I am starting to add compost tea to my vegetable plants, I have heard that this stuff is great and that it even protects them from bugs etc... I make the compost tea out of my own worm castings, my questions is how often can I add compost tea to my plants?
I let my compost tea brew for 2 days is that enough for all the bacteria to grow?
Way to go Carmen. Best called what it is...Worm Cast Tea. It is good any way you make it. If you foliar treet your plants you are working on the occupation theory to grow stronger plants. The run off will feed your plants and keep your biology high in the treated beds.
I would use a three container system and enter a makeshift paddle to whip some oxygen into the brew. Start one container with your cycle of application...That will give you a couple of weeks to whip it up and make it better. You can not put on to much. I treat my plants every two weeks or after every heavy rain to maintain high biology counts on my plants. I may treat my tomatoes every week this year to see if I can prevent the wicked potato blight most growers got hit with this summer. Your Worm Castings have high fungus counts that may "may" occupy and prevent not defeat the potato blight.
Thanks Docgipe. The way I've been making it is by using a fish tank pump so it airates the tea, I let it sit for about 2 days with the pump running, and so far so good. Ive also heard you can make it the way you mentioned as well, but decided to go this way after seeing a bunch of videos on youtube about how to make it.
So for what you are saying I can feed my plants with this every 2 weeks or after a heavy rain, right? For some reason I did not make the compost tea before because we had been having rain about every single day here in mobile and I just did not want to saturate my plants with more water.
Another question is can I mix the worm castings with compost from my compost pile? I can only collect so many casting every month and I am already running out.
Compost Tea is another way to increase the native biology. Great that you are into aeriated tea. Yes you can mix just about any combo you dream up so long as you do the original mix changes gradually so as not to upset your good intentions. If you do not have a heater consider the largest fish tank heater and heat your water to 76 degrees. Extend your aeriation time untill you get a head of foam. My guess would be about three or four days at 76 degrees with fish tank equipment I always add a half cup of garden soil and a half cup of alfalfa meal, an ounce of fish/kelp liquid to any tea I make. This measure is for five gallons. A table spoon full of Black Strap Molasses will up your chances of getting the best results in a five gallon mix. Farm stores that mix their own feed have cattle grade
To keep your stones squeeky clean have the air on when you put them in your container and for sure when you remove them. That way no biology can get inside your system. Then wash up with clorox water squeeky clean as soon as you are done with a brew. You just can not be to clean. If you mess up you will be replacing stones that get plugged up and you could house critters you do not want in the stones and hose which are hard to clean.
Don't worry about the little bit of water you add to deliver tea to your plants. It is in fact containing the good biology that may defeat fungus growths when there is to much rain. The very best time to apply is between four in the afternoon and two hours before dusk. You want to put them to bed with a snack and dry leaves if possible.
Thank you so much docgipe, I guess I did it wrong, I did not let mine foam up. I also just placed regular tap water that I left in the room for a whole day to get rid of the clorine in a 5 gallon bucket, I did not know that the temp had to be 76 degrees. Just how do you heat your water?, I have a big canning pot would this work?
I do not own a fish tank, I just placed the aeration stones in a 5 gallon bucket that I purchased from Home Depot. I did add some unsulfured black Strap Molasses though but did not know I could add fish liquid and alfalfa meal to the mix.
You did fine with the water. The bucket is what I use for small brews. The heater is a fish tank heater. It may be the largest one they make. It's is out on loan so I can not look at it. If you tell your pet shop you have a thirty gallon set up you want to heat to 76 degrees they will know which heater to suggest. Don't buy less because if you grow into this you will sure want to heat a lager tank in the future.
Your stones will take between three and four days to get to this point. Seeing this foam is proof in the pudding that you are about at the top of your brew development. From this foam point you slowly start to lose value as the critters start to die off. I never tried to add more molassess at this point. It can be done but it is far better to get it on our plants at this point.
Docgipe, what a great system you have going there, I will look in my local petstore and see if they carry the heater, was your very expensive?
I just went and grabbed some more rain water and I was going to start another batch of compost tea, what would happen if I did not heat the water to 76 degrees, could I still get some bacteria growth in my compost tea or should I really wait until I get the heater? Sorry I just wanted to give it another try to see if this time I can do it right.
It has been a while...quite a while ago but I think $69.00 was my heater cost. I do not know what would happen because I read about that temperature need and determined it needed for my start up. I used it ten years until I goofed and broke one by moving to cold water to fast. It needs to cool off before going into cold water. A friend gave me one he found in a box of auction kitchen utensels. It is very old but works fine.
Missing here is the fact that agricultural suggested use of good finished compost aerobic tea is one gallon per acre for reasonable maintenance. I grew Giant Pumpkins and used it weekly the first year, every two weeks the second year and once a month the third year and each year there after. If we got heavy or frequent rains I would follow the rain with another application just for good luck. Note again this was competitive growing where rules and common sense sometimes get tested outside the box of reasonable use.
To compliment this system of aerobic tea soil building and plant support you need to work on getting as much organic content into your soil as you can manage to put in. Always plant an over winter cover crop. I used winter rye grass because our winters will not let better cover crops survive.
