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Soil and Composting: whey

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Forum: Soil and CompostingReplies: 10, Views: 97
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cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 21, 2009
12:23 PM

Post #6298525

Is anyone using whey in the garden? I have been making cheese and have 2-4 gallons of whey each week. I'm not sure how much to dilute or how how often it's safe to apply. I can find very little info on the web. Any help would be appreciated.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 21, 2009
12:41 PM

Post #6298572

Since it's left over from cheese, I'm guessing it's mostly water. Sounds OK to me. Do you know what else is in it?
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 21, 2009
1:39 PM

Post #6298743

It's suppose to be acidic, high in nitrogen, like urine. And I thought I read it has a lot potash? That doesn't sound right tho.

As far as additives added during the cooking process it's citric acid, rennet, vinegar, cultures. They are used in small amounts such as 3tsp citric acid per 2 gallons of milk or 1/4 vinegar per gallon.


sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 21, 2009
2:35 PM

Post #6298956

Hmm. Well, it could be high in whatever water soluble minerals the milk was high in, I 'd guess.
So it's a little acidic. It shouldn't be much more acidic than milk, right? The high nitrogen is awesome! Is your soil naturally alkaline? If you have a compost to 'dilute ' it in that would work great. Given alkaline soil, I'd use it anywhere. I really doubt it's enough serious acidity to hurt anything. At least dump it on the lawn!
cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 21, 2009
2:52 PM

Post #6299037

Well, that's a whole 'nother problem.lol I have acidic sandy loam, but lasagna garden with plenty of organic matter and it helps with the ph. I was thinking of adding wood ashes to the brew. Not sure what amount to begin with tho. I wonder if I could use ph strips to test. hmmm, i feel like a mad scientist.


I like your idea about the lawn. I could find a 'out of the way' place to experiment. thanks!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 21, 2009
3:46 PM

Post #6299283

mad scientist--me too! And I also have acidic sandy loam.
I don't think ashes are as "strong' as one might fear. It all comes down to experiment, or research, or soil tests!
I know- because I did this- that a cup each of wood ash and water, dumped on grass here, did not cause any change to the grass. That seems pretty strong to me, so I don't think my ashes are very potent.
pennymca
Tuscaloosa, AL

April 7, 2009
12:15 PM

Post #6376651

Whey is a great source of Lacto bacillius and is great for your garden. Yes, dilute it with non cholorinated water (2tsp per 2 gal water) for using on your compost pile and also spraying as foliar feed and soil drench. When mixed with other beneficial indigenous microoganisms that you can make up at home, you have a powerful tool for your soil and gardens.


Here's a link to a blog where a gal has been putting the whey from her Caspian Sea yogurt and kefir on her garden. Great pictures!

http://homesteadingthebackforty.blogspot.com/2008/05/another-whey-to-fertilize.html



cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 7, 2009
2:28 PM

Post #6377137

Thanks, Penny! I've been using it at a much higher strength, so that's really good to know.
pennymca
Tuscaloosa, AL

April 7, 2009
4:39 PM

Post #6377759

You're welcome...though you can probably go higher on the concentration in the dilution if you want.

After reading an overview of using beneficial microbes here:

http://newfarm.rodaleinstitute.org/features/0404/microorgs/index.shtml

I searched the internet and found the "recipes" here:

http://lists.ifas.ufl.edu/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A3=ind0307&L=sanet-mg&P=599129&E=2&B=------%3D_NextPart_000_2be4_2499_6525&N=Indigenous+Microorganisms+Boolet.doc&T=application%2Fmsword

I also got some good info on using whey (instead of capturing the LB from the air) here:

http://bokashicomposting.com/

And found good pix of results of using these BIM and LB here:

http://www.janong.com/ENGLISH/04.htm

the LONG link is somewhat tedious to read through due to translation issues, but you can get some GOOD info out of it.

An organic farmer over in GA, who uses biochar and all kinds of teas, is VERY excited by the results he has seen from some brews he has made from the BIM.










cocoa_lulu
Grand Saline, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 7, 2009
10:10 PM

Post #6379190

Those links are awesome, I really appreciate it. I'm going to go through them all later. Making a poor man's bokashi was something I had been wondering about and have been experimenting with the biochar. So that's all great news and resources! Thanks again!
pennymca
Tuscaloosa, AL

April 7, 2009
11:05 PM

Post #6379421

The long link is REALLY great...and yes, making all that type stuff with readily available ingredients is really neat.

Here's another recipe for some good stuff for the soil food web...recommended by the organic farmer in GA.


http://www.grouppekurosawa.com/organic1print.htm

He also did an experiment and put his charcoal (made his own but a bag of Cowboy would do) into an LB solution (just LB and water) and said it really softened up the charcoal. His was already chopped up, I think. I'm going to try it before I crush mine and see if it makes it any easier.

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