Question on compost teas!

Can anyone tell me about compost teas and how they work? How often are you suppose to put it on your plants. And what all do you put in it? And how exactly does it work? And are you supoose to use the teas along with the nutrients you put on your plants on a regular schedule?

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@garrigan62 should be able to answer this

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I hope this helps



microbes improve nutrient uptake

Compost tea is generally used as the generic term for the official name, Actively Aerated Compost Tea (AACT). It means that extra oxygen is added into the water to promote aerobic conditions that support healthy populations of microorganisms.

Making excellent compost tea starts with good compost and quality ingredients. When brewing with high quality ingredients, you help populate diverse groups of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes. The relationships of these microorganisms work synergistically with the plants root systems and leaf surfaces to facilitate nutrient uptake and overall health.

Here are some of the important benefits that can be gained through its use:
Increased interactions with soil biology allow nutrients to be available at rates plants require. This means using fertilizers 1/2 to 1/3 of the time.
Out-compete disease causing organisms using foliar sprays. This means beneficial organisms occupy the plants surface, which leaves no room for pathogens to infect the plant.
Recharge recycled soil allowing it to be reused infinitely. This means focusing on amending the soil instead of buying more, which saves you money and the labor of having to transport soil.
Increase water-holding capacity of soils thereby reducing overall water use. This means stewardship.
Build soil poor in structure. This is helpful for agriculture land that needs conditioning to improve topsoil by creating a thicker O horizon.
Repair soil damaged by synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. This means decomposing toxins and reestablishing a healthy soil foodweb.

Below is a list of all the current ingredients we use for our recipes. These ingredients are not usually used all at once. They also vary in amount for each recipe we provide in The Original Compost Tea Calculator™. Our recipes provide well-balanced ratios of essential nutrients, which in turn promote plant growth, vigor and yields as well as an increased resistance to pests and pathogens. The app that uses these ratios was designed with the help of advanced biological algorithms that are progressive in advancing organic and biological farming practices.
*We will be adding new nutrients and recipes as our app evolves…

Worm Castings
Fish Hydrolysate
Kelp (Powder/Liquid)
Phosphorus Guano
Unsulphured Molasses
Humic Acid
Glacial Rock
Alfalfa Meal
Bacillus Subtillus

Use dechlorinated water
Use quality ingredients
Keep your tea well oxygenated
Use a tea bag of 400 micron (~39 mesh) for best results
Keep track of the time your tea is brewing
Don’t use sour, foul or putrid smelling compost tea
Clean your equipment! Don’t let the biofilm (slime) build up
Go buy The Original Compost Tea Calculator™!
Have fun creating life!!!

