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How to Make Compost Tea

July 27, 2012 - GrowOrganic
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Cook up your own FAST, high-quality compost and either use it immediately in your garden, or brew it for a great compost tea. Compost is one of the cornerstones of organic gardening and we have loads of information for you about compost and compost tea. *  Want to make fast compost to enrich the soil in your garden? Our latest video shows you how to do that in easy steps. *  Do you want to brew large amounts of aerated compost tea? Watch our video about making aerated compost tea in commercial…
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When you first heard of compost tea did you think, This time the organic gardeners have gone too far? Tricia has a story about that in our new video on compost tea for home gardeners. To be clear: compost tea is for PLANTS not for people. Special solutions of garden “teas” have been around for centuries, but the latest technique of aerating compost tea is relatively new. It’s an increasingly popular way to create a soil inoculant. Let’s define the different garden liquids,…
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Video Transcript
Hi Im Tricia an organic gardner Im here at the Peaceful Valley GrowOrganic.com warehouse facility and today we're going to be brewing up some biologically active compost tea. This is a hundred gallon compost tea brewer from growing solutions and these large brewers range in size from ten gallons up to five hundred gallons and a very well suited for use on farms, vineyards, orchards, market gardens and golf courses.

The first step is to attach the hose and fill the tank up to the gallon marker make sure all of your brewing equipment is thoroughly cleaned and only use potable water. These brewers are easy to use and designed for heavy duty use. If your using city water let it aerate for about thirty minutes to dissipate all the chlorine because the chlorine will kill your good microbes add some food for the microbes I like this compost tea catalyst since its specially formulated to promote diverse microbal growth without simple sugars which can promote the growth of harmful bacteria. The screens that come with the growing solutions compost tea brewer are easy to fill and easy to clean use a high quality compost. Here at Peaceful Valley we use a biodynamic compost made at Fulcrum Farms here in grass valley. Fill the screen up until you see an inch of screen, install the holding tray so that this little groove is facing back and will fit on this little lip. Slide the screen in to the aerating water just add the aerating stones into each one of the screens put on the lid and let it brew for twenty four hours. After your tea has brewed you can add a little bit of water soluble fertilizer but your compost tea will benefit your plants just as it is so brew some tea and grow organic for life!

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Categories: Composting, Organic Compost, Compost Tea Brewers, Growing Medium, Organic Compost, Soil Amendments, Organic Garden Compost, Organic Fertilizer, Liquid Fertilizer, Foliar Fertilizer, Water Soluble Fertilizer, Growing Medium, Organic Compost, Composting, Organic Compost, Compost Tea Brewer, Sprayers, Backpack Sprayer, Hand Sprayer, 2 Gallon Sprayer, 4 Gallon Backpack Sprayer, 3 Gallon Sprayer

David Says:
Jul 27th, 2012 at 10:28 pm

this video is useless unless you happen to have the tea brewer named inthe video.  Even if you do, there is little to no useful information.

Cindy Says:
Jul 28th, 2012 at 4:10 am

I agree with David.  Disappointing.  Just a commercial; nothing helpful for home gardeners.

Cost Says:
Jul 28th, 2012 at 4:32 am

It is a comercial, but they are a business with payrolls, taxes etc. They have to sell to be able to produce these videos that I enjoy.

That said, that tea brewer is not that complicated with few moving parts and $600.00 for the ten gallon one is high! As time goes on they will sell more and the price will come down to my budget. I have made tea with nylon stocking full of compost from my worm poster and in a pickel barrel and a fish tank bubbler, the stuff works. Dirty job and this device would be a much cleaner process and I am sure I would buy one but it would have to a whole lot less than $600.00 :D

Steven A. Ormenyi Says:
Jul 28th, 2012 at 2:49 pm

This video is just the tip of the info chain. I bought the 5 gallon bucket kit and have been brewing in small batches since. I recommend the book “Teaming with Microbes Agardener’s Guide to the Soil Fodd Web” by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis.
The large 100 gallon brewer is great if you have alarge garden or you are working on amunicipal scale.
The 5 gallon that I bought is only good for a small suburban garden.
All the best: Steven

Anie Says:
Jul 28th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Good grief…HELLO ?? How about showing how to make small batches since most of us DO NOT HAVE A SILO to make tea with .
I’m ‘jus sayin “.

