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Is This Compost Tea or just Yucky Stuff?

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Is This Compost Tea or just Yucky Stuff?

Post  vjam5555 on 5/19/2011, 12:06 am

Hi Everyone,

I have a glass jar (about 1.5 gal) by my sink where I throw in all of my kitchen scraps for the compost pile. Though I line it with a plastic bag, sometimes the liquid from the scraps manages to get out of the bag and accumulates at the bottom of the jar. Stinky stuff! Is this compost tea?

Also, can old orange juice and unsweetened tea be added to the compost pile when liquid is needed? I let a little bit of both go bad, and didn't want to further waste it...but now, they're sitting on my deck in plastic milk bottles waiting for me to pour them out - somewhere. Please advise, especially about the tea... Many thanks!
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Re: Is This Compost Tea or just Yucky Stuff?

Post  Barkie on 5/19/2011, 5:17 am

For the compost heap I think tea without milk is fine and the orange juice should be ok and better if you water it down.

I don't know what you put in your kitchen scrap bin or what molds and bacteria it might contain so I can't say what's safe.

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Re: Is This Compost Tea or just Yucky Stuff?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/19/2011, 9:15 am

I don't think that's "tea," but I think it's similar. The "stink" is some kind of anaearobic bacteria that isn't desired in compost. Not necessarily harmful, just not desired. That stink is generally caused by a lack of oxygen. But, the bacteria is still doing it's job....decomposing stuff.

It's obviously not ready yet. Not like fully composted scraps. But, it's likely got some nutrients in it. I wouldn't mind using the stuff myself, stink and all.

As for the stuff not being safe for you to consume, as long as you don't eat the dirt, I imagine you are fine. There is worse stuff in the dirt, for one. And, two, I don't think that's enough "juice" to hurt you....it's just such a small sample size.

I think that's what I'll call the stinky stuff.....Compost Juice. Happy Gardening!

Disclaimer: I am not a biologist. Do your research before you take anything I just said for gospel. I am only telling you why I think it's a "risk" I would have no problem taking. I don't know what's right for you.
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Re: Is This Compost Tea or just Yucky Stuff?

Post  nancy on 5/19/2011, 12:38 pm

Some compost bins have a catch basin underneath to collect the liquid. I would add water to it and let it sit for a little while and then use it.

And I would think the oj would be okay to add. Does it have added sugar? That would be my only concern. I throw all my tea bags into my bin, so your unsweetened tea should be fine as well.
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Re: Is This Compost Tea or just Yucky Stuff?

Post  laurainwinona on 5/20/2011, 2:30 am

I've wondered what exactly compst tea is. I discovered that the bin I put my finished compost in is not watertight. After it rains, the finished compost is waterlogged and there is dark-colored water sitting on top. I think this might be called compost tea. I have poured it off and watered my garden with it. Can't say it did anything one way or the other.

I collect scraps for composting in an old bucket, and liquid seeps out of the scraps and gets stinky sometimes in my bucket, too. I dump it and the scraps on top of my compost pile and it seems to be just fine.
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Re: Is This Compost Tea or just Yucky Stuff?

Post  WardinWake on 5/20/2011, 10:16 am

@laurainwinona wrote:I've wondered what exactly compst tea is. I discovered that the bin I put my finished compost in is not watertight. After it rains, the finished compost is waterlogged and there is dark-colored water sitting on top. I think this might be called compost tea. I have poured it off and watered my garden with it. Can't say it did anything one way or the other.

I collect scraps for composting in an old bucket, and liquid seeps out of the scraps and gets stinky sometimes in my bucket, too. I dump it and the scraps on top of my compost pile and it seems to be just fine.
..
Howdy Folks:

Here is a handy link for making compost tea. You don't have to go into it this deep if you don't want to, but, it would work like a charm. Most folks that I have heard about just soak compost in a bucket until it is ready and then strain it before use. Go to the link and there is more info.

www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/airwaste/wm/recycle/​Tea/​tea1.htm

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
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Re: Is This Compost Tea or just Yucky Stuff?

Post  pattipan on 5/20/2011, 10:40 am

Ward's link wasn't complete, so I'm re-posting it here. Plus another similar web page about compost tea.

http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/airwaste/wm/RECYCLE/Tea/tea3.htm

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

I left a bucket out in the rain (unintentionally) with about and inch of blended compost in it. I thought I had compost tea after the rain...but apparently the process is much more involved than I realized! Smile

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Re: Is This Compost Tea or just Yucky Stuff?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/20/2011, 4:06 pm

This is why I was asking earlier this season about compost tea. These concepts are far too involved for me to care about. And, it's yet another expense to set up with a bubbler and hoses and all that time...bla bla bla.

I like the way you guys have told me here. Ward's "easy way." I have a friend, locally, that does things the easy way and he is absolutely thrilled. He says his really stinks, but he likes that aspect because it makes him feel like it's working. His neighbors never smell it, either.

I don't mind the smell, and I love the quickness of the easier method of compost in a bucket...just add water and strain.
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Re: Is This Compost Tea or just Yucky Stuff?

Post  elliephant on 5/20/2011, 10:50 pm

Yeah, I just started making some with a new batch of "super compost" that I mixed up (5 kinds of compost plus a few amendments). I just put it in a pillowcase in a 5 gallon bucket and ran some water through, using the pillowcase like a really big tea bag. It hasn't gotten stinky (at least not in a bad way) yet. I used it a couple of days ago, then added more water and I'll use it again tomorrow.

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Re: Is This Compost Tea or just Yucky Stuff?

Post  TN_GARDENER on 7/11/2011, 8:04 pm

No need to over think the compost tea thing.

Sure, having an aquarium bubbler makes some fine compost tea, but the old pillow-case tea bag full of compost also works (I always think of Don Meredith and that sun tea commercial Very Happy)

Regarding the o.p. If it were me, I'd take that super concentrated stuff and dilute it (simply dumping it into the watering can would suffice).

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Re: Is This Compost Tea or just Yucky Stuff?

Post  Aub on 7/11/2011, 9:04 pm

I tried to do the compost tea thing and just got a big smelly bucket of "dog repellant". That's what we called the awful mess we made as kids in a half barrel in Nana's backyard. OMG it smelled terrible! It repelled everything in a 1 mile radius I'm sure.
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Re: Is This Compost Tea or just Yucky Stuff?

Post  elliephant on 7/12/2011, 9:47 am

After a couple more days it did get incredibly stinky!

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Re: Is This Compost Tea or just Yucky Stuff?

Post  camprn on 7/12/2011, 11:12 am

I try to use the 5 gallon bucket of compost tea about 2 days after it begins brewing. It usually doesn't stink then but even if it smells awful the plants love it. Very Happy
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Re: Is This Compost Tea or just Yucky Stuff?

Post  Barkie on 7/13/2011, 2:52 am

A guy who writes for a weekly garden newspaper here keeps a bag of sheep manure in one of his rainwater barrels and makes a tea of soot.

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