making teas

Discussion in 'Organic Gardening' started by Top Dollar Bread, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. Top Dollar Bread

    Top Dollar Bread Member

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    i wanted to know what you guys think on making tea's. Compost tea's, anaerobic / aerobic, manure tea's and 100% plant based tea's. I personally used all but I prefer the ACT with my home made brewer and the results are amazing. I have also came across many nay sayers on its qualities, Calling it snake juice.

    I have read the donky manure tea thread and i would love to have some of the same members come in and help explain the benefits and the possible negative affects some tea's may contribute.

    Im familiar with the NOSB compost task force report and from my understanding is that if we use properly composted manure, or compost we wouldn’t have problems with pathogens.

    On another note, I have yet to come across any pathogen problems ever being reported in the history of compost teas. Which has been used for millennia’s, this including foliar applications as well.
    Also still waiting on pathogen problems with ACT, witch is kind of new, but already being used by thousands of growers for years, including me. Were no scientist but the benefits are visible and still havent seen or read actual problems out side the labs.
     
  2. fourd

    fourd Active Member 10 Years

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    I am here looking for info/opinions on this as well! I have found a huge amount knowledge here! Anyway …
    When Grandma made compost tea, she didn’t have Peters or Miracle Grow nor did she have any fancy devices/solutions except the rain barrel and a bag of manure. The nutrients were leached out an applied via water can more as a fertilizer. This tea probably lost favor to the more convenient fertilizers we have today. But the reemergence of tea brewing you are now seeing seems radically different being primarily humates and aerobic microbe based.
    The basic setup is a bucket/container, an air pump, and a diffuser. The container is filled with water and combined with a sometime secret formula or some mix of alfalfa/worm castings (microbe source?), kelp powder, humic acid/humates, and molasses. The air pump is then turned on to heavily aerated the solution and the mixture is left to brew 24 -30 hours. The solution is said to contain a acre worth of humates and beneficial aerobic microbes. This solution must then be applied immediately to both foliage and soil before it becomes anaerobic. Most people swear but this stuff.
    My question has to do what happens next:
    1) Since it has to be applied before it goes anaerobic, just what prevents it from going anaerobic after it is applied? Plants can’t absorb anything instantaneously and the air is turned off – this to me seems a problem.
    2) I assume the molasses is to feed the microbes during the brewing process. Assuming it is used up in the brewing process, where does the microbes then get the sugar once they hit the plant/soil!
    3) Assuming the sugar doesn’t get used up, wouldn’t it cause a temp build and die off of other microbes (sugar loving) or VAM and wouldn’t that be a negative effect!
    4) Are all aerobic microbes beneficial? Or for that matter all anaerobic microbes detrimental? Seems to me there is some fallacy at work there? VAM is a fungus and beneficial but I assure you the fungicide industry is alive and well!
    5) The kelp powder, humic acid, and humates seem water soluable and thus easily leached and so where is the long term effect on the soil?
    6) Do we really know what a humate is? What is does? One claim I heard is that fertilizer is not organic and is mined and we are running out but when I looked up humates here: http://www.humates.com/ It is also mined so what gives?

    I’m not trying to be anti-tea here, I just want to understand and plug the holes in my thoughts on the matter. Trying to understand the full cycle here -- the big picture! Clearly people swear by it so it must be doing something! So facts are always welcomed but opinions would be appreciated as well as that is all that I’m really asking!
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  3. GreenElephant

    GreenElephant Active Member

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    The proof is in your garden. For compost tea I go aereated. For manure tea I let it soak.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    The Bottom Line

    • Composted mulch has been documented to suppress disease through a variety of methods
    • Non-aerated compost teas may be useful in suppressing some pathogens on some plants
    • Aerated compost teas have no scientifically documented effect as pathogen suppressors
    • Overuse and runoff of compost teas could conceivably contribute to water pollution
    • There is no “silver bullet” for plant health problems caused by poor soil health and improper plant
    selection and management


    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda ...tural Myths_files/Myths/Compost tea again.pdf
     
  5. GreenElephant

    GreenElephant Active Member

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    I agree on the silver bullet conclusion. Compost tea is one among many tonics. The problem in the compost tea debate is reductionist science, which seeks to identify the one ingredient that will cure all. It's like dietary suppliments in a health food store (largely useless snake oil) But the better approach as the article said, is to take good care of your soil with abundant composted much.
     
  6. fourd

    fourd Active Member 10 Years

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    Once again thanks Ron! I have read some of Linda's myths in the past, guess I should keep more up to date on them! Her article did shed light on the question I have and problems geting answers. Your post are always apreaciated -- thanks!
     

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