Docgipe, thank you for your help. I have right now just 2 raise beds but planning to get more in the future, I'll probably get a 3rd one next month. I did do the green manure in my 2 raise beds and planted a mixture or rye, different beans and other stuff that is suppose to help your soil building, along with that I digged tons of alfalpha hay into my raise beds, also put some blood meal, fish meal and bone meal to help with the nutrients.
I also do vermicomposting on the side so as soon as I have enough castings I do a side dressing on all my plants. And just now I have some homemade compost in one of my composter bins but was hoping to use this for my new raise bed along with some nice top soil.
The only problem is I am starting more plants that I can fit in my 2 raise beds so I was hoping to build my 3rd bed with the homemade compost and good top soil and then digg alfalfa in but not do the green manure and see how it would do.
YOU are far ahead of most I attempt to coach. Only important thing I see missing is the modest use of trace minerals. For what you have going I would use granular Ironite gingerly over two or three years. Your plants don't use many trace minerals but you might be surprised how many are not in your native soil. If no instructions relate to your beds just very lightly sprinkle a few into either fall or spring tilling for two or three years.
You are going to see some beautiful crops or flowers in your immediate future. You deserve them for having worked at this with vigor.
Wow, now I am going to have to go back and read this again. I have three large worm areas in my holding garden. Anywhere there is a bare spot, there is raw material and coffee grounds from Star Bucks. Then in two days or less the worms have moved to their new spot and the buffet is open 24 hours. (That's a Las Vegas thing, sorry). I have so many baby worms, I am going to have to get a worm babysitter. I read on another thread to add some coffee ground to the top of the compost pile and then water gently. The older worms will move to the top, enjoy their ice cream, (coffee), and after having their treat they notice each other and make baby worms. (Sorry, I was raised with Don Rickels.)
Docgipe, thank you so much for your knowledge and the ease you share it. I will keep you posted after my trip to the pet store and feed store. Sharon.
Thank you docgipe, I am learning a lot as I go. By the way where do you get Ironite gingerly, and is it organic?
I am looking to purchase the heater as well but I am running out of worm compost so I'll have to purchase some and mix it with mine if i am to make the compost tea every 2 weeks or so.
Trace minerals are just that ... minerals...they are not organic but are certainly within the practice of natural organic management. I believe that there are sixty seven known trace minerals. I suggested Ironite because it is readily available here in the Northeast at Lowe's and other big box garden centers.
If you are going to purchase tea quality compost I suggest the site of North Country Organics. You might have to call them for pricing. Buy one bag of tea quality compost and a small pouch of bacteria and fungi booster. This will make four or five... five gallon brews. Use the last half gallon onto your native compost. In short order your compost will be innoculated with the best of the best and equal to that which you purchased. Then use your own always feeding the last half gallon back into your fininshed or nearly finished compost pile. Incidently North Country Organics has a trace mineral product that is excellent too. I forget exactly but try this word...for that product ( azromite. ) That's close!
Even if you purchase the best do not neglect to use a small portion of your compost and native soil in the brew. You may have a few components that your purchased best quality may not have and it is always better to have some native contents instead of all imported biology. You do not need the booster packets after you make a few brews and feed some back to your native compost piles. This is likely not as important as I make it sound but it just makes good sense to my way of thinking.
Incidently if you come across a product called Soil Soup being sold as the next best thing to Mother's Milk don't bite...It is earthworm cast tea basics. If you combine compost and earthworm casts you will have the real deal better than either used alone. You guys are going to produce your tea for fifteen or twenty cents a gallon. That can not be beat!!! or bettered either!!! I should warn you that you will need a wheel barrow to bring in a green pepper next summer. ROGLMAO
Docgipe, thank you for all the info, I'll have to look in my local Lowes for the trace minerals you sugested, if not I think I found a place online that might sell them as well. I still have to build more raise beds so I really would like to have some at hand.
There is a nursery here in mobile that sells worm compost castings, they come from a local guy that makes compost for local people, they are not dry castings and look very much like the castings my wormies produce so instead of buying online and having to pay the big shipping and handling $ I was just going to try to buy his and mix a little of my castings as well to the mix.
I tried making compost tea with the homemade compost I have in my back yard the other day just to try and see, but the mixture was not fully composted I could still see some grass clippings in the mix and within 2 days it started to smell bad so I decided to dump it out just in case it was a bad batch.
I still have to buy the heater sytem that you have, I really want to do this right but I only get so much $ per month to spend on my hobby and this month I use it to put together a really cool grow light system to grow all my seedlings, and for some blueberries bushes as well, next month I am thinking of putting together another raise bed so we will see.
"I should warn you that you will need a wheel barrow to bring in a green pepper next summer" LOL I really hope you are right, I can't wait to see the payoff, I tend to be a very impatient person sometimes which is not good when it comes to gardening.
new here and thrilled at all the wide rage of experience here,, thanks !
i use to buy liquid fish emulsion..costly for my needs..so read about compost tea
i now have 55 gal plastic garbage cans..use gals in neighborhoods nylon stockings..filled
with mix of coffee grounds,chicken manure,compost/soil,and rabbit manure.. i tie it off
put in garbage cans..fill with water..let them sit for couple weeks..then use on everything in
my garden.. only thing ive wondered..is phophorus content .. thought of buying seabird
guano to add to my mix.. thoughts?
thanks in advance..and cant wait for next spirng..
happy holidays to all
Can not answer your question because that enters into rocket science. My simple way of life is one measure of green and ten of brown. Give it time to work around. The only tea I am really fond of is finished aerobic compost tea sometimes with additives but...always finished aerobic tea when it is properly made. At that point there is no NPK what so ever in the liquer. It is totally living biology and trace minerals that may have been added or included in the makings.
as always, doc, thanks for your expertise.
