User avatar
Beecmcneil
Cool Member
Posts: 95
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:02 pm
Location: California

Compost tea for roses

I was wondering how I should start a compost tea. And what should I put in it if I'm making it for roses. I'm stratifying my seeds right now. Only two days in, so I got some time to figure it out. Once i plant them should I use compost tea on my un-germinated seeds or should I wait till they sprout?
Thanks,
Bee

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

There's a huge long thread on aerated compost tea and how to do it, here:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... 97&start=0

Unsprouted seeds do not need any nutrients, they naturally come packed with what the seed needs to sprout. Don't start using any nutrients until the seeds have sprouted and have true leaves.

But you said elsewhere that you are in apt, have no space for compost pile. How are you going to make compost tea without compost? Worm bin was mentioned for you. You can make worm casting tea. You can also use the leachate that drains from the worm bin and also has nutrients.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
Beecmcneil
Cool Member
Posts: 95
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:02 pm
Location: California

I thought I could just throw things into a tub of water, like banana peals and orange peals, and apple cores.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

I'm honestly not quite sure what will happen if you do that, but you will not have compost tea, since nothing composted. You will have fruit infused water. The fruit should leach some nutrients into the water, so it won't be just water.

If that's what you are thinking, you would be better off just to put a banana peel and some used coffee grounds (rich in nitrogen) in your watering can. Let them soak at least over night, then water with that. It still won't be compost tea, but it will add some nutrients to what you are watering. Of what you mentioned the banana peel is the most likely to add nutrients to the water.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
Beecmcneil
Cool Member
Posts: 95
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:02 pm
Location: California

I've got a lot to learn. Thanks.

*dim*
Cool Member
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:40 pm
Location: Cambridge UK

I brew AACT (actively aerated compost tea), and have added this to 8 new rose bushes which were planted last year in March (they were bought as bare root roses and are David Austin Gertrude Jekyll rose bushes)

they bloomed 3 times last year, and kept all their leaves during winter (and still have their leaves now .... the last time I fed them was mid october, and I normally add AACT once every 2 weeks, and also regulary foiliar feed with fish hydrolosate and seaweed

this is how I make the compost tea, and I apply it to all plants and vegetables at gardens that I maintain:

you need a 5 gallon bucket

an aquarium airpump that produces 45 litres of air per minute (minimum)

2 airstones

an aquarium heater set at 20 degrees C

fill the bucket to 3/4 full with rainwater or unchlorinated tap water (if you use tap water, let it rest in the bucket with the air bubbling overnight to remove the chlorine)

add 2 heaped tablespoons of organic unsulphered black strap molasses (can be bought off ebay or from health stores)

8 cups of vermicompost (worm humus)... avail off ebay or from your nearest hydroponic store

8 cups of normal garden topsoil (or if there is a forest/wood nearby, use some topsoil from there)

1 cup of volcanic rock dust (available on ebay) ... you can get a 10kg bag of verve volcanic rockdust from B&Q for £5.98 here n the UK

1 cup of alfala (avail off ebay) ... (there is a new product called rootgrow rootfood which consists of humic acids, fulvic acids trace elements etc) ... this is not the older rootgrow Mycorrhizal fungi

1/4 cup of bat guano (composted bat poo) (avail from ebay or your nearest hydropnic store)

let the whole lot bubble for between 24-36 hrs and apply to your veg and plants as a soil drench, but you have to use it ASAP once you have switched off the air supply as the beneficial microbes start dying after 2hrs when the air pump is switched off .... I use it undiluted ....

you can add loads of other ingredients such as fish hydrolosate, seaweed extract, algae etc

I have been using this for several months with good results and I use it undiluted ... I use a watering can without the rose (lots of info on youtube and google)

here is a guy who has several world records for growing giant veg and who has mastered the art of brewing actively aerated compost tea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iL2mnf_r ... r_embedded
Spend sixpence on the plant but a shilling on the hole - Anon

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Honestly, it is people like you that kept me from trying AACT for years, because it always sounded like you had to have so much equipment and purchased ingredients.

