Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» N&C Midwest: December 2016
by llama momma Today at 5:28 am

» Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans
by llama momma Today at 5:18 am

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by llama momma Today at 5:10 am

» CHALLENGE - Smallest possible footprint
by sanderson Today at 3:48 am

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by yolos Today at 12:13 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing December 2016
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 9:02 pm

» Holy snow Batman!
by llama momma Yesterday at 4:52 pm

» Tomato Tuesday 2016
by llama momma Yesterday at 4:35 pm

» 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 4:02 pm

» New England, December 2016
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 3:27 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 1:04 pm

» Bon fires on the Levee
by Cajun Cappy Yesterday at 12:17 pm

» Mid-South: December 2016
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:26 pm

» Mid-Atl - Dec 2016 - Seed Catalog ?
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:24 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:21 pm

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:15 pm

» Amaranth
by countrynaturals 12/5/2016, 12:06 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals 12/5/2016, 12:03 pm

» Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave
by donnainzone5 12/5/2016, 11:14 am

» Live and learn
by jimmy cee 12/5/2016, 9:08 am

» AtlantaMarie's Garden
by countrynaturals 12/4/2016, 2:04 pm

» Mychorrhizae Fungi
by audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/4/2016, 1:28 pm

» December 2016 Avatar: Show your Winter Season Colors!
by Scorpio Rising 12/3/2016, 11:17 pm

» SFG not giving the results I expected
by No_Such_Reality 12/3/2016, 7:21 pm

» New Member
by trolleydriver 12/3/2016, 4:14 pm

» First season SFG results / lessons learned
by countrynaturals 12/3/2016, 10:36 am

» Eat Broccoli Leaves? Brussels Sprouts? Cauliflower?
by sanderson 12/3/2016, 2:55 am

» Winter's Coming!
by sanderson 12/3/2016, 2:53 am

» Dry versus fresh spices to infuse vinegar
by sanderson 12/3/2016, 2:50 am

» Senseless Banter...
by MrBooker 12/2/2016, 5:17 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Compost Tea

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Compost Tea

Post  DevinGoulding on 2/5/2012, 4:52 pm

Wondering if anyone out there has ever used compost tea with their SFGs. Any experience? I'm planning on brewing my own and spreading it out every two-three weeks to help keep nutrients in the soil high since I plan on being aggressive in my interplanting/succession planting this year.

Thoughts?

DevinGoulding

Male Posts : 11
Join date : 2011-08-19
Location : Chicago, IL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  camprn on 2/5/2012, 5:06 pm

I love it. I use it every few weeks during the growing season. I don't do all the high falutin' aerating and stuff, I just put a shovelful of compost in a 5 gallon bucket, stir it with a stick and let it sit for a day or two. Then use the watering can and pour it right over the tops of the plants, so the roots and the foliage get nutrients. This is the only time I water from above. There are several previous threads that touch on this and you may find them useful. What a Face

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  plantoid on 2/5/2012, 6:10 pm

For uncooked stuff ie salad crops i'd suggest you only water the ground as quite likely that a lot of thes compost teas still carry harmful bacteria .

Putting such tea on strawberry fruits is definitely a NO NO for your likely to get a bad dose of ecoli.

plantoid

Male Posts : 3636
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 65

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  DevinGoulding on 2/5/2012, 10:31 pm

A couple of clarifying questions to you both. First, when you say water from above, camprn, do you mean water the leaves/veggies and not just the soil at the base of the stem?

Second, plantoid, are you recommending making sure to only water the soil of plants such as lettuce and strawberries, or recommending not using compost tea on anything that will be consumed raw?

I'm definitely planning on aerating, since getting some unsoldered molasses, a gang valve, some aquarium tubing, and a pump are not expensive and will add to the quality of the tea.

Thanks!

Devin

DevinGoulding

Male Posts : 11
Join date : 2011-08-19
Location : Chicago, IL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  shannon1 on 2/6/2012, 4:11 am

I make mine like camprn but cover the bucket. I then leave it brew for a week in a sunny spot stiring once daily. Great stuff. I just water it into the ground, not because of nasty bacteria but here in St.Augustine DM, PM, blights and smuts and a big risk.

shannon1

Posts : 1697
Join date : 2011-04-01
Location : zone 9a St.Johns county FL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  quiltbea on 2/6/2012, 12:21 pm

I basically do it like camprn but don't water the foliage.