Re the phosphorous Q: (and without trying to understand chemistry in detail)
You may have been the person who said something that sticks with me: compost (primarily) comes from decomposed plant parts so it (mostly) contains all the right proportions of the things that plant parts are made of, for new growth. (this excludes nitrogen just because that is so volatile)
Well you are just about correct. However the process continues to make new nitrogen 24/7 in a form that appears sometime after the creation of humus and humic acid. It is totally created in just the right amount by the bacterial zone or in the bacterial zone created by the plant roots. The other amazing fact is that micorrhizae working with the roots goes out and finds the raw materials so to speak and delivers it to the roots. I have never seen a technical educational presentation of this whole process. In fact it is so little found in printed documents that I have been flat told by a few others that I am full of the fine stuff that starts off this whole process. To that I say thank you I am proud to be a source of that wonderfull stuff. I've had the honor of catching some flack now and again. I think it makes life more interesting.
Doc, I know enough about gardening to be dangerous. I have been gardening the Las Vegas desert top soil, which is actually blow sand, since 1960. Took me 10 years to even come close to success. I have read your posts and I think you are right on and if someone else feels different, Oh Well...Their Loss. Please keep up the flow of your information.
I am starting my worm casting compost tea next week. I have everything I need, just been to busy with to many different projects.
Good...you are definately on a simple relatively easy to understand soil development track. You just keep on trusting the developing biology in your soil. Please feel free to rattle my chain anytime your fancy pleases to do so.
I missed all my fungi friends in this thread. The subject I guess should be Mycorrhiza facts. #1 You need the Endo type. #2 The more difficult your soil condition the more benefit you will see for trusting Mycorrhiza to help bring you back into more and better production.
This site has oodles of correct information...go see... I use this product because I believe it is one of the best. http://www.bio-organics.com/
Endo is all you need to see for general lawn and garden use. Ecto is the other type. Ecto is for trees foundation plants and shrubs. Some products have both and use that to confuse us into believing that makes the product better. I am reasonably sure that firm has both. I never paid Ecto any attention and do not remember. I do also remember that this firm did not have smaller sized containers of product. When I was really active in gardening that made no difference because I could use it within two years. Bio Organics has one of the best archives of newsletters from which we can learn to use the product.
As to not finding the different fungi types...I believe you will with more carefull reading.
I was looking for Endo #2. You did not use a comma. Doc, my confusion was all your fault. Hope you had a good day. I spent most of the day inside because there was no sun. That is unusual for Las Vegas.
You have to read my posts with both eyes open. My age is catching up with me and my stroke stole my human ability to correctly use my learned software, memory banks and maybe an overloaded hard drive. I'm seventy four. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. The doctors can not find a better excuse either...save one. The lung function that feeds all the rest is acting up too. I noticed half my outdoor living biology is lined up not far from the back door while the other half is hanging around my shovel for some reason.
I continue to be a "ROAD'S SCHOLAR". Some of the folks I continue to learn from are older than sin. As I go up and down the roads I like trying to learn even more. Before my head grows to large let me assure anyone what I profess began the first growing season after the first caveman dug out in his first spring. Stuff he noticed grew better where he made his first peeing post before the deep snow. Funny observation from that time clear up to about 1930's no one used any manufactured chemistry in the soil. Those of us who understand every soil or plant treatment developed and used since that time harms and kills the very biology we need to rebuild the soil. The smaller we are the more easy it is to emulate and return to those simple practices. Those who do in time grow better, healthier and more per acre than can be imagined. Up to a thousand dollar fresh food production is not a pie in the sky expectation from a well worked thousand square feet of garden.
Well I am 67, had a stroke in 1994 but all is well. Just cannot jump over tall building but I can walk around the building a hundred times. Thank you again for your knowledge and now your sense of humor. Have a great day.
docgipe, thank you so much for all the info you have given us it really helps. By the way I have found the ironite in Lowes, I was very excited, the bag has granules instead of powder like substance, is this the one that you are talking about?
Interesting thread carminator 1, hope it's not too late for a couple of questions...(1) How do you collect or remove your worm castings carminator? (2) doc, what is the device pictured sitting at a 45 degree angle in your compost tea bucket?
mraider, at first I started separating the castings from the worms by hand but that was a big pain in the you know what, so I decided to buy a sifter for compost, you could actually even build it yourself. practically a box that houses a small screen for sifting. Mine comes with either bigger holes or smaller size holes, I use the smaller sizes holes one. Then I place a bunch of the compost with worms on it and I start shaking it a little bit until the compost is all in the bucket, sometimes I get a few worms in the bucket that I have to separate by hand but other than that it is a prety good system.