Organic grow with compost tea as main feed
Soil Building Organic Soil

The article below was from Boogie Brew web site. Good read for those who want to grow without using chemistry set/petroleum based nutrients for your health. Read the ingredients of everything you will put in your mouth, on your skin or your lungs. We are what we eat.
Harnessing the benefits of Compost Tea in the garden
Commercial grape growers in Sonoma and Napa pay big bucks for beneficial biology consulting. And for good reason—the right blend of microbiology in their soils can significantly increase the market value of their wine by promoting sophisticated flavors and bouquets.
How do we capture this biology to work in our gardens? Give it up for microorganisms! Microbes are responsible for aiding endless processes, feeding plants and protecting them from disease. They help to create the very soil that serves to support the entirety of life. We have become conditioned by modern marketing to foster a disdain for microbial creatures (eg hand sanitizers & antibiotics.) Healthy soil is alive with microbes. They form important relationships with the plants we depend on for food. Think of little ?compost conversion‘ factories. Imagine the potential for increasing the life in your garden by learning how to breed these microbes! We‘re talking about ?actively aerated compost tea? or AACT for short. It‘s ?life juice? for your plants—a brown soup full of beneficial microbiology, essential compo- nents of any organic growing. Brewing compost tea is easy and can be done in many ways. You take some compost and other humus as a source for microorganisms and grow them to high concentrations in an aerated water solution comprised of food sources and catalysts to unleash the soil food web in full glory! Microbes and plants are teammates; compost tea replenishes this wonderful relationship.
There are billions of microorganisms and thousands of feet of fungal hyphae in a teaspoon of quality compost. Microbes are so abundant, that it‘s no issue to promote huge numbers when discussing them in compost tea. Up to 500,000 bacteria can fit in the period of this sentence. When it comes to brewing your own microbes, high numbers are easy, but the number of microbes present in a biological sample is nowhere near as important as the diversity and strength of those organisms. Total numbers are relevant when evaluating whether a humus product is stable, but it does not address a critical aspect —how well the product works in real-life growing.
No living organism operates autonomously. There is a symbiosis, or ?give and take,? found in the natural world that we take for granted. Think you grow your plants? Sorry but it‘s more likely that you get in the way and mess with the magic! All microbes operate by way of teammates. They play off of each other; one teammate unlocking another‘s ability. The big man cannot dunk without assistance from the point guard. When 52 different organisms (ones that were grown in a Petri dish) are brought together as an end product intended for use in a gardening, the result is compromised. Staying with our basket- ball analogy, the team‘s overall ability is hindered if all the players are not on the court and what hap- pens if the coach puts the players in the wrong positions? Microbes don‘t play basketball, so you may be forgiven for thinking that it‘s not feasible to identify ability in microbes. But check out some Bt prod- ucts. Bt is a bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis. It‘s used in gardening because it‘s gentle with plants, but very capable of parasitizing the larval stage of common pests. The Bt organisms that fight larvae such as caterpillars are called the kurstaki strain and Bt aimed at mosquitos is named israelensis.

So, you want to brew your own tea. Where to start? The answer is humus!
Microorganisms are found dormant in quality humus sources like compost
or worm castings, but can be awakened to grow with ideal conditions. There
are different methods for brewing compost tea (AACT). Just add your humus
source to water and use air pumps to increase oxygen in the water to grow
microbes. Add some food catalysts for the microbes to grow, such as molasses,
kelp, rock dust, fish, humate, etc.
To brew compost tea, you‘ll need: An aquarium pump large enough to run
three bubblers. Several feet of tubing, three air stones, a gang valve,
plus a bucket. A porous bag for the compost, like a nylon stocking. A
small air pump is sufficient for 10 gallons. If you want to use higher
volumes of water, get a larger pump. As your tea brews (8–24 hours) you
will notice a layer of foam forming on the surface. This is a result of
the proteins produced by biological growth and a good sign that your
compost tea (or rather the life within) is flourishing. When brewing AACT,
wamer water favors biology, but lowers oxygen. Colder water slows biological
growth…so brew AACT at a similar temperature to where it‘s being used.

