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Old October 5, 2014   #31
bower
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Just don't let her catch you chewin that stuff!
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Old October 5, 2014   #32
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Here she is now with another load.
My grandmother dressed like that.
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Old October 31, 2014   #33
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To update this thread, the manure tea showed a lot of promise. I watered one tray of Fox Farm seed starting mix with the tea, and another with water. Both trays had 100% germination, but the one watered with tea germinated and grew faster. It was on its second set of leaves when the other seedlings still had just two. The difference was very noticeable.

The bucket of tea is still bubbling away in my kitchen. I now have a rooted cutting in it, a house plant called Wandering Jew. It's doing fine, but considering its previous home all summer has been one of my cat's outdoor water dishes, I don't think it's that picky.

It seems to be a consensus view that the tea is best only after a short brewing. You're supposed to make frequent new batches. I don't really understand that, though. I wonder if I could keep a constant brew going if I grew a live plant in it. That would live the bacterial/fungal organisms a constant source of food and a place to live.
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Old October 31, 2014   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
It seems to be a consensus view that the tea is best only after a short brewing. You're supposed to make frequent new batches. I don't really understand that, though. I wonder if I could keep a constant brew going if I grew a live plant in it. That would live the bacterial/fungal organisms a constant source of food and a place to live.
I have a microscope that I use just to keep an eye on things while brewing!
The maximum time I've allowed the brew to go is 48 hours. After that higher life forms appear and eat the smaller stuff. I assume that means it's not as active and beneficial, also it can run out of food (sugars)very quickly.
I would suggest 36 hours as being optimum, but a lot can depend on the original recipe.
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Old October 31, 2014   #35
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I'm sure I'll do it that way when I use the tea on greenhouse plants in the spring. www.kelp4less.com has a lot of neat stuff to tinker with a tea recipe. I'm thinking I will try fulvic and humic acids, kelp, and maybe a pinch of bat guano to go along with the molasses and manure.
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Old November 1, 2014   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
I'm sure I'll do it that way when I use the tea on greenhouse plants in the spring. www.kelp4less.com has a lot of neat stuff to tinker with a tea recipe. I'm thinking I will try fulvic and humic acids, kelp, and maybe a pinch of bat guano to go along with the molasses and manure.
Might I suggest you visit here https://logicalgardener.org/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=41
this is a forum of Compost tea brewing. The article does not advise the use of humic acids!
At the bottom of the page is a link to "Suppressive effect of non-aerated compost teas on foliar fungal pathogens of tomato" using a variety of manures, which I think you'll find interesting. I certainly will be looking seriously at the Gray mould preventative for next year.
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Old November 1, 2014   #37
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Neat. Thank you.

I noticed that the fungal spore inoculants say to leave in a solution for as little time as possible.

It follows then, that there are really two recipes in play - one for the tea itself, and another for anything else you mix into the tea right before you spray.
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Old November 1, 2014   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beeman View Post
Might I suggest you visit here https://logicalgardener.org/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=41
this is a forum of Compost tea brewing. The article does not advise the use of humic acids!
At the bottom of the page is a link to "Suppressive effect of non-aerated compost teas on foliar fungal pathogens of tomato" using a variety of manures, which I think you'll find interesting. I certainly will be looking seriously at the Gray mould preventative for next year.
Very interesting article. Thanks for the link beeman.
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Old November 2, 2014   #39
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A good compost will have enough humic acids in it for bacteria and fungi to use so adding a commercial humic acid preparation is not necessary or may even have a negative effect as was mentioned.
One issue with humic acid products is the extraction method that is used. If the extraction uses a strong acid or base the humic acids are denatured and cannot be used immediately by bacteria and fungi. Dr. Elaine Ingham wrote about this a few months ago in the Compost Teas, The Soil Food Web & Soils Yahoo Group. It can take many months for any denatured humic acids to become bioactive again.
You can ask Kelp4Less for more information on extraction methods that are used in humic acid products they sell but from my experience they are not very forthcoming with technical details.
I would suggest going over to bioag.com and read about their products. They have a lot of good information on humic and fulvic acids and their extraction methods which do not include chemical extraction with strong acids or bases. Their Ful-Humix soluble powder would be a good choice if you want quality humic/fulvic acid product to experiment with.
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Old November 2, 2014   #40
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Thanks for the link. A simple manure & molasses recipe might be best.

I haven't seen anything yet on starting the tea with fish tank water. I just bought a reverse osmosis filter, so I can start with pure water. But I wonder if RO water that a tank of goldfish have lived in for a while would be even better. Fish tank water seems to be great for plants; I wonder if it would make good tea.
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Old November 3, 2014   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
Thanks for the link. A simple manure & molasses recipe might be best.

I haven't seen anything yet on starting the tea with fish tank water. I just bought a reverse osmosis filter, so I can start with pure water. But I wonder if RO water that a tank of goldfish have lived in for a while would be even better. Fish tank water seems to be great for plants; I wonder if it would make good tea.
I used tank water, (turtle not fish) 2 years ago. It worked fantastic in making my tea. There really was a noticeable difference between that and the other tea I made with just tap water. But now keep in mind I don't foliar spray compost tea. I use it when transplanting seedlings and that's it. So your results may vary.
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Old November 27, 2014   #42
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A grower of giant pumpkins shares his tea recipes:
http://www.starrfarms.net/composttea.htm
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Old December 1, 2014   #43
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I heated two pans in the oven at 200 for an hour, one of the manure compost and the other of some old rotted hay from the outside of the bale. I repotted a house plant in a mix of the two...and now I have weed seeds sprouting up.

Maybe I'll try 225 for two hours? 200 should have been hot enough to kill everything. I don't know if the oven dial isn't accurate or if the middle of the pan is not reaching a high enough temperature.
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Old October 12, 2015   #44
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I went out into the cow field and scraped up another bucket of black dirt to play with. The spots where I had scraped down to the sub soil in the spring now are covered in several more inches of the black dirt:


My tea was made when I steamed a couple socks of this dirt and brewed them in a five gallon bucket for two days. I added molasses, because I was trying to cultivate the good bacteria.

The stuff worked great, but I am wondering if what I created was beneficial because it was a humic acid extraction.

I'm scared to not heat-treat the material, because I'm concerned it might have gnat larvae/eggs or other bad guys in it. But then I'm killing off the good bacteria that would be the point of making tea. Unless they grow back in the two days of brewing, what I'm ending up with is an extraction of everything water-soluable in the material.

Whatever is in the soil that makes it work, I know for sure it works like magic in the garden. I grow huge plants in only a few inches of this dirt.
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Old October 12, 2015   #45
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My German Shepherd wishes I would stop playing with dirt and play with her: http://i.imgur.com/fg0fdcD.jpg

I screened the material, filled four identical socks with it (my dress sock supply is dwindling), and steamed two of the socks for 30 minutes, flipping them halfway. Now I am going to brew two teas. Each bucket gets two socks. One bucket gets the two non-sterilized socks, fish tank water, and a tbsp of molasses. The other bucket gets the steamed socks, reverse-osmosis filtered water, and nothing else.

I am thinking that one bucket will make a bacterial/fungal brew and the other will have whatever is in the soil that is water-soluable, most notable humic acids. The bacterial brew should also have the same humic component.

I'm going to start some seeds in three groups: water only, bacterial tea, and humic water. I know that the two tea groups will outperform the water group, but I have no idea how they will compare against each other.
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