One thing that I've had to learn the hard way is to make sure to place newspaper or shredded paper to absorb the moisture and to make sure you look at your container at least evey day to make sure the castings are not clayish like and that they are kind of loose.
carminator1, you sort of lost me on the shredded newspaper technique and 'clayish' like texture. I have heard several of comments in the past from the vermiculture section on 'collecting castings', but never bother to ask how this was being done. I started a thread in that section today to see what people where doing. I store my castings or spent media in a 5-gallon pail with lid until it is full. Then I transfer them to a black 55-gallon trash bag inside a plastic barrel with lid. Typically there is still some moisture in the saved castings which I grate through a quarter inch screen before using as a germination mix.
I placed my worms on a plastic rubermaid tub, it tends to get a lot of moisture because of all the veggie peels that I throw in so I was told that to absorb the moisture I had to place shredded newspaper on top of the container and then place the lid on top, of course I do have ventilation holes to let some air inside and I also have bottom drain holes as well to collect the compost tea.
Last year when I did not know better, I just would let my bin unatended and would just feed my worms without doing anything else, when I was ready to collect the castings the moisture was so great that my castings just looked like a mushy mess, I was able to collect as much as I could, but in the process I probably lost a buch of worms as well.
Placing shredded paper on top of the castings and worms help with the moisture problem, my castings are moist but the consistency of used cooffee grounds, definetely easier to separate the worms from the castings this way.
What I do is I tend to open the lid of my bin every day to check and see the moisture level, if I think is too wet I place more shreeded newspaper on top, if not I just leave it and close the lid.
Morgan...that devise is the tea brewer. At the top you see a piece of 3/4" PVC. This is where the air enters and goes to the bottom of the tower where it is expelled from an end cap with very small holes in it. The big tower pipe has a bottom cap with holes drilled. The rising bubbles do two things...one cause the bubbles to go through the churning compost and two create vortex like suction pulling in water and creating circulation in the bucket. The clampped in screen is the exit for the circulating water and it keeps the big lumps in the tower. As you may surmise it is a whole lot better than a simple soaking tea bag that many use. You can see the one mine is designed after called a Bobolator pictured and explained in debth on the site of NorthCountryOrganics.com Something like mine used to be called the Biti Bobolator. Finished aerobic tea shows up in just eighteen hours because of water tempture of 76 degrees and the consistant aerobic churning within the tower. It is one of the simplest designs and more important it can be taken apart and cleaned easily in about twenty minutes. If a system can not be cleaned easily it will be useless in short order. That is the problem with most other designs I have looked at. I bought my compressor from North Country Organics maybe ten years ago. I could not find a commercial quality one anywhere else at that time. In today's market ten bucks will build this brewer not including the compressor, heater and therometer. Need pricing ask them. I can not remember. This set up will do from five to forty gallons in the same 18 hours.
Believe I've got it doc...years ago there was something similar used to treat various types of wastewater made by a now extinct company called Ramco. The design included three rotating impellers (2-clockwise, 1 counter clockwise) inside a plastic tube which broke up the air bubbles from a high volume air compressor. The guy that invented the system was a WWII piolot. A very efficient design for recirculating even moderately viscous materials. The aquarium size would fit nicely in 5 to 55 gallon pails or drums. If only a source were still available. I will check around and see if there are any still in existance.
carminator1, I also use the rubbermaid bin without air or drainage holes for my worm compost bins. Most people use media other than peat moss because they feel it is too difficult to maintain the proper moisture level. I have used peat moss for more than 40 years and find it very easy to work with. I collect approximately 1/4th inch of dried media or worm casings from the top of each bin twice weekly before feeding, and replace it with several handfulls of peat moss which has been soaked in warm water and the excess moisture removed with an aquarium net. Thanks to doc here I have been experimenting with several new ideas. (!) I use gravel syphoned aquarium water to blend the peelings which I feed the worms. The latest experiment is to place the initial blend into a 5-gallon pail and let it set for several days before reblending it along with egg shells and coffee grounds. This has cut down on the amount of time it takes to blend the peelings; there are vertually no chunks remaining; and the emulsion is such that the worms devour it in a fraction of the time. TYVM doc. (2) I am also using the gravel syphoned aquarium water for soaking the peat moss over night. Once the water is removed from the peat moss I toss acid water into the outdoor horse manure compost bin. In the spring I have a number of other uses for the acid water.
doc is one of my top five favorites in DG. I have had more ideas come from reading doc' threads than anyone else I can think of. Making compost tea is another recent experiment I have started thanks to this thread. I have decided to use gravel sypnoned aquarium water in a 5-gallon pail with a cup each of grated worm castings; agged grated horse manure compost; garden soil; and acid water removed from the soaked peat moss.
Hey wormiest gardeners, I was looking at a Sur La Table catalog this morning. They have trhe greatest strainers for gardening. They just do not know it. They have them listed as Stainless Steel Grill Grids. Three different sizes for 44.95. Free shipping. I paid close to $20.00 plus shipping to Gardeners supply and I have only had it one year and the handles are getting ready to break loose. The handles are attached by a tiny weld. The one in the catalog are one piece. And I just thought, you could probably get the same thing at a local BBQ store. BBQ stores have stainless steel grill baskets with small holes for stir frying vegs on the grill. Have a great day.