The food source utilized when brewing compost tea can determine the microbe grown. An acre of land left fallow will begin to regenerate using annual plants (weeds), and then pro- gress into more perennial species (grass, vegetables) until it culminates into a forest (perennial hardwoods). Over the course of this natural process, fungi become gradually more dominant than bacteria. This is evident in the fungal dominance of old growth forests.
So what does this knowledge mean? Well, you can use it to brew compost teas that make more sense to what you are growing. For instance, a sugar source like molasses fed to a bal- anced stable compost inoculant will encourage more bacteria, whereas kelp or fish fed to the same inoculant will encourage more fungi. The same is true for other inputs, like Equise- tum (horsetail), which encourages beneficial nematodes. To be clear, molasses does not dis- courage fungi from growing, it simply favors bacteria more. Similarly, using a fungal domi- nant tea on an annual plant will not harm it in any way; it‘s a better/best scenario.
Microbes given a proper environment can grow to extraordinarily high concentrations. The book Secrets of the Soil states that a single microbe reaching maturity and dividing within less than half an hour can, in the course of a single day, grow into 300 million more, and in another day to more than the number of human beings that have ever lived. Further, accord- ing to the book Microcosmos, bacteria, in four days of unlimited growth, could outnumber all the protons and even all the quarks estimated to exist within the universe. This reality al- lows growers to use as little as five gallons on an entire acre of land, roughly equivalent to about a one cup per gallon dilution.
Compost tea can be used in unlimited ways and really cannot be used incorrectly unless you are overwatering your plants. Some growers choose to use compost tea on every watering, but weekly applications are sufficient. It is even possible to experience benefits from com- post tea with just one application. After all, you‘re dealing with living organisms that can populate and reproduce by themselves if given proper conditions.
It is always advisable to check nutrient concentrations with a meter before using a tea on sensitive or special plants, but by keeping inputs at or near recommended amounts there should be no fear of burning. ?Burning? a plant is actually a water stress based on total ion concentration. Having too many ions around a root system sucks water out of the plant via osmosis, causing the plant to respond by sending its available water into the middle of the leaf and leaving the edge to burn. Because compost tea is created at relatively low concen- trations (600-800 ppm) burning is a non-issue when used at recommended levels.
As if to underline the previous point, compost tea can be used with seedlings and cuttings with great success. The sooner and more microbes used the better. Use a gallon of compost tea to 20-50 gallons of water; some growers even use compost tea concentrate as their pri- mary reservoir solutions. Consider using organic and organic-based nutrients as food sources for biological inoculants. It is not necessary to feed microbes after you have implemented them into a garden, but it can certainly have a positive influence. Natural farming is about feeding microbes, not the plant.
You can even use compost tea as a foliar spray. Some growers spray their plants every day, but once a week will do the trick for measureable results. When using compost tea you are harnessing a synergy of living microbes for general benefit, however, this is one of the occa- sions when a targeted biological product can be effective. Many times the microbes used in human designed microbial products are found naturally in compost, but not in high enough concentrations to make them applicable once pests or disease have struck. In the end, a pest or disease is simply a biological imbalance of some sort, so when one trophic level gets out of whack a higher concentration of a certain microbe can work effectively.
The active ingredient in many biological fungicides is the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, found naturally in compost. This organism will work better on a disease, but if used consistently, compost tea can work preventatively to allow the disease to express itself in the first place. The more consistent you are in delivering microbes to the leaves and root zone of your plants, the better. Compost tea can even help control pests if used consistently; many bacteria found in compost seek protein, which is what com- prises the exoskeleton of many target pest species.
It is vital to use quality water when brewing compost tea, and in your garden in general. If you are un- sure of your water source, use a filter. There are quality de-chlorinators on the market for reasonable prices. Remember, chlorine kills microbes and it‘s added to just about every public water supply. Bub- bling your water will remove chlorine in a couple of hours, but not chloramines, also commonly added.
When brewing tea, starting with a quality microbial product is essential. This is a major problem with people who compost in their back yards. Organic matter doesn‘t melt; it‘s biologically digested. It‘s not advisable to use manure to make compost tea because it is not yet plant food. This is why cow ?compost? at the hardware store costs $1/bag. It‘s aged manure. It‘s mulch, not plant food. Trees in a forest don‘t eat leaves; they eat what the microbes digest.
Some growers use worm castings as the sole basis for their tea. While this is certainly a viable option to brew tea, worms are predominately a bacterial organism, and do not contain some of the levels of beneficial organisms, such as fungi, nematodes, protozoa, ciliates, etc. that provide vital benefits to plants and gardens. Worms sequester bacteria in their gut in order to work their magic, like termites use fungi to digest the wood they eat. To brew better tea, use worm castings along with a balanced hu- mus product. Food sources include molasses, kelp, fish and bat guano. Recipes vary, some may recom- mend up to 16 tablespoons of molasses per 5 gallons of water, others only 1 tablespoon. Two recipes:
