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Growing Blueberries Using Aerated Compost Tea: A Practical Alternative to Growing Without Chemicals


In recent years, Aerobically made compost tea has developed into a booming business with commercial compost tea makers making thousands of gallons of tea per day available for purchase. There is considerable excitement about aerobically produced compost tea with an increasing number of farmers using it. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that reports its ability to suppress plant diseases and manage plant diseases.

Aerobic compost tea provides ecological and economic solutions to the problems farmers face due to chemical build-up in fields and groundwater resources. In addition to helping farmers overcome chemical problems, other benefits include healthier plants, increased yields, less irrigation needed, and more resistance to stress and drought conditions.

Aerated compost tea is great for acid loving plants such as hyacinths. Aerobic compost tea should be the foundation of a fertilization program.

Later on

Compost compost made aerobically can help build healthy soil. Healthy soil resists disease and pests and improves mineral content. A new group of growers is starting to report exciting results from using aerated compost teas to boost plant health and help control plant pathogens. In this chemical age, many soils have lost their health. Farmers and gardeners have become comfortable with the idea that we need to use pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc. to grow crops successfully.

We think that if there is an insect or a bad disease, we have to go out and kill it with medicine. What we don’t know is that there is a very useful life that goes on in the soil and on the leaves. While we are out there to kill disease, we are also killing many beneficial organisms. What is not considered is the long term impact this has not only on current agriculture and future crops but on future problems such as pollution. Over time we kill more and more beneficial soil microbes.

So there aren’t enough beneficial microbes (bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes) left in the soil to do much good. But now with aerated compost tea we can replace chemical fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides with much needed beneficial microbes. By using compost tea your garden can now be safer and more environmentally friendly. The beneficial microbes in compost tea promote plant growth and provide plant and soil nutrients, providing beneficial organisms It also helps suppress disease and replaces toxic garden chemicals.

These beneficial microbes perform many functions such as the transformation and release of nitrogen in the soil. The use of chemical fertilizers is increasing; we see that we need nitrogen because the microbes produce so much. Microbes also fix nitrogen in the soil, but when they die, the nitrogen and other nutrients such as calcium are no longer in the soil and go away to pollute groundwater, rivers, lakes, etc. Chemicals are also dumped, polluting our precious natural resources.

A Brief History of Aerobic Compost Tea

Farmers used to make their own compost tea by putting a bag of compost in a container of water and letting it sit for a while. This compost tea was anaerobic and often smelly. In recent years, a new technology has been developed to replace a contaminated water container with a “refresher” that oxygenates the water. This creates active living microbes that are ready to go to work in the soil, which is an aerobic environment if the soil is healthy. This process is very successful and differs from the old tea by the fact that it is completely aerobic.

Compost is the key to a Healthy Organic Fertilization System

Good quality, aerobic, compost tea is made from compost and other natural ingredients. The “fertilizer” removes beneficial microbes from these materials and adds food sources for the microbes in the compost to grow on. These microbes will multiply exponentially when the compost is made. Oxygen levels are maintained at a high level to ensure that these beneficial aerobic microbes reproduce and grow. When these microbes are applied to the soil they will repopulate the microbial population in the soil and on the leaves. These microbes perform a variety of tasks in the soil, including breaking down crop residues, releasing nutrients that plants need, absorbing nutrients, reducing winter blight, attacking disease organisms, fixing nitrogen, releasing soil nutrients, especially phosphorus and organic growth. materials return to soil when working.

On the leaves the microbes will occupy the space that can be occupied by the pathogens and will create a physical barrier to the pathogens. Therefore, it is important to build these good microbes before any pathogenic attack.

By adding these beneficial microbes back into the soil and onto the leaves, you replenish this invisible army that was depleted by the use of harsh chemicals, so they can go to work for you. Less fertilizer will be needed as these wonderful microorganisms begin to regenerate the soil.

Corvallis Oregon blueberry grower (Bob Wilt) uses terms like biologically rich and nutrient dense and is happy to tell you how compost tea has helped. Wilt said the health of the soil has greatly improved for growing organic blueberries using compost tea as the cornerstone of his blueberry operation. A healthier, tastier product is the result of significantly improved soil health.

Compost tea formula.

Aerated compost tea is slightly more complex than aerated compost tea, and involves supplying oxygen to the microbial population in the compost solution using a mechanical aeration pump (such as an aquarium air pump). Several flavors of compost tea are now commercially available; you can also build your own.