Stange to my viewpoint that one would walk away from the word and design that is well proven and has been well proven for many years.
Any moving part you add to a compost aerobic tea brewer will immediately defeat the whole purpose and be very difficult to clean and keep clean. Impossible to keep clean is more to the point.
Even if you would screw up miserably a rebuild of this brewer would cost about ten dollars. You would never be obligated to any specific company for any of it's parts. All of its parts are simple as apple pie.
If you want to root about in the second hand market check your local
supplier of nebulizers and oxygen supply for human use. When their small compressors fall below medical standards there is a lot of life left in them for projects like a tea brewer. With the insurance support for medical use I doubt that they would fix the nebulizer compressor. I think they would be working throw away stuff.
Doc, I have a question, I made a batch of compost tea, it is still in my laundry area brewing, I made it saturday and I still have not used it yet since it has been raining constantly for 2 days now. Today it will be sunny and tomorrow as well but saturday and sunday it will start raining again, my question is how long can I keep it brewing, I just don't want it to go bad? I did add a little more molasses yesterday to make sure the microbes had more stuff to eat.
Also I tested my raise bed dirt yesterday to see the ph I have a little electronic device that tells you the PH, also the moisture level, acording to the readings it said that my PH is about almost 8, on the alkaline side, how can I rectify it? I have some peat moss, would this help make it a little more acidic and how much to add? Since I have things planted in my raise beds could I use it as a side dressing to try to bring more acitity?
Thank you so much for all your help, I concur with skwinter you are definetely the man!
I have a Koi pond, built like a swimming pool. I clean out the filter once a month with a back flush. I went to a pool supply and purchased a hose that would connect to the back wash drain. Now I can spray all this wonderful many gallons of fish water on some of my and my neighbors front scape. I need a longer drain hose so I can get it further in the back and the front. We built this home 8 years ago and last year is thr first year for using the Koi water. What a dummy.
I would spend the twenty five to thirty five dollars to get at least one good soil test. With that test should come simple advisement for ammendment if you really need to take ammendment action. You will then know if your testing devises are on the money or if you need to learn what the variances may be. Ask at any good garden center where and how to get good basic tests. Our's are ten bucks purchased from our State
Farm Agents office.
Merry Christmas Doc. Happy New Year also. Getting ready to start growing my worms for worm castings. I have ground up vegs fermenting in one pot. I found an old blender on the top shelf of the pantry. I now remember why it is there, It sucks as a blender. I need to go to goodwill and see if I can get a cheap food processor. By the time I got the vegs processed, they had to much moisture and my kitchen was a mess. Nasty...
I need my molasses which I will get on Monday. Store is a long trip away. I have 8 large bags of leaves on the side yard and I think I will get at least five more,. The HOA landscapers will be here Monday. I will deliver them black bags and they can fill them They usually use burlap tarps. I need to come up with an idea on how to get my leaves smaller. Then I will get my worms. I am so excited. Then I will get started with my tea. See what you started doc. Love you anyway. Thanks a bunch.
I think of compost, worms and soil building as an activity I can carry out at least until I can no longer get around my gardens. I've been working the present property for about forty years and other places for another ten or so. So if I infected your brains to the extent of altered normal judgement good! Most others will soon figure you to be out of your gourd at the least. LOL
Doc, they already think I am out of my gourd. I live in a neighborhood with a bunch of females, a few neighbors exempt, that would have a breakdown if they got their nails dirty. I wish I was a fly on the inside of their car when they drive by so I could here what they are saying. But then they send their gardeners down to talk to me to see how I did whatever. My answer is always, compost, worms, mulch and many hours of hands on love. I have the passion, they do not. They want the look of my garden but you cannot buy that look, that look only comes with a gardeners passion and love. End of story.
When you can no longer get around your garden, call me and I will push or drag you. I say drag because sometimes when I get really tired at the end of a long gardening day, I do start to slightly drag my left foot. That is when I know I have to quit and go in and read the paper. They should open an assisted living home for gardeners. So when we get to old, some young person could push us around the garden. Have a great day.
Ha ha...my wife has been all over the ball park up to Director of Nursing in homes her entire professional life. We have seen small gardens at the homes from time to time. She retired some years ago but continues to go in three or four days a month to pinch hit.
The best garden in an old folks home I have seen was a super raised bed. It was built up so those in wheel chairs could motor along the edges and pull a weed or pinch off a flower. Tomato plants, spring onions, little neck squash, peppers, carrots and minty herbs they can smell and make a tea with were most popular items. They love pumpkins if space permits.
We have a nursing home accross the street from us. Several gardeners including myself have helped them for years. They have an activities director with a modest budget for gardening. My major contribution has been lots of aerobic manure based compost tea. That can not be over applied and contains no chemicals which are not permitted anyway.
After all is said and done gardening is more by the helpers than the clients. Rarely is there anyone who has grown anything. Rarely there is one willing and able to really do much. It almost always gets a pix in the local paper when carrots can be pulled or a squash comes off. No trouble getting a pix in paper because the home spends big time advertising bucks.