Somebody over thought this one !

Larry Russell Says:
Jul 28th, 2012 at 6:24 pm


Louie Says:
Jul 28th, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I fill a 5 gallon container with rain water ( if no rain water just use tap water and let it stand for a few hours until the chlorine evaporates). Add a pound of vermicompost and two tablespoons of molasses stir it well and let it sit covered for 24 to 48 hours. Strain it, put it into a sprayer an spray the foliage of all your plants once a week. You will see the difference. Happy gardening.

Dory Says:
Jul 28th, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Thanks for the affordable option . What do you strain it with? I cannot afford 600.00 and any simple solutions are welcome for the Small farmer .

RT Says:
Jul 29th, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I agree with Cost.  I made a screen for my compost and use tap water conditioner to get rid of the choloramine, generally throw in a handful of alfalfa pellets with the compost.  Also add molasses (1/4 cup) and when I have about a quart of liquid drainage from my worm bins I will use that in place of the compost.  Generally brew for 48 hrs.

Chris Says:
Jul 29th, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Get a 55 gallon drum and cut the top off. Drill a spigot into the bottom and use the same equipment you use for a 5 gallon. I found my old air stones and pump put out enough bubbles to activate 45 gallons, full bubble over in the morning. Too hard of bubble and agitation will kill off more good microbes and cut up your fungi.
This video was pretty disappointing, doesn’t really teach how to make compost tea, but you guys do a great job on so many others we can over look this one.

Louie Says:
Jul 29th, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Dory,I use a big fine kitchen strainer (I don’t think my wife needed it any more). You can also use a piece of window screen mesh lined with some kind of cloth like muslin. Just make sure that there are no solid particles in the tea or you are going to spend most of your time unclogging the sprayer.

diane welch Says:
Jul 29th, 2012 at 10:15 pm

We use a manure tea that we make in a garbage can.  Take a pillow case and fill with manure, any kind will do.  Donkey, horse, cow, chicken, rabbit or parrot works great.  We let it seep in the can for a night or two. Use a brass siphoning device ($30) with your hose and water with a sprinkler or with a nozzle.  The siphoning device mixes the solution with the water at about 1to 16.  You can also pour the mix into smaller buckets to carry to desired plants.  Everything gets greener!

Debbie D. Says:
Aug 2nd, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Here is an inexpensive way (compared to many others) to make a large batch of compost tea.

We used a large 60 gallon plastic garbage bin with a lid, (from Home Depot or similar store),  an air pump (to feed oxgygen into the brew), a pump that would give the pressure to a garden hose to spray, some pre made compost tea bags, some liquid kelp and fish, coffee grinds and I believe we also used molasses and our lawn and plants looked great after using this.  I was able to do two front lawns ( 50x50)  and all my plants, (a little goes a long way)  The temperature outside must be at least 80 or so to heat up the brew and we let the air pump provide oxygen to the mix for a day or so and then we sprayed away.  For more detail on this procedure check the “Ask This Old House” website for “organic compost tea” and you can probably puchase the fish and kelp liquid from this website.

Lorren Britton Says:
Aug 25th, 2012 at 11:07 am

There were several complaints that this video was a commerical and had no value but they were wrong.  The video is a commerical and it is meant to inform customers, who have larger gardens or commerical gardens, a quicker means to make larger quanties of compost tea.  It was to inform and educate and now I know that I can produce larger quanties of compost tea with equipment which I knew nothing about prior to observing the video.  Thanks.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Oct 4th, 2012 at 11:51 am

Thanks for your discussion and tips! Yes, this video is meant for gardeners and farmers who need to brew a LOT of aerated compost tea. We have a smaller kit for home gardeners and show that in a different video about aerated compost tea http://groworganic.com/organic-gardening/videos/compost-tea

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