I put a couple of trowels of compost in a kitty litter bucket already filled with water warmed from the sun, stir with a stick, and water with a half-gal size lemonade pitcher that has a strainer in the spout to catch the solids. When my pitcher is empty, I toss the solids back in the bucket. What small solids manage to pass thru while watering I consider a bonus to the surrounding soil. Then I refill the bucket with more water and stir again and leave it to warm in the sunshine for later waterings. I stir the water whenever I happen to pass it. I understand that stirring oxygenates the water so that helpful microbes that are great for the crops, can multiply. They can't do that in stagnant water.

I'm the type to pick and eat while I'm checking my plants so won't put compost tea on my leaves. E coli could easily be passed to us thru compost.

quiltbea

Female Posts : 4613
Join date : 2010-03-21
Age : 74
Location : Southwestern Maine Zone 5A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  plantoid on 2/6/2012, 6:57 pm

Yes Devin , exactly what you say .

Some folks get by the bacterial stuff angle by using baby bottle sterilizing solution at a recommended level to sterilize the crops before eating .. ( still not good for Strawberrries or soft " top fruits " )

We have such bottle sterilizers called " MILTON " it's sodium hypochlorite & there are instructions on the container how to use it .

plantoid

Male Posts : 3636
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 65

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  shannon1 on 2/7/2012, 3:48 am

Is it not sad that due to "modern" factory farming even our organic gardens can make us ill. Grass pastured cattle due not harbor ecoli only feed lot cattle and even they would shed 90% of e-coli if put in the feild ofr only 2 weeks.Rolling Eyes

shannon1

Posts : 1697
Join date : 2011-04-01
Location : zone 9a St.Johns county FL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  LaborDay RN on 2/7/2012, 4:36 am

I agree that grass/pasture feed meat is the healthiest for humans as well as for the animals, but being a health care professional, I'd like to add something here. All beef can harbor E. coli. It's a gram negative bacterium found in the lower intestines of warm blooded organism. While grass/pasture fed beef may harbor less, it still needs to be safely handled like any other beef. E coli is nothing to mess with, most especially for the young, elderly or those with weakened immune systems.
Here's an interesting article from Penn State on the subject http://meatblogger.org/2009/12/06/grass-feeding-of-beef-does-not-ensure-beef-safety/

RN taking off her nurse hat salute


LaborDay RN

Female Posts : 77
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : So. Cal. High Desert USDA Zone 8b, Sunset Zone 11

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  shannon1 on 2/7/2012, 6:54 am

I'm not a nurse but I was a vet tech for 10yrs. I did not say grass fed beef was completely free of e-coli. Here is alittle something from Cornell University I found interesting. http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/sept98/acid.relief.hrs.html

shannon1

Posts : 1697
Join date : 2011-04-01
Location : zone 9a St.Johns county FL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  Windsor.Parker on 2/7/2012, 11:07 am

@DevinGoulding wrote:... to help keep nutrients in the soil high since I plan on being aggressive in my interplanting/succession planting this year...
My plans are similar, and we're in the same area, too!

Windsor.Parker

Male Posts : 355
Join date : 2011-12-12
Age : 69
Location : Chicago, South Shore, c. 100yds to Lake Michigan, Zone 6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Compost Tea

Post  DevinGoulding on 2/7/2012, 10:07 pm

Windsor.Parker - I'm on the West Side of the city near Oak Park. Keep us/me updated on what is working for you so I can steal ideas Very Happy

I'm definitely going to continue to do some reading on the Compost Tea. Reached out to some people that work with the community garden two blocks from my house to see if they want to join in with me or have experience. I'll keep you posted.

-D

DevinGoulding

Male Posts : 11
Join date : 2011-08-19
Location : Chicago, IL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  fiddleman on 2/7/2012, 10:25 pm

I have never needed compost tea in my All New Square Foot Garden. Can't hurt too much I suppose, but a heaping trowelful of compost planted and mixed into the square when you harvest works awfully well... I think it's because the roots will go where they will since the Mel's mix is so friable.

When I row gardened I found compost tea helpful. I would suggest trying out a couple of boxes where you compost tea directly on the roots for some plants, and just water and regular Mel's mix on the others. Likely as not since Mel's mix is already chocked full of nutrients, you won't see any real benefit.

It's really easy to believe you still need to do all the things you used to do in traditional row gardening... most of it isn't necessary though. Too much of a good thing is sometimes worse than too little of a good thing. For example, if there is too much nitrogen in the soil, your carrots can have multiple rootlets growing out of them making them look like they have a beard. Vitamin A is a necessary nutrient for us, but too much will turn your skin orange. More isn't always better.

If your plants seem to be weak, not leafing out correctly, or pale green, check for bugs, good soil temp, and well watered mix, if these all check out THEN try the compost tea. If it ain't needed, it ain't needed. If nothing is wrong, then nothing needs to be done to "fix" it.