We have had similar experiences with our Rescue Workers. They could but do not raise anything on the acres of ground they own. The same is true of our County Home. The commissioners lease out the ground to neighboring farmers. Seems to me the jail's trusties could be directed to grow food for the county institutions.
My DH thinks all gardening is hard work and you can only relax when you sit down. I bet your wife has stories to tell. I spent everyday for just about 6 months when my mother was in an assisted living facility. Just in those 6 months I came home on a daily basis with very happy tales and very sad tales.
My DH's father was in an assisted living facility in Beaumont, Texas. He was always a gardener. So when we came in the spring we hired some laborer to help us dig up an area in the patio area and we planted tomatoes. We were back in June and the tomatoes were doing beautiful. The facility was very happy. We got DH's father in his wheel chair and we spent some time with the tomatoes and he even ate one. When we came back the next day we told him we would take him back to see the tomatoes. He said, Why, I saw them yesterday. So I see what you mean.
Have a great day. I have to spend tomorrow getting the house back in order. Next week we are suppose to be back in the 60s. I am now going on the net to find some new violas seed and a new rose. After getting the house back in order I have to plant my tomato seeds and get them started. I got two mini greenhouses for Christmas from myself and I am going to try them in the house. Wish me luck. A few years ago I ordered a new viola and I paid $5. When I opened the envelope, it had 10 seeds. I was furious.
Unfortunately Sally, by the time they arrive at Assisted Living they do not give permission because they really have no idea what is going on the majority of the time. My sister and I interview many homes and looked at all the different programs they had for our Mother. When she got there she would not participate in any program. So when searching the most important factor is cleanliness, good support from staff and medical personnel. Then you need to visit every day because if you do not, your relative is ignored. Not on purpose. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. The staff is totally over worked and they have multi tasks to perform. I was so lucky. The first day Mother was there the daughter of her room mate took me aside and gave me all the rules, and who to trust and how to get what my Mother needed. That was a God sent blessing.
Sharon...that is a pretty good basic understanding of the nursing homes and similar places. Your suggestions are very much on target. My wife does indeed understand to the point we have remodeled and added to our home creating the possiblity of staying out of the homes for we elders. I understand that average cost for such homes is $75,000.00 a year. My guess is that it would average much more in the major city areas.
I am in a major city area- the rate for basic 'assisted living' (own BR and bath, all meals etc) is quoted to me around 4 000 a month, up for more space and some services. Dementia assisted living may be a whole different scale, I don't know.
The biggest problem I see is lack of an option whereby a senior can do things for herself whenever capable, yet have support available quickly when she can't. and lack of social contact in a single fam home suburban set up.
We might take this to another (Caregivers?) forum.
im really charged by all the posts on aeobic worm tea.. thanks to all!!
its raining/snowy here in utah..but.. this season im going to get my 55 gal
compost tea into the areation mode..
i have aquarium pumps..and i have 2 worm bins going now..
i just got some of the euroepean worms..bigger..but i guess they survive colder temps
to the red wigglers..so im hoping to keep some in the house over winter..but then get a
big area for them this season..
my garden does great with my compost tea ive always made..but i think what you all
are talking about in aeobic tea makes even more sense..
question..??? keeping the temp @ 76 ish.. during the summer i dont think i would need
to put a heater in there would i??? i know in spring i will..
thanks .. love all your comments and insights>>>
I don't know Provo...you do. The question is difficult to answer from afar. A decent heater (fish tank large size) has a thermostat. It will turn on when needed and stay off if not needed. If you think your temperatures in the tea will exceed 76 degrees you may be should be thinking shade. Much over 80 degrees and you will be killing some most valued bacteria. Getting a white barrel might be helpfull in reducing the temperature in the tea.
docgipe..thanks.. ya..in august its pretty hot here..
i can easily put them under some trees then to keep from cooking the tea..
i have my own..some ..not alot worm castings.. do your recommend any
that are for sale..here ,ebay..etc...?
i have big gardens..and i can go thru alot of fertilizer in the growing season..
looking foward to trying this aerobic tea..
thanks for your insight... :)
The best of both worlds are before you. You report that you have some worm castings. You are speaking of needing a lot of fertilizer. You are speaking of making aerobic tea. The first issue here is that finished aerobic tea has no NPK fertilizer value. In the aerobic tea process you are greatly increasing the bacteria and fungi in their live numbers. It is this aerobic tea that delivers its content live to the soil. The contents of the live living tea go immediately to work on your soil's organic content to produce the natural NPK. If you still need fertilizers you would need about a third as much pounds of organic low number fertilizer like 4-2-4 or even lower numbers. Chemical man made fertilizer will cripple or even kill your soil biology. You need to go one way or the other. Don't try to mix the products. One builds the soil the other will grow things but errode and kill the basic biology the organic system is trying to build up.
If I were approaching your need with the facts you have provided I would purchase a bag of aerobic tea quality compost. I would mix into the compost a blend of about 1/3 worm castings and 2/3 tea compost. If you can get some raw manure early in your season till that in but not more than an inch over all the soil. That would give your tea something to work on. I would also use myccrohizae. You need to go to Google seeking any or all of these products.