I recently made my first batch using 2-3 gallons water, one airstone, no heater, mushroom compost (which I had on hand for potting soil), blackstrap molasses, and a little bit of worm casting/ worm bin leachate, since I had them on hand also. Brewed it for 36 hrs and got quite remarkable results using it on my seedlings. Planning to do it again this weekend.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

*dim*
Cool Member
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:40 pm
Location: Cambridge UK

rainbowgardener wrote:Honestly, it is people like you that kept me from trying AACT for years, because it always sounded like you had to have so much equipment and purchased ingredients.

I recently made my first batch using 2-3 gallons water, one airstone, no heater, mushroom compost (which I had on hand for potting soil), blackstrap molasses, and a little bit of worm casting/ worm bin leachate, since I had them on hand also. Brewed it for 36 hrs and got quite remarkable results using it on my seedlings. Planning to do it again this weekend.
I'm just giving my method that works for me .... obvously, if your method works best for you, then stick with that

equipment needed is a bucket (I use a 5 gallon beer brewers bucket) .... a decent sized airpump, a fish tank heater/thermostat and 2 airstones .... these are a one-off purchase, and cost me under £70, and is used over and over again

The ingredients needed do not cost much .... my recipe that I use was formulated after much research on forums where people who grow 'medicinal cannabis' in their lofts have tried and tweaked the recipes with much success .... I am a landscaper and have tested this 'recipe' and it works wonders for me

I would however advise against worm leachate (worm pee), as it can be detremental to plants .... I am not fan of mushroom compost either, and stick to worm humus (vermicompost)

I also advise against feeding outdoor plants durng the winter (unless in Ohio, it is warm?)
Spend sixpence on the plant but a shilling on the hole - Anon

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

not warm and I'm not feeding outdoor plants, just my 16 trays of seedlings under lights in the basement. I dilute the compost tea for the seedlings.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
ElizabethB
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2109
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Just a thought - I have rosarian friends who swear by rabbit manure tea. The manure can be gotten at no cost from local rabbit breeders. They put a gallon of manure in a 5 gallon bucket of water and let it sit in the sun for a few days. I use rabbit manure in my compost but have never tried making a tea.

Good luck.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11337
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

I know one rosarian who fed the roses alfalfa feed pellets. They are high nitrogen, but better to feed the pellets to the rabbit and use rabbit poop instead.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27896
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

@*dim* In my experience, the amount of ingredients you suggested would cause heavy sludge to form in the bottom of the bucket, which reduces the ability of the air pump to operate/circulate sufficiently. I once put excess amount of heavy compost in my 5gal bucket and had to supplement with a small fountain pump without the fountain head to help keep the water moving.

Do you put the ingredients in a bag? Perhaps you are using a heavy duty air pump -- what is the capacity? Or may be you meant a larger size bucket than 5 gallon -- I could honestly see that much ingredients going in a 50 gallon drum....

The sticky thread rainbow gardener mentioned is long but well worth reading. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts. :wink:

*dim*
Cool Member
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:40 pm
Location: Cambridge UK

applestar wrote:@*dim* In my experience, the amount of ingredients you suggested would cause heavy sludge to form in the bottom of the bucket, which reduces the ability of the air pump to operate/circulate sufficiently. I once put excess amount of heavy compost in my 5gal bucket and had to supplement with a small fountain pump without the fountain head to help keep the water moving.

Do you put the ingredients in a bag? Perhaps you are using a heavy duty air pump -- what is the capacity? Or may be you meant a larger size bucket than 5 gallon -- I could honestly see that much ingredients going in a 50 gallon drum....

The sticky thread rainbow gardener mentioned is long but well worth reading. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts. :wink:
I don't use a paint filter bag .... at the bottom of the bucket, I use a large ceramic circular airstone similar to this:
https://www.hydroasis.com/hy/images/AS4RD-t.jpg

I then place the compost, rock dust etc directly into the bucket, and have the large cylindrical airstone in the centre/middle of the bucket which looks similar to this:
https://www.first4fish.co.uk/products/16 ... 0stone.jpg
...