Mark

fiddleman

Male Posts : 121
Join date : 2011-03-21
Location : Mid Michigan

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  shannon1 on 2/8/2012, 4:25 am

@fiddleman wrote:I have never needed compost tea in my All New Square Foot Garden. Can't hurt too much I suppose, but a heaping trowelful of compost planted and mixed into the square when you harvest works awfully well...

If your plants seem to be weak, not leafing out correctly, or pale green, check for bugs, good soil temp, and well watered mix, if these all check out THEN try the compost tea. If it ain't needed, it ain't needed. If nothing is wrong, then nothing needs to be done to "fix" it.

Mark
Good advice, I do use CT but like anything only sparingly. Even Mel says there is no one growing medium that is perfect for every place, but MM is the best over all for most. Down here in the heat of summer plants are under a great deal of stress, even with 2x daly watering I have found compost tea the perfect pick me up, well for the plants, ice tea and shade for me.Smile In fact I wonder if the frequent watering might not be washing some of the good stuff out of the MM but if I don't do it the plants wilt and die. Many folks just don't garden for the hottest 2 months of the year but I need my garden or I go bat crazy.

shannon1

Posts : 1697
Join date : 2011-04-01
Location : zone 9a St.Johns county FL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  boffer on 2/8/2012, 11:48 am

I'm going to agree with fiddleman on this one. Making compost tea is about extracting bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes from compost. Due to the nature of MM, we already have those things in our growing medium. The amount of nutrients that are extracted are very small. It is recommended that a farmer apply compost tea to his soil at the rate of 20 gallons per acre; there's not many nutrients in that. You can do the research to see if anaerobic or aerobic produced tea is best, and which provides the type of content you wish to apply. You can do harm by killing the good stuff if you don't make your tea properly.

Compost tea is just another tool for the commercial farmer that has been adopted by backyard gardeners with little comparison testing. The backyard row gardener might see some improvement in his topsoil from the use of compost tea because it contains so little organic material to begin with. But, with the large amount of compost already in MM, compost tea will usually provide more benefits for the SFG gardener than the SFG garden.

The good stuff in compost tea like bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes can be measured in a soils lab, but the cost is generally prohibitive for a backyard gardener. Our best test available is to do side-by-side same year comparisons by applying compost tea to half of our plants, and leaving the other half alone as our control. If you're a firm believer in compost tea, how about doing side-by-side tests this year and reporting on the results so we all may learn.

As SFGers, we have a fantastic advantage over row gardeners. For row gardeners, if one gardener shows an improvement by the addition of green sand, for example, it doesn't necessarily help the gardener four counties away who may be gardening in completely different soil. If a SFGer can prove that a new procedure/technique/additive is beneficial, then we all can benefit because we have similar growing mediums ie. MM by the book.

I found this to be a good resource:
http://www.soilfoodweb.com/sfi_approach3.html








boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 63
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  camprn on 2/8/2012, 11:52 am

@fiddleman wrote:If your plants seem to be weak, not leafing out correctly, or pale green, check for bugs, good soil temp, and well watered mix, if these all check out THEN try the compost tea. If it ain't needed, it ain't needed. If nothing is wrong, then nothing needs to be done to "fix" it. Mark
+1

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  januaryX on 2/8/2012, 8:25 pm

Given the amount of compost in MM, if I were seeing growth issues in my plants, I would be inclined to give a dose of fish emulsion rather than compost tea.

januaryX

Posts : 51
Join date : 2012-01-10
Location : CA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  shannon1 on 2/9/2012, 1:06 am

@boffer wrote: Our best test available is to do side-by-side same year comparisons by applying compost tea to half of our plants, and leaving the other half alone as our control. If you're a firm believer in compost tea, how about doing side-by-side tests this year and reporting on the results so we all may learn.
Boffer I would love to do just such an experiment. I just have one 4x6 TT so no room. I know it helps in my garden. I hope in the not so distant future I will be able to do just such a test. I learned of compost tea in Mel's org. book of course back then we did not use MM. I was interesting to learn it is use in commercial farming. Perhaps I have too many drainage holes in the bottom of my TT and that's why when I water so much in the summer heat it leaches out the goodies.

shannon1

Posts : 1697
Join date : 2011-04-01
Location : zone 9a St.Johns county FL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  fiddleman on 2/9/2012, 4:58 pm

@shannon1 wrote:Boffer I would love to do just such an experiment. I just have one 4x6 TT so no room. I know it helps in my garden. I hope in the not so distant future I will be able to do just such a test. I learned of compost tea in Mel's org. book of course back then we did not use MM. I was interesting to learn it is use in commercial farming. Perhaps I have too many drainage holes in the bottom of my TT and that's why when I water so much in the summer heat it leaches out the goodies.

