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 Post subject: Packaged Compost Tea?
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 12:33 am 
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Well I went to Lowes's today and saw a bottle of Nature's Wisdom Compost Tea, made with Molasses, Humate, chicken manure and few other ingredients. Well I decide to throw it in the cart and 5 minutes later as I am browsing the store I keep smelling an offensive odor. So I pick up the bottle and smell it and it was the tea. Since I have been reading through this site, I determined the tea to be completely anaerobic and potentially dangerous If I diluted it wrong. I wasn't going to trust the label's mixing instruction since there was no way of telling how long that bottle has been sitting there.

So my question are:

1.) Was this tea bad and potentially dangerous?

2.) If so how do they expect us to know when it goes bad? I think these things she have at least a "use by" date!

Well instead of getting the tea, I bought some liquid seaweed, horticulture molasses (nature's wisdom brand, the only brand they had) and some orange oil ( the orange oil was $14 for 32oz.). I am going to try and make my own tea.

3.) I'm thinking BTN Cotton Burr compost, all I can find is the coarse textured, is this ok for tea?

4.) does liquid seaweed or liquid molasses have a shelf life, can it go bad as well?

Thanks for any help!

Oh and I would be careful about buying from Lowes I think most of the stuff has been sitting there for some time!


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 8:38 am 
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Good questions!

Keep in mind any extra organic matter you can add to your soil is better than nothing at all. Any bottled teas or other natural liquid fertilizers or biostimulants contain absolutely 0% aerobic microbes in it. If they did, the bottles would explode on the shelves! (LOL)

Non-aerated or bottled teas are basically powerful anaerobic biostimulants that are foods for the beneficial aerobic microbes AFTER it is applied to the soil or to plant foliages. These good aerobic microbes are coming from the air or from the existing soil.

Aerobic teas are preloaded with a good maximum level of good aerobic bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, and other guys, in the tea as it brews for approx. 1-3 days, BEFORE it is applied to the soil or to plant foliages.


Non-aerated versions are more natural fertilizers and soil amendments. They have to be diluted before using. Recent studies from soil experts have shown that badly made, homemade, anaerobic teas can be so anaerobic that if not diluted before application to plants, these teas can act like natural herbicides!

Aerobic teas are more biostimulants or microbial factories, than mere natural fertilizers. Therefore you can use them more frequently and more undiluted, if you like, on your crops. All aerobic microbes are 100% safe, healthy, and beneficial for all gardening and farming needs.

Happy Gardening!

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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 11:14 am 
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Thanks for that, it clears up alot of misunderstandings I had about this magic potion we call "compost tea"!

I do have a one other challenge question for you, if you are up to it. OK, with the aerobic teas its sounds as if they are almost identical to the microbial spray boosters you can buy that contain beneficial microbes to jump start the beneficial bacterial populations in your soil. These solutions come pre-packaged in bottles with a hose sprayer hook-up (GreenSense makes one), they seem to be enclosed.

So my question is, if these beneficial microbes are aerobic and contained in these bottles, then why are they not exploding on the shelfs, or are these products just attractants for the beneficial microbes?

If it is the latter then I'm a little dissapointed with the misleading labels these types of products have, promising beneficial microbes in the bottle!
Sorry to knit pick, just want to wean out any snake oil!

Sean


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 12:21 pm 
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No problem! Keep in mind some microbes like beneficial fungi are totally aerobic in nature as they breed, however they can remain dormant inside packages or bottles indefinitely, in an anaerobic state. ( i.e. packaged yeast can do this.)

Some microbes can only exist in the presence of atmospheric oxygen, hence theyare totally aerobic. Other microbes get all their "oxygen" needs chemically from the oxygen atoms in molecules in soil or tea solutions. Free oxygen from the air kills them. Hence they are totally anaerobic. Some microbes can live, breed, or exist in both worlds, at different times, under different conditions. Hence they are aerobic-anaerobic hybrids.

Good aerobic teas or bottled liquid biostimulants may contain some good aerobic-anaerobic hybrid microbes in it.

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 Post subject: Compost Tea
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 8:42 am 
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The Nature's Wisdom stuff is good quality. The smell comes partly from sulfur that occurs as a natural part of the process, and microbes dying off as a part of the natural cycle. I have used that product numerous times on different projects, always with good success.

There are a few teas on the shelves that have aerobic bacteria in a suspended state or varieties of the hybrid bacteria. Adding water and exposing them to oxygen is what brings them back and puts them to work on your soil.

Remember because we are using natural materials, some products will have an odor of decay. That's just part of how they work.

Kathe


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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 10:08 am 
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Actinomycetes are famous for their aerobic digestion process of organic matter and producing the pleasant earthy, yeasty smell in good aerated compost piles.

If aerobic teas are made from the same good aerobic mature compost with a good sample of actinomycetes in it, there should be more of them in the solution in relation to any methane or sulfur producing microbes or anaerobes in the tea. Using molasses can help to get their population numbers higher in the solution.

Also using sugary-nitrogen biostimulants ( that are not necessarily aerated) should cause the existing actinomycetes living in the rich organic soil and on your natural mulches to grow too.

Actinomycetes tend to thrive in rotting hays and many animal manures. These materials can be used in the compost piles or in aerobic tea brews.

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William Cureton


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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 12:49 pm 
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Kidnasty2001 wrote:
Well instead of getting the tea, I bought some liquid seaweed, horticulture molasses (nature's wisdom brand, the only brand they had) and some orange oil ( the orange oil was $14 for 32oz.). I am going to try and make my own tea.


I was under the impression that orange oil or citric acids act as an herbicide. How do they work in a compost tea?

Sasha

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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 1:13 pm 
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Yes, orange oil (liquified orange peelings) is a strong natural pesticide and should be never used in an aerated fertilizing/biostimulant tea recipe. It is best in non-aerated classical pesticidal tea brews.

Citrus acid (orange juice) is also a mild pesticide, however in a small tblsp per gallon of aerobic compost tea usage, it is ok as a neutralizer of anaerobic bacteria or for buffering and balancing too much chlorine in faucet water used in an aerobic tea brew. A few tblsp of hydrogen peroxide is better for this purpose.

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The entire Kingdom of God can be totally explained as an Organic Garden (Mark 4:26)
William Cureton


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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 1:18 pm 
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Sasha wrote:

I was under the impression that orange oil or citric acids act as an herbicide. How do they work in a compost tea?

Sasha


They tend to act as an insecticide to my knowledge. At least at 2oz per Gallon. Now at higher concentrations I guess they could act as an herbicicde but at 2oz per gallon I have never had any problems.

My 2 cents,
Chad


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 1:23 pm 
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Any form of straight vinegar product is a better natural herbicide than strong citrus oil.

However, I have heard Dr. Elaine Ingham mention how a strong, undiluted, bad stinky anaerobic tea can be used as a natural herbicide on foliage! (LOL)

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The entire Kingdom of God can be totally explained as an Organic Garden (Mark 4:26)
William Cureton


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 1:45 am 
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Wow thank god I did not put that orange oil in my (proud to say) first batch of compost tea. Question:

1.) After you brew the tea and add it to the sprayer, then can you add an oz. of orange oil per gal. for insect control? or will this harm the tea?

2.) If I can't add to the tea, I need to spray the orange oil at some point (my crepe's are getting muched) so should I spray the orange oil before or after applying the tea?

Anyway back to the tea, I had an old 5 gal. water coooler I glued (2) 6 inch airstones to the bottom (non-toxic glue) wired them up to an airpump that rests in the cup holder of the cooler. Then I stuffed a stocking with BTN soil conditioner compost (I highly reccomend this stuff if you don't have your own pile) the compost contains 70% cotton burr, 20% manure, and the last 10% is feather meal, cottonseed meal and sulfer.

So I packed the stocking with 8 cups compost, 2 cups cornmeal, 5oz molasses and 4oz of liq. kelp. Tied it up and tossed it in 4 gal. of water. I figure for extra straining, I'm going to put a couple layer of stocking around the cooler spigot and fasten it with a rubber gromet. Well had to share, I'm so excited to give this stuff a try! Thanks to everyone on this site and the info shared!

Oh one last Q:

3.) I have the lid on the cooler, just resting on top (not screwed on) to keep bugs out, is this OK?

Thanks everyone and thanks CapCom!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 8:11 am 
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Thanks for the Cooler Idea that was pretty ingenious. :D I would think you should be okay closing the lid since you have the air stones in the cooler. Just be sure it does not pinch the air line. I do not know if you will get as diverse a fungal or bacterial growth but you should still be fine. To answer your question about the Orange Oil, yes you can add it to your RTU compost tea at time of preparation. Just be sure to only add 2oz of Orange Oil per gallon of RTU compost tea and mix well. Also be sure to spray early in the morning when your pesky bugs are on the leaves as Orange Oil is a contact killer.

My 2 Cents,
Chad


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 12:26 am 
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Alright, I opened my tank this evening to stir and the foam had reached the top and was begginning to pour out. This foamy crud reminds me of the foam you sometimes see on the shores of ponds and lakes, I wonder if they are similar, if they are I bet pond water might be a good foliar spray.

Anyway, so I added some more molasses and instantly the foam began to dissipate like it was being eaten up, some funky stuff this compost tea. I am going to give it a go tomorrow and see if this stuff is toxic waste or rotting, decomposing matter, devoured by microscopic organisms, and altered into a viable form of nutrient/ biological feed.

Peace!


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