What is considered good compost to make compost tea from. I thought that the compost from my worm composting bin would be the best but after doing a search on this site I discovered a new word to me "leachate" is this what is left in the worm bin when they are done with my food scraps?  Also I read posts about not using it as a foliar spray. I got a long spill at a new organic supply yesterday about the compost tea sprays and all the bennefits of it.

Can somebody elaborate? Thanks

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Compost tea or worm tea should be made from finished (cured or aged) compost and you make a "tea bag" with some of the compost or worm castings and you suspend them in some non treated water to make the tea.  It is even better to add aeration and some carbohydrate source to really boost the good bacteria.  Then you need to strain/dilute and use the tea quickly.

The stuff that drips out the bottom of a worm bin is as you say, leachate and not necessarily good for plants, it is really just the garbage juice or worm pee as some people joke.  It is not necessarily bad but it could be since it is really just the raw juice of whatever was put in the bin.


Go to youtube and do a search on BOB WEBSTER COMPOST TEA - all you ever wanted to know about aerated compost tea.  His, answer, I think, would be compost made from a wide variety of materials on your property, the idea being that diverse materials result in a diversity of bacteria and other microbes.  I've used it, not much as a foliar spray but usually as a soil drench.  A lot of people swear by worm casting foliar spray but for what exactly I don't remember. 

That is a very interesting set of videos George. I had already started a batch of worm compost tea when I asked my question. After watching some of the lecture, I felt confident enough about spraying and watering plants around the yard and the ap systems. I tryed to avoid getting it on the Basil because the last time I got some on Basil it seemed to cause  a little leaf damage. Phytotoxicity or something else similar.

we have been making our own teas in our store for  little while now we use RO water, a good aerobic compost, black strap molasses and some fish hydrolysate (spelling?), massive aeration is a must to get a good bacteria colony, i havent had much thought as to use it in AP do people only use it for foliar feeding or would it help or hinder the beds?

I've used a worm tea foliar feed for years in my hydroponic, ebb and flow system. We just converted the system to aquaponics, this year. Still wondering of a light foliar feed to the plants would be harmful to the fish. Any thoughts?

  Worm casting tea made of pure worm castings that is brewed has many benefits for your plants and will not harm the AP system at all.  One needs to take care to completely clean the components that are used to brew your worm casting tea in between uses.  Just like in anything else, harmful bacteria can bloom in uncleaned components.  When brewing worm casting tea, the purpose is to increase the beneficial microbial population.  If there are spefically 'un'-beneficial bacteria lurking in an uncleaned brewing component, you can bloom that population right along with the good ones and introduce something you had no intention of introducing, and in great numbers.

   When people make a generic compost tea, there is the chance of introducing bad bacteria to an AP system.  Take care when doing this.  I do not recommend using a generic compost tea in conjunction with an AP system simply because an AP system is a 'closed loop' (term loosely used) system, in that anything introduced into the system is there, and has the chance of growing along with your fish and plants, be it good or bad.  There are specific cautions that need to be adhered to when making a generic compost tea...something I am not taking the time to address here. It is not impossible to do safely, but should be left to those who understand the microbiological components of the specific compost  they are dealing with and how to manage them.  If one is not confident with this specific knowledge, it could be like playing with fire.

  So in short, using worm casting tea that is brewed correctly is safe to use as foliar feeding in an AP system.  In general Generic Compost Teas should be only attempted to be used with an AP system by those who know the microbial make up of the compost they are dealing with.  Hope this is helpful....

What do you mean by generic? I have been using a pump to aerate the tea, which is made with worm compost (bagged),fish hydrolysate, humic acid, a soluable kelp product, azomite and molasses. All I have done to clean up is to rinse and wipe down as best as possilbe. The pvc pipes always have a stained color to them. Should I bleach all the components? This may be how I got bacterial spot in my system! 

Now I hope someone has some idea how to get rid of it! 


 
Converse said:

  Worm casting tea made of pure worm castings that is brewed has many benefits for your plants and will not harm the AP system at all.  One needs to take care to completely clean the components that are used to brew your worm casting tea in between uses.  Just like in anything else, harmful bacteria can bloom in uncleaned components.  When brewing worm casting tea, the purpose is to increase the beneficial microbial population.  If there are spefically 'un'-beneficial bacteria lurking in an uncleaned brewing component, you can bloom that population right along with the good ones and introduce something you had no intention of introducing, and in great numbers.

   When people make a generic compost tea, there is the chance of introducing bad bacteria to an AP system.  Take care when doing this.  I do not recommend using a generic compost tea in conjunction with an AP system simply because an AP system is a 'closed loop' (term loosely used) system, in that anything introduced into the system is there, and has the chance of growing along with your fish and plants, be it good or bad.  There are specific cautions that need to be adhered to when making a generic compost tea...something I am not taking the time to address here. It is not impossible to do safely, but should be left to those who understand the microbiological components of the specific compost  they are dealing with and how to manage them.  If one is not confident with this specific knowledge, it could be like playing with fire.

  So in short, using worm casting tea that is brewed correctly is safe to use as foliar feeding in an AP system.  In general Generic Compost Teas should be only attempted to be used with an AP system by those who know the microbial make up of the compost they are dealing with.  Hope this is helpful....

I think when converse says "generic" compost he is talking about NOT worm castings but just regular yard compost or whatever other compost.    I would tend to agree that regular compost (not worm castings) is not really appropriate for the average person to make compost tea sprays out of since it is really quite a challenge to be sure the composting was done right to make sure the tea won't be brewing the wrong things.  So I would tend to use the regular yard compost in the soil garden and I'll stick with the worm poop teas to spray on my plants.

Heidi. What is Azomite? I am thinking that it is the same thing as a locally made product called Biozome but I don't really even know what it is.  My tea has lately been worm compost that is mostly castings, Biozome. black strap mollassis, Maxicrop and a little shot of h.p. macro nutes. aerated for about 24 hours , when the bubbling  has subsided a lot .Mostly using it on soil grown plants around the yard but sprayed it on ap plants hanging out of the ap grow bed, not directly above them. The reaction from the plants is amazing.

  Thank you TCLynx, you are absolutely correct on what I was referring to.  Just got back form a day of projects..so I am glad you clarified that point about "generic" compost tea.   Worm Casting Tea is made from pure worm castings;  screened to make sure you get just castings and not matter that has not gone through the gut of the redworms.

   I do not think that you need to bleach everything you use to brew your work casting tea with. It would not hurt though. It does need to be washed and scrubbed.  We use a combination of vinegar.  Water. Natural soaps.  Care needs to be used with bleach to be sure it is thoroughly rinsed, rinsed, rinsed. It is possible that uncleaned equipment can harbor a problem that will bloom into a terrible accident in an AP System 

   Regular/generic/yard compost (other terms used?) should be reserved for your soil gardens as TCLynx clarified.

  Many thanks for that.

just to note in terms of clean down your much better off not using a harsh scrubbing brush or scourer and using a soft sponge the scrathes in the surface of plastics etc provide a place for bacteria to live, both good and bad.

another cleaning option instead of bleach would be hydrogen peroxide which breaks down into harmless stuff after it does it's job of oxidizing any bacteria that were left over after washing the equipment.  I don't like using bleach much since it tends to be harsh on me, can't stand smelling it.

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