I am curious as to what the results to a test like this would be. My climate rarely gets to be a problem with heat, so I don't think about it too much. I usually just mulch out the garden to reduce the water needs for the garden. I have enough shade that I don't worry about heating up the soil too much making the soil evaporate out of the garden too quickly.

I wonder if some shade cloth / mulch would be in your future experiments. I would think in Florida it would be a requirement in the heat. Here in Michigan it (shade cloth and mulch)is only ever needed for things like lettuce and then only for about 2 weeks in the summer usually, the rest of the time we get enough rain/clouds to decrease the watering needs.

Mark

fiddleman

Male Posts : 121
Join date : 2011-03-21
Location : Mid Michigan

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  shannon1 on 2/10/2012, 2:51 am

@fiddleman wrote:
@shannon1 wrote:Boffer I would love to do just such an experiment. I just have one 4x6 TT so no room. I know it helps in my garden. I hope in the not so distant future I will be able to do just such a test. I learned of compost tea in Mel's org. book of course back then we did not use MM. I was interesting to learn it is use in commercial farming. Perhaps I have too many drainage holes in the bottom of my TT and that's why when I water so much in the summer heat it leaches out the goodies.

I am curious as to what the results to a test like this would be. My climate rarely gets to be a problem with heat, so I don't think about it too much. I usually just mulch out the garden to reduce the water needs for the garden. I have enough shade that I don't worry about heating up the soil too much making the soil evaporate out of the garden too quickly.

I wonder if some shade cloth / mulch would be in your future experiments. I would think in Florida it would be a requirement in the heat. Here in Michigan it (shade cloth and mulch)is only ever needed for things like lettuce and then only for about 2 weeks in the summer usually, the rest of the time we get enough rain/clouds to decrease the watering needs.

Mark
oh yes Fiddleman I do use shade cloth too I shold have said so.

shannon1

Posts : 1697
Join date : 2011-04-01
Location : zone 9a St.Johns county FL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  shannon1 on 2/10/2012, 11:39 pm

I am growing cucumbers in two 16" pots and my plan was to grow sweet success in one and marketmore 76 in the other, 2 plants per. pot with a trelis between them. Now I have decided to grow one of each per. pot next to each other (so they will get the same sun light), measure liquid so each get the same amount but one will only get water and the other will get CT.

Like I've said I the it is the very hot summers that make compost tea a booster here but I'm eager to find out if it realy makes a differance I will keep every one posted on the results.

shannon1

Posts : 1697
Join date : 2011-04-01
Location : zone 9a St.Johns county FL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  camprn on 3/3/2012, 8:43 pm

Here is an interesting read about the debate of e.coli in manure compost tea, anaerobic vs aerobic brewing and probably more than you ever wanted to know. affraid Here's a good tip: Wash your veggies before you eat them.Wink
http://www.dirtdoctor.com/newforum/root/e-coli-in-manure-compost-tea-t1380.html

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  walshevak on 3/3/2012, 9:00 pm

From the above link.

I'm confident that the review will exonerate compost tea, but I think the whole matter illustrates a bias. There doesn't seem to be much hand wringing when, or over the fact that, pesticides or toxics in general are used in manners inconsistent with directions or "guidelines." The USDA and company sure seem to treat similar indiscretions in the organic world harshly by comparison. If Monsanto produced/sold compost tea, I doubt we'd hear a peep about potential pathogens

Had to laugh at this.

____________________________

A WEED IS A FLOWER GROWING IN THE WRONG PLACE
Elizabeth City, NC
Find more about Weather in Elizabeth City, NC
Click for weather forecast

walshevak

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4310
Join date : 2010-10-17
Age : 73
Location : wilmington, nc zone 8

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  shannon1 on 3/4/2012, 1:20 am

@walshevak wrote:From the above link.

I'm confident that the review will exonerate compost tea, but I think the whole matter illustrates a bias. There doesn't seem to be much hand wringing when, or over the fact that, pesticides or toxics in general are used in manners inconsistent with directions or "guidelines." The USDA and company sure seem to treat similar indiscretions in the organic world harshly by comparison. If Monsanto produced/sold compost tea, I doubt we'd hear a peep about potential pathogens

Had to laugh at this.
Still have not planted my cuc exparment yet but I will let you guys know when I do and will be taking pics. I'm just as eager as the rest of you to see if there is indeed any differance.

shannon1

Posts : 1697
Join date : 2011-04-01
Location : zone 9a St.Johns county FL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Compost Tea

Post  Sponsored content Today at 5:36 am


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum