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applestar
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That, I think is the fallacy of act being sold -- I admit I thumbed my nose at it when they were selling a gallon jug for something like $11 at whole foods last spring. They had an impressive looking set up by the entrance with jugs to fill from the spigot....

I think without the aeration the prime microbes that you are looking for in ACT will rapidly die off. It will still be good plant supplement, not the original quality that, for the amount of effort necessary and the associated price, you would be paying for.

If your friend were to take the ACT and immediately used it in the garden -- and remember AACT is concentrated stuff and goes a long way -- I think that would be best. Remember that it will need to be diluted with rainwater or other non-chlorinated water so as not to kill ff the microbes.

I've made house plant sized AACT with worm castings in a gallon jug using a very small aquarium air pump and wand-type air stone as well as 1/4 soaker tubing. Considering the small volume, biological activity may not have been as stable, but if you needed to, that would be an option for keeping your gift aerated. But the biology changes over time -- in matter of hours -- as the microbes undergo their life cycles, so no, AACT has NO shelf life at all.

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GardenRN
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Bummer, I ave a few friends, and my mom, that would love to use some. But would never go through the setup themselves. And to get to mom's house, it would have to survive a car ride of a few hours. oh well.

GardenGnome
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That's to bad I read this and rushed out and bought what I needed.

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applestar
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Well, for your mom, if you are there for the weekend, you could set it up and help her disperse it next day -- 36 hrs is a good balance. You could also set it up for her and tell her to use it at X-Y o'clock on the next day. :wink:

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Ruffsta
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as far as i understand it... you are not to cover or keep tea in a sealed container (it will stink to high hell when you open it and is not good for the human respiratory system... you may however put a screen on the container.



example:
BLACK KOW manure compost from lowe's (although it's a powder, by the way.. it doesn't matter if it's a powder based compost), use 1 cup per 1gal of water and mix manually.. use very next day after mixing it again manually.
Last edited by Ruffsta on Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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applestar
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Untimately, it's a good idea to make your own compost with a wide variety of ingredients and use the bagged stuff as a bonus ingredient in your compost pile to add diversity.

Personally, I like Lobster of Maine and BumperCrop (both from same company) and I like to add mushroom compost (don't know the brand -- mine comes from Pennsylvania). When they are dried, I imagine a lot of the microorganisms are no longer active, let alone alive. On the other hand, you don't want weather soaked ones from the yard as they would have gone anaerobic. Find garden centers that know enough to take extra care of these merchandise and keep them under cover, away from rain and sun (like open sheds) and not wrapped in plastic.

If you know a local source that makes high quality compost with known ingredients, that's even better. I know a few members here have taken the trouble to track them down. IMHO, longer in processing, packaging, and shipping, and storage, lower the quality, so don't bother to get ones manufactured on the opposite coast, etc.



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