I use a large airpump similar to this (you need a decent sized piston koi pond airpump and not the small airpumps used in small fish tanks):

https://www.h2osupplies.co.uk/images/upl ... o-009e.jpg

the compost tea is brewed for 24hrs at a temp of 20 degrees C .... the compost tea is then added to a watering can and I water the plants directly and undiluted ....

the sludge is then added around the base of plants but I make sure that it is not in direct contact with the stems .... it works for me ...

all equipment is then immediately sterilized with the stuff that is used to sterilize baby feeding bottles ... I add the amount required, and let the airpump run, so as to clean/sterilze the airstones and bucket for a couple of hours, then rinse everything in clean water
Spend sixpence on the plant but a shilling on the hole - Anon

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27896
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Ah. Thought so.
Have you ever tried diluting your concoction -- either afterwards or by using a larger bucket -- to see how much you can stretch it? That's a pretty heavy duty brew. 8)

You CAN make compost tea with somewhat smaller air pump and bubblers in a 5 gal bucket, but not with as much ingredients (I'm thinking a garden shovelful or up to 4 cups total).

If there are any, I usually put my sludge back in the compost pile.

*dim*
Cool Member
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:40 pm
Location: Cambridge UK

applestar wrote:Ah. Thought so.
Have you ever tried diluting your concoction -- either afterwards or by using a larger bucket -- to see how much you can stretch it? That's a pretty heavy duty brew. 8)

You CAN make compost tea with somewhat smaller air pump and bubblers in a 5 gal bucket, but not with as much ingredients (I'm thinking a garden shovelful or up to 4 cups total).

If there are any, I usually put my sludge back in the compost pile.
I don't bother diluting the tea, and use it neat .... a litre per shrub once a week during the growing season seems to do the trick as there are loads of earthworms present in the gardens that get the tea.... I tend to several gardens in my area, and brew tea 6 times a week

some guys put the tea in a sprayer and foliar feed, but I have read on several forums that if the nozzle is too small, the microbes are killed/shredded, so I just use a watering can without the rose, but do try to get some tea on the foilage aswell

I do however use specilist foliar feeds regulary (fish hydrolsate, seaweed/algae extract and stuff called iguana juice grow which is bought from a hydroponic store nearby) ....

I use the sludge as a mulch around plants, but will be adding some to my compost bins this year (this is the 1st time that I am trying to make my own compost and have 1 full bin at present, and started a new one a few weeks ago (I landscape a pub, and the chef gives me all the veg peels and I get shetland pony manure with hay for free, so am trying to find the correct green/carbon mix)
Spend sixpence on the plant but a shilling on the hole - Anon

alloyjane
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:18 pm

This is a little belated but I'm relatively new here and want to share with Bee, the OP, my own n00b experience making compost tea. I like to do things cheap cuz I don't have money to blow on anything that isn't critical, so if it isn't food, seeds, growing medium, or shoes, I won't buy it.

This is how I made my compost tea:

I took a random bucket from my yard. I threw in a bunch of dried leaves. Then I threw in some table scraps. I filled it with water from the hose. I covered it with a plastic bag and topped that with an overturned pot. I let it sit in the sun for a week, gave it a stir, and then forgot about it for another two. Là voilà, compost tea was born! Makes the roses and everything else in my yard including the random grass and weeds I spill it on grow like crazy.

I usually half fill a gallon watering can with water and the other half with the liquid from the bucket. Sometimes I'll use it straight, but not too often. Make sure that whenever you deplete the liquid, you add more composty stuff. That way you're not just continually rotting your leached out original junk. Super sciencey and technical, I know :P

Oh, you can also rot seaweed in old juice jugs if you're limited in space.

Return to “Composting Forum”