Compost Tea

Buy fish tank oxygenator
5 Gal bucketCompost Bins from pallets
Worm Castings
Compost

Instead of waiting to buy the “right” ingredients, Instagram.com/GardenSchoolFoundation inspired me to just make it!

10/29/14
First batch I used:
Two Big handfuls Compost
2Tbsp Fish Emulsion w/Kelp
2Tbsp Molasses
in a 5 gal Bucket almost full of water – oxygenated a bit by sprinkling the water in and stirring occasionally over the next 24 hours. (OK to leave for up to 48 hours)
Tested on 2yr old Brussels Sprouts and Arabian Jasmine & all greenhouse starts that were producing little and getting eaten by bugs, and relatively new Goji Berry and Ashwaganda Plants.
The next day I mixed it again and was rather surprised by the pleasant scent!  It then occurred to me that it was rich, but slightly sweet – like molasses.
I planned to watch for ants, but there didn’t seem to be any more than normal. A weekly habit may be in order to feed all of our trees.  Next time I will add Kelp and crushed eggshells.
One week later: Greenhouse plants and every plant I used the tea on were fluorishing!  Darker green and beautiful!  The only plant this was not true for was the one I dumped the bottom of the bucket onto.  (How could this be so different?!)
The almost two year old Luffa plant had been happy the week before but now the leaves were curling up as though it wasn’t getting water.  Upon closer inspection I found white bugs with soft bodies attached in huge quantities to one of the branches.
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2nd Batch 11/5/14:
– Two Big handfuls Compost
– Handful of Kelp
– Handful of finely crushed eggshells (4-5)
– Handful Fish Emulsion w/Kelp
– 2Tbsp Molasses
in a 5 gal Bucket almost full of water – oxygenated a bit by sprinkling the water in and stirring occasionally over the next 24 hours. (OK to leave for up to 48 hours)

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Some plants – like most seedlings in the greenhouse seemed to LOVE this compost and grow faster.  Other plants – like the ones that prefer poorer, alkaline soils did NOT like this treatment.  After one day, the Luffa had leaves that shriveled up and looked dead.  I watered in the hopes of diluting the offensive liquid and the plant recovered until the first frost.  The Goji berry tree that I put compost on developed a rust-colored moist dusting over all the leaves and two months later still has it…

I just purchased a fish tank oxygenator so that more oxygen can be infused into the mixture.  The hopes is that the increased oxygen and time will increase the beneficial bacteria population and feed the plants better.  I will update as the results come in – suggestions are welcome!!