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 Post subject: making compost tea + air
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 3:13 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2003 12:45 am
Posts: 420
Location: Whitesboro,TX
I have very little time and too many things to do. I
have reported on my organic hay meadow restoring
part time business and it will continue soon, but I
want to add compost tea + air (I listened to Dr
Ingham on South Padre Island in Jan)
I don't have time to drive to central TX to buy
compost tea.
I have a static compost pile that exists by
neglect. I do have a front end loader to turn
it but that usually happens when I have time to
clean horse run and then mix it - about twice a
Can I take some of this compost and make a
tea + air. I need the short quick way.
Do I take compost from the center of the pile? What
kind of container and how big? I don't think panty
hose will strain enough to keep sprayer screens
from stopping up.
Any advice will be helpful.
Robert D Bard

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 5:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 8:39 pm
Posts: 532
Location: Lavon,Texas
I make my compost tea in a 5 gallon bucket. I first put compost into a panty hose leg then add dried molasses and a little hort cornmeal. Tie the top and drop in in the bucket of water. Let it set for 2 days, remove the panty hose, tie it on the compost bin. Next I add air for about 30 to 60 minutes. When finished, I strain it, using panty hose, into my 1 gallon pump up sprayer. I fill it half full and the rest with tap water. I have never had a problem with the screen plugging up. Maybe because I don't put the compost directly into the water, it doesn't plug up the screen. If you want, I can email you a picture of my equipment.

Converting one person at a time to Organics, the only way to go!! [ ME ]

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 1:00 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
Check my link to Bruce Deuley's compost tea maker design. I have the full plans on a .pdf file you can download and save. The plans are for a 5-gallon bucket but if you have a modicum of imagination, you can see how to make a 55-gallon version with a larger air pump. Hint: use 4 feet of black plastic soaker hose for your 55-gallon version "air stone." Then throw it away after every 5 batches because it will get contaminated beyond useability.

Dr Ingham has seen this 5-gallon tea maker in action during a class she held in Austin last October. She liked it and asked if she could post the plans on her website. I'm not sure where that discussion is, and actually she may have linked to my website and I just don't know it. There's not enough time for everything.

Here's the link.

To answer your question, take the compost that smells the best. The best compost smells like a forest floor after a rainstorm. Anything that smells maneury, moldy, rotten, or otherwise bad is not ready for tea yet.

A lady named Betsy Ross (imaginative parents) lives on a ranch just north of Austin. She sprays 100-200 gallons of tea every day to cover her 500 acres 4 times per year. She makes her tea by straining the compost going in, and she doesn't screen anything after that. Everything that goes into the tea comes out the nozzle. She has a JD Gator with an ag sprayer and a #20 nozzle. That's a huge hole so nothing gets caught in it. She directs the stream against a flat plate at about a 45 degree angle which disburses the spray. With that huge hole she can get her spraying done quickly.

David Hall
Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum

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