Brewing a compost tea for the hop garden

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Scooby_Brew

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So this year I started using my home made compost in the hop garden. The compost is made out of grass clippings, dry leafs and used grains. The results so far are just amazing and I am really exited about it.

Now I'm reading about compost teas, and how good, fast, and powerful they are for your plants etc. Can someone help me w/ some more
info or experience in this area? It looks like some people recommend brewing a compost tea for a few days, others for 24 hours, some with a help of an air-pump and some without it.

And what's up with aerating your compost tea and then adding sugar (or molasses) into it? Doesn't it mean that you are pretty much fermenting it? If so, wouldn't adding some yeast (which I have plenty of) be beneficial to the whole process? Just asking...
 

buzzkill

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when I make compost tea i will fill some buckets with grass clippings, then add water. Put a lid on it and set it in the sun for a few days. then just open it,pour the funky dark water out on the plants. then dump what muck is left in the big compost pile. they love it and grow like mad. I use it on our veggis too. I dont add anything,sugar may just get the ants excited. this is how my grandad did it on his garden,and he was a farmer all his life.
 

B-Hoppy

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my one and only attempt didn't provide encouraging results. i've read about the benefits and an overview of the production process and i guess the aquarium pump didn't provide enough oxygen. the 'bad' organisms won over and the whole thing became anaerobic in a day or two. i'd really like to pursue this matter as i dig the whole concept but don't really have the time at this point. keep at it and post results!
 

FrFtr28

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when I make compost tea i will fill some buckets with grass clippings, then add water. Put a lid on it and set it in the sun for a few days. then just open it,pour the funky dark water out on the plants. then dump what muck is left in the big compost pile. they love it and grow like mad. I use it on our veggis too. I dont add anything,sugar may just get the ants excited. this is how my grandad did it on his garden,and he was a farmer all his life.
This sounds pretty simple. Could you elaborate on it a little? How much do you fill the bucket with grass clippings and how much water do you add?

Thanks!
 

Randar

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Compost tumbler with a bucket to catch the drippings. :)

Only ways I have seen to make compost tea is to use partially composted material. The above method seems to use fresh grass clippings and water, which would force anaerobic composting to set in, which is much slower and smelly.

Here is one method to use an air pump:

http://www.ehow.com/how_5222720_make-actively-aerated-compost-tea.html
 

buzzkill

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it will smell. :D but its easy.its always best to feed before a rain,or a good watering,and no more than once a month. but I just throw the grass in the bucket, and top off with water. I have seen the gardener guy on TV do the same but he used burlap to hold the grass and then pulled the burlap sack off the juce and tossed it. then feed with the left over liquid. dont make it to hard,its just some funk water. and the plants love it.
 

TheDudeLebowski

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I think one question that was overlooked and that's the molasses and aeration benefits. Using the air pump with energy supplying nutrients of molassases kickes it up a notch. You can just soak compost but by adding oxygen and nutrients you activate beneficial organisms that exist in the compost. This aids in growth and fighting diseases at the top and root level. Did a quick google and here's a good explanation along with the steps (there's a good explanation why you don't want to aerate too much without adding more molasses):


http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/brewing-compost-tea.aspx

This is my first year growing hops and once they get to a month's growth I'm going to do this process.
 

aq1012

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I make mine by filling a 5gal bucking maybe 1/3 full of a manure compost. Then fill the rest up with water. Next I add 1-2 tbs of molasses then drop in an air stone. Let it sit 24-48 hours and dump water around in the soil. Seems to work well. I tested ph and it came out to be 4 which is good for me since i'm growing on alkaline clay.
 

buzzkill

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I am going to have to try that this year. I think using compost to start with will rock... I love science, yet, you can't deny the experience of others.

:tank:
 

winstonofbeer

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Just a thought to keep in mind,
If you put chemicals such as crabgrass killer, weed n feed, and so forth that will be in your grass and thus some of those chemicals will be in that water.
 

glenn514

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The composting of lawn grass uses up necessary nitrogen. Make certain that you mix into the compost some 10-10-10 or general purpose garden fertilizer, or have enough OTHER stuff in the compost to offset the loss of nitrogen.

Also, when using various weed killers in the lawn, DON'T use the clippings in compost or garden until at least two good rains have washed the chemicals off the blades and into the soil.

glenn514:mug:
 
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