A very typical recipe for aerated compost tea is based on vermicompost, with soluble clay, humic acid, and fish carcasses (aka fish hydrolyzate) as additives and a small amount of peanut oil to reduce foaming.

The conditions required in the production of tea are:

1. Water at room temperature

2. there is no chlorine in the water (no gas for gas), if there is chlorine, let it soak at night

3. neutral water (pH 6.5 to 7.5),

4. oxygen maintained above 6 ppm throughout the grazing cycle, and

5. Good aerobic compost.

A compost tea recipe that is now being used by some people

100 gal. Use unchlorinated water (let water sit overnight or aerate) if available, natural well water.

30 pounds. quality compost or compost-compost (worm casting); The quality of the compost is directly related to the quality of the tea

32 oz. organic molasses or pre-mixed nutrient mix (Sustainable Farming Technologies)

16 oz. cold water soluble cabbage meal

Optional: When you cook, the chopped shells of one to two dozen eggs can be added to the fertilizer teas.

Note: Molasses is added at the end of making compost tea but while the tea is still being aerated. The molasses provides sugar for the micro-organisms in the tea to feed on and multiply.

Your tea will produce a different level of microbial population depending on the weather, temperature, season, etc. During the summer when the weather is warm you can expect your teas to ripen faster and achieve optimal microbial levels sooner than in the fall weather. it’s colder

Swear on a brick

Practically all organic farmers in the know swear by including kelp as an important ingredient in making compost teas. Almost all crab extracts used in agriculture come from the common North Atlantic crab species Ascophyllum nodosum. Kelp contains some 60 natural macro and micronutrients, carbohydrates, and 18 naturally occurring amino acids, vitamins, and growth-promoting substances.

Biological Factors

Over the years, farmers find that they have to use more and more fertilizers to maintain their crops. The main reason for this is that beneficial microbes are gradually lost in the process of intensive farming due to the use of pesticides, soil compaction, extensive farming, etc. soil and it will flow into the ground water. By replenishing these microbes with quality aerobic compost tea, you are putting biology back into the soil that will retain nutrients and greatly reduce or eliminate leaching.

Beneficial soil microbes are also natural predators against disease organisms. When these beneficial microbes are not present in sufficient numbers, disease organisms multiply and cause more chemical needs. Beneficial microbes in the soil take time to reproduce and grow, so applications are best made for a crop this spring the previous fall, although spring applications are still useful if not done last fall. Many winter diseases in the soil and microbes need time to find food, multiply and start their work.

These microbes need food. Applying microbes without food growing on them will have limited benefit, if applied to leaves you need to sprinkle the tea with an activator or microbial food to get the microbes started. An active bacterium secretes a sticky substance to stick it to the leaf. Once the microbes have settled on the leaf, they will feed on the needles from the leaves and the leaves will feed on the needles from the microbes. Aerobic compost tea is not a fertilizer per se but it is part of the whole composting picture. It contains biological life that will significantly increase the benefits of the nutrients in the soil, but it is still important that the nutrients are well managed and balanced. If you do not do this, the benefits obtained from the tea will be reduced.

Application of compost tea

While aerobic compost tea applications have many benefits for the farmer, the tea must be applied according to biological regulations to ensure that the treatments are successful. Compost tea is a biologically active liquid concentrate of living organisms that is highly biodegradable. It should be used as soon as possible after manufacturing. The millions of living microorganisms in the tea use up the available oxygen very quickly (within 4-6 hours of brewing) and if they are not oxygenated by the air in the tea, the microorganisms will die. Aerobic compost tea is a liquid containing a variety of live bacteria, fungi, protozoa and others that are ready to go to work, but must be given what they need to survive and reproduce.

There are some principles that should be followed when applying. Oxygen levels must be maintained until application, but this is easily done using fish/aquarium equipment. Tea contains some finer particles, so larger filters (> 25 mesh) and therefore larger sieves are needed. A diaphragm pump is recommended if possible.

Aerobic compost tea should be applied in the cool of the morning or evening to give the microbes a chance before the sun gets too bright. On the leaves, it is important to apply at least 6 hours before rain so that they are not washed away before they can survive. If applying to the soil, during or before a light rain would be ideal.

Generally the rate at which compost tea is applied is 5 gallons per acre and at a temperature of about 65 to 70 degrees, use well water if possible.

Apply several times

As a soil conditioner, a minimum of 2-3 applications per growing season is recommended. Foliar applications should be made every 10 days during periods of disease pressure because micro-organisms do not live long on the leaf surface.

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