Bacterial Dominant Tea:
1.5 pounds (700g) bacterial compost or vermicompost
3-4 tablespoons (45-60ml) liquid black strap molasses
4 teaspoons (23g) dry soluble kelp or 2 tablespoons of liquid kelp
3-4 teaspoons (15-20ml) fish emulsion
Fungal Dominant Tea:
2 pounds (900g) fungal compost
3-4 tablespoons (50ml) humic acids
2 teaspoons (10ml) yucca extract
4 teaspoons (23g) dry soluble kelp or 2 tablespoons of liquid kelp 4-5 teaspoons
(20-25ml) fish hydrolysate
Fish-based fertilizers are obtained in two forms, fish solubles known as emulsions,
or enzymatic di- gested fish known as hydrolysates. Fish hydrolysate is cold processed
(minced, enzymatically digested and liquefied) to preserve proteins for quick
turnover by microbes into nutrients. Emulsions are created using heat; this removes
valuable ingredients and denaturing nutrients. While both forms can benefit a compost
tea, hydrolysates retain the natural oils from the fish that are a very potent fungal food.
Mineral catalysts: Catalysts, as we know, change the speed of a reaction. It‘s
important to understand that microbes work indirectly via chemical decomposition.
Bacteria don‘t chew on a banana peel in a compost pile, they offer up an enzyme
(biological catalyst) that works to chemically break it down. En- zymes are specialty
proteins that work like keys to a lock for important biochemical reactions within
living organisms, plants and people included. All enzymes incorporate a single
molecule of a trace min- eral—such as manganese, copper, iron or zinc—without which
an enzyme cannot function. We all know the benefits of adding enzymes but not many
growers know that you get free enzymes from microbes.
Microbes help plants eat and, in return, plants feed microbes. In fact, over half
of the energy derived through photosynthesis by plants is fed to the soil as exudates.
Think of an exudate as a meal for mi- crobes. Plants actually know what they need,
they just can‘t tell us. This means that plants have the ability to attract specific
trophic levels (imagine the balance of the big fish and the little fish in the ocean)
of microbes by preparing food from its surrounding environment that attracts those
capable of generating what is deficient in the plant. This biological/plant network,
or intelligence, if you will, can- not be established overnight, but it can be
tapped into if we are aware of it. It‘s important to allow mi- crobes a complete
tool kit. Not doing so is like building a home with only half the tools necessary.
Other catalysts to consider are rock dusts, yucca extract, or any broad-spectrum
natural mineral. Re- member these materials are not ?food? for microbes; they help
microbes eat their food
If you choose to purchase compost tea from a gardening store, be sure to use it as
soon as possible. We have seen evidence of beneficial life for up to three days
under a microscope with some systems, but it is always advisable to use it the day
you get it from the shop. Make sure to ask your retailer about the components of
the compost tea being brewed, including the biological source and whether mineral
catalysts are being used.
The most commonly heard figure for brew times is 12-24 hours. If pressed for why,
a common answer is because bacteria are most active in these stages. While bacteria
are beneficial to plants, so are many other microorganisms. Take protozoa for
example. It is well known that compost tea brewed for over 24 hours begins to
develop protozoa and ciliate dominance. (The brew ?matures.?) Protozoa are ex- tremely
efficient nitrogen (N) cyclers, so why would a grower looking for more nitrogen not
brew their tea longer to populate more protozoa dominance? Further, they are also
the shredders in the soil; they eat bacteria and fungi like a shark eats fish in
the ocean. Humus is actually the guts of microbes. They have digested available
organic matter to create stable dormant humus (plant food). The guts of mi- crobes
are actually fertilizer bags. Why wouldn‘t we want protozoa creating nature‘s plant
food by shredding up bacteria?
There is no ?right? way to brew compost tea, only better and best. Before long we
will have developed biological feeding schedules that direct growers on how long
to brew their compost teas given humus, foods, and catalysts to accomplish the
microbe spectrum that makes sense for the plant and stage of growth, like we do
mineral products. For a higher fungal: bacteria ratio for hardwoods, brew 24 hours
using fish hydrolosate and humates. Feed hay has shown promise in increasing protozoa
counts, so brew- ers can use it and brew for 48 hours to sequester more for their gardens.
The possibilities are endless. Some growers are experimenting with aerating their microbes
for a period of time before adding food sources. The idea is that some microbes
wake up faster than others, so brewing without food lets all of them get their
feet on the ground, so to speak. The new frontier in natural gardening will develop
around these ideas. One thing is for sure, we‘ve got a lot of work to do. But,
hey, it could be worse, we could be sitting in a cubicle.
If we approach the biological situation of our soils and hydro systems humbly, we
will be in a far greater position to benefit. We can get more out of our plants
than we have come to expect. Growing plants is about much more than feeding a plant
directly, it‘s about taking stock of their total environ- ment, including the
biological (microbial) and energetic (biodynamic) aspects of the growing situation.
If you‘ve never used compost tea with your plants, you‘re not maximizing the genetic
potential of your gar- den. Consider this your clarion call. Stop by your local
garden store and get started today.
?Nutrition as it is today does not supply the strength necessary for manifesting
the spirit in physical life. A bridge can no longer be built from thinking to will
and action. Food plants no longer contain the forces people need for this. So
long as one feeds on food from unhealthy soil, the spirit will lack the stamina
to free itself from the prison of the body.?-Rudolf Steiner Creator of Biodynamics (1861-1925)
(Reprinted from Urban Garden Magazine). 4


