Compost tea: Recipes and their target use

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by parry willis, May 28, 2022.

  1. parry willis

    parry willis New Member

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    Not sure if there is already a thread for this particular aspect of things. Looking to share the little I know and learn a broader understanding of different recipes for making compost tea. As well as their target use (ie; potassium deficiency, magnesium deficiency, etc).

    So far, being a total novice at this, I notice that worm castings are what I would call a base ingredient in most compost tea blends. Insect frass is another major one that I see used. wolastinite rock dust. basalt rock dust. Among other amendments.

    Understanding each of the amendments on their own is a bit of a challenge. It does seem fairly straight forward though once a little bit of homework has been done. Something I have been having trouble wrapping my head around though, is the use of the ingredients in combination. It seems there are so many combinations and specific targeted use brews that it would be nice to have a dialogue with the community at large. Makes for a broad variety of uses and potential tea blends.

    I can put pictures up to better help exemplify what i've been doing in my compost tea brewing infancy and some of the things that I think I may have figured out. I do my best to photo document and keep notes of things as i'm going.

    Look forward to the chit chat, Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    To me, compost tea is a 'solution' in search of a problem. Gardening is enough work without going to such great lengths to mix concoctions for specific, sometimes imagined, issues. How do you know if there is a potassium deficiency or magnesium deficiency unless you have a detailed lab soil analysis?

    My mantra is 'keep it simple'. There are countless beautiful, healthy gardens where compost (and wood chips) is applied as a mulch without being processed first.

    Here are a couple of what I consider to be science-based, links:
    Compost Tea - Does it Work? - Garden Myths
    https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/403/2015/03/compost-tea.pdf
     
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  3. parry willis

    parry willis New Member

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    Morning, Margot.

    Firstly, I would like to reiterate that I have a lot of learning to do around the garden. Both above and below the soil. This being said, I find as I both learn and grow, that I am gravitating towards topics such as compost tea and KNF inputs among other available organic amendments.

    For myself, part of the appeal of compost tea is not that it is being lauded as a “miracle” or “the best”, but the fact that the nutrients themselves contained within are so low. Though Mr.Pavlis makes some interesting points in his article and makes clear his opinion is firm. I can’t help but wonder, if I sense a certain level of bias in the overall tone of his assertions?

    Regarding deficiencies, and the possible targeted use of compost tea as a “solution”(no pun intended!) for such issues, is a matter of broad opinion. Now the particular deficiencies that I quoted(potassium, magnesium) were simply the first to come to mind. Not to be regarded as “specific” to the nature of this conversation. I feel, that with experience with the plants themselves, comes better understanding of how they may display macro or micro nutrient deficiencies. To my understanding a large majority of plants provide clues in very similar ways. The patterning of how leaves yellow at the top or bottom of the plant, or from the tip of a leaf vs from the stalk. As you stated, without a detailed assay one doesn’t know. Experience will be a big factor. Understanding the minerals themselves will go hand in hand with experience.

    Targeting blossom rot as referred to in the link from Washington state university, is sort of interesting. I have to follow up and see if there is more specific info, but I would be curious to know if their compost tea recipe had an emphasis towards a calcium input or if a more generic choice was made. I would like to come back to this after seeing some more information.

    the large majority of my gardening is done indoors. So I have a whole host of things that keep things not so simple! I have, however, noticed a marked difference of a variety of factors with several different plants since I started using compost tea. Very interesting to see in action.

    As food for thought I have provided a couple of links that perhaps you may find interesting.

    Plant essential elements with Dr.Harley Smith

    Soil microbiology with Dr.Harley Smith
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PssluRwbOc4

    I
    MO(indigenous microorganisms) #1 KNF with Chris Trump


    IMO #2 KNF with Chris Trump
     

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