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 Post subject: Faster/hotter compost
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 1:33 pm 
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Question:

I use molasses in my compost bin and compost tea. It's easy to work with (spread) and I can get it for $8.50, for a 50 pound bag. Butttttt, what about sugar water. Could I heat things up FASTER in my compost bin or my compost tea by dissolving about 6 cups of sugar in my 25 gallon tea barrel.

Thoughts .....................


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 4:38 pm 
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Based on some of the posts, it depends whether your tea is outside in 80 degree+ weather or sitting inside at 65-72 degrees. Most of the posts advocate using less molasses in tea brewing as the temperature increases to prevent the mixture from going anerobic. Since microbes feed on the sugars and there's only a limited quantity of oxygen that the water can support at any given temperature, I believe there's only risk, without any benefit.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 10:20 am 
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Dry molasses does work to increase microbial growth, thus increasing heating in compost piles. However, in teas, it never gets "hot", just the millions of microbial populations in the trea will increase like crazy.

Dry molasses can get expensive for composting if you are not careful. I use it only in my aerated teas for economy. The cheapest way to speed up compost piles, is to use more free nitrogen in the piles like urea (urine) or free weeds, food scraps, etc.. Then keep it moist and aerated all the time, by frequent turning, or by using several pipes or large sticks all through the pile.

Another economical option, is to pour an old compost tea all over the pile fequently, to add more nitrogen and microbes to the pile for faster decomposition.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 11:36 am 
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Would plain dissolved sugar work?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:10 pm 
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Yes, any type of sugar is a great high carbon, carbohydrate, source of quick energy for aerobic microbes or macrobes. However, natural sugars like liquid molasses or corn syrups, digest faster by aerobic microbes, especially in tea brewing.

I like dry molasses powder mainly because I can buy a 50 lb bag in my area for about $10.00. It is full of natural sugar plus proteins too. It is liquid molasses sprayed and dried on grain flour roughage, like oats, wheat, or corn flour. Perfect microbial biostimulant and fertilizer/soil amendment for any plant or soil building techniques.

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William Cureton


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