My Dad has asked me to find out if anyone knows what the shelf life of compost tea happens to be. He has been using some from last year and is wondering whether it is any good or maybe too strong. Can anyone help?
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 8:15 am Posts: 964 Location: Odenville,Alabama
Non-aereated compost or manure tea is just a mere liquid plant fertilizer (i.e. just a good source of NPK and some other nutrients). If the old tea is over a month old, it is extremely strong in bad stinky anaerobic microbes. Almost all the beneficial microbes and larger soil organisms that are essential for soil development and plant health and fertilization are aerobic not anaerobic. Many anaerobic microbes spread diseases in the soil and on plants!
True aerobic aerated compost tea recipes are both a liquid plant fertilizer (i.e. nutrients) and a good liquid device for housing beneficial aerobic microbes (i.e. aerobic bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, protozoa, etc.). In other words a good ACT is not just a fertilizer but a powerful biostimulant. It not only feeds plants and soils, but also builds up plant health by increasing the crops' immune systems, and creates protective invisible barriers around plants against many diseases and pests.
Personally I would never trust any non-aerated undiluted tea over 1-2 months old on my crops nor my topsoils. Composting any old teas like that is the best method, to destroy any potential pathogens or mild toxins in the liquid. Old stinky teas make great hot active compost pile activators!
If I did decide to use the stuff near my crops, I would dilute it at least 10-20 times, and then mix it with a good molasses tea or good aerobic aerated compost tea recipe. That way at least the good aerobic microbes will neutralize and overpower the bad anaerobic microbes.
Hope this helps!
_________________ The entire Kingdom of God can be totally explained as an Organic Garden (Mark 4:26)
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