frosting bucket or two ASAP. :wink:

OK -- I was looking for that plastic bucket discussion we had earlier this year (spring?) I thought I opined quite coherently against use of plastics at the time -- well perhaps *I* didn't but HG certainly did -- (Like I said -- :oops: :oops: :oops: ) Definitely re-thinking AND REPLACING the container for brewing my AACT's before starting up a new batch :roll:

tedln
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Scott,

Thanks for your comments on my thoughts about the ACT and compost.

I have also been curious about the recommended brewing times for ACT. I simply don't know what the reproductive rate of the beneficial organisms in the tea is. Has anyone to your knowledge performed a bacterial count on ACT at the beginning of the process and 24 / 36 hours later?

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

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stella1751
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Gixxerific wrote:
Did you have to turn my screen name into something that means you goofed on your tea?
No, no. To gix [gix, gixed, gixing] your ACT merely means to let it go anaerobic. Remember that early on HG said the best in the field often do this deliberately, just so they can bring it back to an even higher aerobic state. I look for your screen name to become synonomous with excellence when it comes to ACT.

In the meantime, my recovery is slow. While I'm writing this, in the cool, cool of the morning, I have slick sweat pouring down my face. Therefore, I am learning by watching this time around. Doing is still beyond me.

Once I am able to trust my stomach, I will dump what I have. Right now, it frightens me. Aerate on, my garden friends!
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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applestar
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Oh, Stella. :( When I saw you'd posted, I was SO hoping that meant you were feeling better.... Get better soon! I miss your enthusiastic posts. Sending healing thoughts. O:)

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soil
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I have also been curious about the recommended brewing times for ACT. I simply don't know what the reproductive rate of the beneficial organisms in the tea is. Has anyone to your knowledge performed a bacterial count on ACT at the beginning of the process and 24 / 36 hours later?
12-24 hours looks about best under a microscope from my experience.

edit: that is with a compost tea, this thread is titled aerated manure tea so the range could be slightly off. i don't like using manures and prefer plant based compost.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

a0c8c
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applestar wrote:... and my brain finally made the 2+2=? connection :oops: to wonder if this orange bucket, prominently marked "all purpose...paint bucket" is really what I want to be using. :eek: Shouldn't I be using at least a "Food Safe"/"Food Storage" bucket?
Did you clean the bucket real well? You'll come to find that most paint buckets are just as safe as food grade buckets. Main thing they do is make sure fuels(mostly diesel[used in manufacturing plastic]) don't leach out of the plastic, which would ruin paint just as much as food. Otherwise food grade buckets aren't all the much different. It's only been in the last few years that we've learned about things like BPA in plastic and so food safe buckets still haven't removed things like that. My dad owned a restaraunt and some of the buckets we got were the same as my brother inlaw got at his dads auto shop.

I could be wrong, but I'm sure the bucket's safe.
Home Gardener from Austin, TX; by way of Iowa.

tedln
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From the internet, "Food grade plastic does not contain dyes or recycled plastic deemed harmful to humans.".

This does not mean food grade plastic can not contain dyes or recycled plastic. It only means it can not contain dyes or recycled plastic deemed harmful to humans.

It is also required that specific plastics be used to contain specific foods. This is normally based on the acidity of the food to be stored. Some plastics have higher porosity than others. Lower porosity plastics are best for long term food storage.

Which plastic to use for ACT is something we really don't need to be concerned about. The only concern should be what the bucket was used for before it was used to make ACT. Some products commonly sold in plastic buckets could leave toxic or harmful residues in the plastic.

Ted
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Even most commercial brewers utilize a plastic tub; I haven't found it to be detrimental as long as you keep it clean of biofilm...

HG
Scott Reil

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