All of my known suppliers are in the Northeast. You are in the far Northwest. I can't help you from experience in that part of the country. One supplier whom I like a lot is ABRICO arbico-organics.com or you may Email at her desk firstname.lastname@example.org She is quite familiar with the national market and may have all of your needs.
Following whomever's advise provided by persons suggesting the equipment you plan to use you will end up needing about four cups of compost and two cups of castings to make 35 - 40 gallons of aerobic tea.
From this point on you should follow your prime equipment advisor who knows his or her system. I only know the system I have worked with. Your procedures will be somewhat different than if you were set up using the equipment I understand.
docgipe, in Las Vegas it will be difficult in the summer to keep the temperature below 80 because that would be our lows. Inside, where my worm bed is now would be 80 degrees. What would happen if I added cool water a few time a day. OR, I could remove some of the liquid already in the pot and freeze or refrigerate it to cool it down. My worms have been in their bed for two weeks and they are very happy. I added more rotten food today and they were actually jumping out of the peat moss running across the bed to get to the side of the new food. LOL. They got to the new food before I got it covered with new dirt. I dug in the other side where I first placed the original food and they was still food there. 50 gallon container with 2000 worms. I am planning on having two, same size but got a lung infection so I am on sick leave from my gardening by demands from DH and DR. So I only got one completed. And I got my red worms from Uncle Jim and they are beautiful. Thank you so much for your hand holding.
docgipe, thanks again for your insights..
as for fertilizer source..yes..i use organic fertilizers..
blood meal,feather meal,rock phosphate..
i grow alot of pumpkins..so im always looking for a good moderately high
it will be fun this spring/summer/fall with system i will set up.. :)
thanks for the heads up with not just using worm castings in the tea..
i reread some of your posts.. thanks..
i have composted alot over the yrs.. leaves,straw,manure.. i think if i ever left here
i would hire several trucks and take the soil ive made.. LOL :)
i do have a few friends with horses..and rabbits..and i use manure from those sources..
great to see posts and everyones experiences..
and thanks to those that have put alot of time into the science and practice..
i know im going to enjoy working on this.. and hopefully even better gardens..
I emptied a bottom container in the freezer this evening. All my scraps go in there to freeze to facilitate deterioration. I hope this is right. My worms are still dancing on their hind legs saying, " Hello Mother, Hello Mother...Hsve a great night and day.
Question--I make compost tea but just I'm reading for the first time about both aeration and adding molasses. An article about growing roses in this month's OG magazine says that brewed tea gives amazing results but said it is not for veges as there is a risk of e coli from the brewing.
Does anyone know anything about this?
Tamar...e coli is in everyone's gardens. The healthy management of the soil keeps things in ballance. When you aeriate the brews you expand the population of that brew equally. That is one of the few incorrect statements I have ever heard sourced to OG. There is a risk of e coli from any form of poor soil management. To bad...they are usually providing complete and good information.
Tamarmays...one of your neighbors is North Country Organics. They make tea quality compost and have bacteria and good guy fungi as an additive to Compost Tea brewing. They also have trace minerals and suggested start up procedures. Their site is full of basic information about brewing aerobic teas. No baloney here. They know what they are doing.
I personally have been brewing with a smaller version of their present Bobolator. I advise folks to start with known good and proven quality basic materials. Put the left overs in your compost piles. You will have the best right in your piles and soil in one application. This way your costs might be twenty five cents a gallon the first year. Next year maybe a dime using your own compost...and for ever more!
I am wondering if you can use gray water to make compost tea. I have heard of people using it to water their plants etc... so if I was to let the gray water sit for lets say a week, would this water be pure enough to not kill the microbes from the worm casting tea?
Sallyg, grey water is the water that is left behind after taking a bath or a shower ( some people place buckets underneath the shower to catch as much water as possible before going to the drain) or the water that your washer machine drains out after a load of wash etc... I have seen and heard some people saving water this way to water their plants, trees etc... and as long as you don't use harsh chemicals the plants don't seem to mind it.
Your knowlege is fair and safe when using Gray Water on soil to water plants is generally correct. Over use of any principle or practice could just as well give less than desirable response. To make a point one person might use two tablespoons full of non-detergent dish washing soap while another member in the family may use a quarter of a cup full in the same load of dishes. One might be OK the other might be to harsh. Who determines what Gray Water is? Is there any known standard?
You need to do a bit of reading up on aeriobic compost or worm cast teas, what they are and what they are not. What makes them effective and why it's commonally available information. That information should come from proven sources of organic principles.
I understand your point, I guess it all depends like you said in how much detergent or type of detergent is used in the water etc... or how much is too much.
I first heard of the greywater concept from the Dervaes( the family in pasadena that grow everything organically in their small house). They seem to use greywater method to water fruit trees etc... and in fact are installing a greywater line to capture all the water and use it.
As far as what determines what gray water is, for what I have read so far, the water flushed from your toilets for example and water mixed with particles of food from your disposal is not considered graywater as it can not be used safely to water plants etc... I am not sure how many types of graywater there are though.
I will research it a little further though but since I live in the rainiest city in the US, water is nothing but plentiful here, sometimes we get too much if you catch my drift. I was mainly curious as I know people that live in places where water is scarce.