Here’s my attempt at a tea hope it works out lol

Nice writing about thé.

So use of compost thé meen I can use less nute from growstore?

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Exactly brotha. Helps in lots of ways. I’m not using any chemical fertilizers from the grow shop

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Ok Nice!
Have same problems on and on and its feed whid 600ppm out 900ppm and ph in:6.5 and out:7.3?

Use tapwater have good res.
But if I put water from my tap its on 7.5 something and 135 in ppm in 1l bottle and ph down to 6.5 let that sit for 24our and test ph again its raise 1.0 and 24our more its going up and up.

Is there some info you have about that?

If I had this understand me feal better when problems coming they will.

Yeah that is something I’m dealing with as well. The PH down works for a little while but not forever. I personally am just trying to amend my soil and I think coffee grounds can help lower the PH of the soil. Food grade Citric Acid instead of PH down in the water may prove to be more stable and more organic.

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Yee can maby dry the body of citrus and mix to powder add.

Lithle schary


Hello, I know I am very late to the game on this thread, but thought you may know the answer to this. I am a big advocate of brewing quality AACT, but have been unable to find an answer to the following: If one is using a worm tea concentrate to make their tea, do aerobic mycorrhizae live (or at least survive as spores) in the liquid solution? If so, how? Does fermentation preserve them until they are ‘woken up’ by aerating the solution? Despite many searches, I have yet to find an answer to this. I have been using Bloom City’s Worm Tea Concentrate to brew some batches, and I definitely see the tell-tale bio-sludge on my air stones, as well as a ‘thickening’ of the tea.

Compost teas are a quick way to get nutrients to ur plants one of the best teas i use is two cups organic compost and two cups worm castings two teaspoons of bat guano and kelp and fish liquid about 10mls i put all this into a stocking and place into 20ltr bucket with water add air pump and buble it for 48hours also u want to put two tablespoons of molasses once its done feed to ur plants .and for flowering stage get ur self four banana skins and the skin off a cucumber cut in small amounts and place in a stocking put in a 20 ltr bucket of water and bubble it for 24 hours when u go to water ur plants add 10mls of fish shit in the bucket

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I have a recipe I’ve been using for a while. I do not use a lot of nutes in it, mostly just food for the microbes. I bubble RO water with worm castings, Mykos, Bio Bizz (kelp and sugar beets), humic acid, molasses, a few drops of pond enzymes, and protein hydrosolate. Bubble for 24 hours (minimum) and usually continue to bubble for a few days, adding a little to the plants each day until it’s used up. I also use small amounts of H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) to hyper-oxygenate the mixture. H2O2 is used in aerobic composting to excite the microbes, since they thrive in highly oxygenated environs… It also helps ensure I’m not getting too many anaerobes growing in my tea. I get prolific bio-mass growing on my airstones, so sometimes need to clean them after a day or two. My plants love it.

Banana and cucumber skins? That I have never heard of… What benefits do they provide? I am intrigued.

The banana and cucumber skins are full of potassium and phosphorus great for flowering

Thats wat i feed my plant


That’s a good-looking plant. I have been considering adding ground (powdered) oats to my mixture as well. Will definitely try the peels, too. I imagine if the peels aren’t from organic sources, that they should be well washed to avoid any pesticides in the mix… Thank you for the tips.

I added some carrot peels to my usual tea mix bubbling for 48 hrs, a little experiment :carrot:

@Aussie_autos, that plant is awesome! Good work.

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Thank u