This will likely raise some hackle but just what would be the difference between human manure and any other manure? Many areas have social laws governing generally a non use factor even on gray water.
Where I live I can not even get commercially composted sewage. They haul it all to the landfill. They were even stopped putting it on our coal mine reclamation strips. It has been said some of it sneaks it's way back to employee gardens. That of course would be denied.
Meanwhile back at the ranch...Penn State University... they apply municiple sewage to approved farm use and some public acreage. That is only an hour from where such use is prohibited. Everyone knows that "certain items" in Happy Valley don't stink. ]:o)
docgipe I am not sure if I am qualified to really give you an answer on this subject, but here is what it might be, and like I said this is a coplete guess on y part so please let me know if you don't agree. I am wondering wheter the fact that human and animal feces ( such a dogs o cats) are not appropiate for the household compost could be related to the types of foods we consume, most dog, cats etc... are carnivorous, and humans also digest tons of meat producs as well,except of course vegetarias and such, while cows, pigs, chickens have a different source of food and also digest it diferently.
I have seen some gadgets on the iternet that you can purchase and they will compot dog or cat feces but not sure how they work and whether or not you are required to purchase some sort of enzyme that will break it down eough for you to use in the garden.
I don't really need an answer. My questions are to hopefully have others realize there are many laws and opinions on manure. Go to your local zoo and support it buying Zoo Poo composted of course. Go to your still existing circus and offer them a few bucks to clean up. You will buy the privilege and get some ripe goodies. They even loaded my trailer two summers ago. Not purchased it has to be taken to the landfill and that costs time and money while wasting a good product.
carminator, back to the question of whether you can use grey water to make "tea" , you'd have to try it and see. I have used grey water before, and it can get kind of rank. Not to be used around edibles. In your area, I imagine you have enough rainfll to keep anything bad from accumulating (salts, grease) that might be in your grey water.
Like I said I am merely curious, and thank you docgipe, after searching on the interenet, I also have not seen any mention at all about using grey water for the use of aerobic tea making. I am also not sure if using it to water plants would do more harm than not.
The Dervaes did mention watering all their fruit trees with the grey water, but I really don't think they use it to water their veggies plus they use very earth friendly soaps to wash.
I am having a hart time locating a good place that sells manure, my question is did the zoo sell the composted manure to you, I don't mind paying some $ for it if it is good for my veggies. I hate to have to go to Lowes or Homedepot and buy the expensive stuff to fill my beds with, and was hoping for a place that would sell by the truckload already composted so I would not have to wait a year before planting anything.
carminator, you may not need as much manure as you think for your beds. You should find a place that caters to landscapers, a "garden center" or "garden yard" that offers wood chips, mulch, gravel, soil conditioners, etc. They usually also have "compost" and it can be bought by the scoop, yard, or truckload. I get mine for about 10-15 dollars a yard. It is perfect to plant into directly and if you want to introduce some good bacteria, worms, microbial activity then just a bag or two of commercial manure (Black Kow) will do that.
As for gray water, it has been the general premise over the years not to use it on food crops due to the bacteria that may contaminate your food. Even in shower water there is dead skin/bacteria, etc, and if stored in containers it'll really set up a terrible environment for it to prosper. And if using washing machine water be especially careful if you wash diapers or other baby clothes, fecal matter in the water would be a terrible thing for us to ingest.
In the Orient the use of humanure has been in existence for thousands of years. However, the locals can handle it due to having the bacteria in them to co-exist with it; foreigners would suffer from it. It is along the same lines as Mexicans being able to drink their water but someone from another country would suffer Montezuma's Revenge. Ugh!
Thank you Shoe, you have definetely answered my question about greywater, at first I really thought that using shower water might not damage the veggies but now I am convinced that it is probably safer not to use it at all, like I mentioned before we get lots of rain here in Mobile so water is really not a problem for me at all, I have thought of getting a rainbarrel installed just so I can use the water to make the wonderful compost tea. My water here is full of chemicals and I usually have to let it sit for a day or two before I can use it for the compost tea.
About the lanscapers place I'll have to search the area for one and see if I can find some compost or even just topsoil, I don't mind paying by the truckload and think this way might save me some $.
I have a friend that is a good plumber among many skills. He has routed his kitchen sink to an outside holding aerated tank. All of his dishwater and ground garbage illegally goes there in a slurry to be pumped to his gardens. That is a specific no no here. He will tell anyone who discovers it that he broke none of God's laws. What one learns and applies to his own property is pretty much his private domain. One certainly would not show or share that knowledge publicly. This is the valuable education one gets in the halls of a good seminar in small group discussion.
The gentlemen is not a kook. He is a self educated really good biologist. I have no fear eating anything that grows in his gardens.
My tea has been brewing for three days (with fish pump but no heater) and no foam yet! I put lemon juice in as the recipe I was following suggested and am now wondering if that was ok. The tea doesn't smell rotten but it smells a little like vinegar. Should I toss out and start over? Many thanks.
Yes I have never put lemon juice on mine. When I make mine, I use a pump but no heater either, sometimes I have a slight foam on top but not much, I still use it though and the plants seem to like it. If it smells funny to you maybe I would just try to start over again, you might be able to put this concoction on the compost pile.