Feb 19

Compost Tea Maintenance and Airstone Care


Edited: Feb 19

Actively Aerated Compost Teas (AACTs), AKA your local bioreactors, are used to breed precious microbes and extract minerals and biostimulants from various food and soil sources. One very important step in creating AACTs however, is the cleaning and maintaining of the compost tea vessel and its equipment. The question: how do you all clean your airstones? Everything else is pretty easy to just wipe down with 3% hydrogen peroxide. I've been running my airstones in dry air for 48 hours after making my tea, otherwise I find they don't dry out. I also soak them in a baggy of HO before drying. They somehow still smell like used gym socks. I am planning to clean them w/ HO and H2O before I use them next time because of the slight stank but I'm wondering if anyone has more efficient procedures, as cleaning them twice (after the tea and before the next tea) seems tedious. Ideas welcome!


" Compost Tea Recipe to Grow BIG Vegetables Revealed"



" Best Organic Soil Amendments to SuperCharge Plant Growth" In one of these videos the man Josh specifies that you gotta "let your airstones bleed dry like your kitchen sponge." I think this advice is important lol. Other than that some HO does the job. Also I think y'all should watch all of John and Joshs videos together on YT. These are two awesome ones

You know what I did when I got tired of fucking around with air stones and all that? I bought a small sump pump for $10 on ebay- the kind used in small outdoor water decorations to keep them from freezing in winter & aerate the water. I stick it to the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket, pour in just a hair less than 2 gallons of water, add fish fert and molasses then hang my pouch of worm castings, 2 composts and kelp from a stick across the bucket and let 'er rip! The key is breaking the surface of the water and it makes a little fountain about 2" high when I plug in the sump pump. Gets far more foamy than when I was using 2 big air stones on 2 pumps & it was 1/10 the cost! You have to put all your ingredients in a filter of some sort or it WILL clog the pump. Learned that the hard way lol

That foam though!!! Sounds good to me. I wish I could try your plants. You wanna know what I'm doin nowadays when I get lazy w my teas m8? I just use a powdered compost tea prepared by a professional. Fungi Perfecti makes the danky IMO. No more air stones or anything. I just add 1/32 tsp per gallon, often diluted through a dial-n-spray. It lasts a while this way too. It works nicely as a foliar spray too although I think a decanted compost tea works the best. I mean the real best is using NPK Industry's "Full Up." Both decanted compost tea (tea that has sat for 20 minutes with no bubbling basically) and Full Up have obvious folvic acids which are smaller organic compounds of humic acid. The redish brownish color is the iron, and it's transported right through the plant cell membrane right to where it is needed, fully charging the foliar batteries. Iron is diificult to get fully into plants in my area due to hard water and high pH problems, as it is 10x less available at a pH of 7 than it is at a pH of 6 because iron has some particular properties to it even compared to other immobile elements. Full Up decently expensive on a per gallon basis, like 8 cents or something compared to pennies per gallon for a standard compost tea which also has many other benefits other than fulvic acids and iron. My compost tea is costing 20 cents per compost tea (using 2 cups of compost) currently using a promix. I was considering making my first actively aerated compost tea in a while today just for the fulvic acid and iron. I want my lettuce to have a gold ring on the very edge where the plant has created an anemic cell line waiting to be filled by chlorophyl, an indicator of very high quality lettuce. I will say I've been able to achieve a prophylactic approach to gardening, but now I want to see the bare minimum amount of work I have to put in for high quality as well. I've never had better reactions from plants than using fulvic acids. Instant slight hyponasty just like I want, and I wish I could try it on lettuce. I'm hoping to achieve a similar effect with a compost tea tomorrow. It's just work I don't wanna do though Man I should get paid for these posts. Too bad I'd reject any offers to do such. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT BABY

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  • Hi all. Below is a recipe for a homemade organic pro-mix taken from SF Gate. I know Chef has passed but I think this is still an excellent forum to gather on and spread research with. I do think someone should comment on if this web page will exist for long though as well just in case so this valuable research is not deleted! I have back ups just in case but I'll make a seperate post for that. Onto the pro-mix recipe: 1/3 peat moss 1/3 perlite 1/3 organic gardening soil 1/4 cup garden lime per gallon of mix I have tried it and it works. Be careful if you have hard water, you will need to add intermediate chelators (AKA L-Amino Acids) to chelate the calcium, magnesium, etc in your water to prevent transpiration issues etc general salt issues that occur with mixing hard water and this fairly sweet and calcium and magnesium rich soil mix. I recommend going easy on the dolomite lime in general and also go easy on the peat moss, peaty soil is known to compact. If you are gonna be moving plants in pots add more perlite than peat moss because this will help with transpiration issues that come from compaction when moving potted plants around. You'll notice how good this mix smells and works for plants! You'll get very fast growing plants because this mix is focused on high porosity for a very high rate of transpiration and therefore plant mass production! Also note that this mix only feeds plants for a couple weeks and then you will need to add some salts for the plant and soil health. Adding a bit of organic matter to the soil eventually will be a good idea as well to continue feeding your organic base in the soil. I personally have a food web with springtails being consumed by a certain antonymous fungi in my soil I try to keep going. The springtails don't leave the pot and the fungi and springtails provide a ton of nitrogen to the plant, potentially CO2 as well! This cycle has successfully infected all the pots in my house interestingly. Sources: SF Gate Guide for peat moss pH balancing: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/balance-ph-lime-peat-potting-33867.html Peat moss to perlite ratio (Also SF Gate): https://homeguides.sfgate.com/recommended-ratio-peat-moss-perlite-46321.html SF Gate's article on the disadvantages of soil-less media (similar to this growing medium (pro-mix) minus the organic gardening soil): https://homeguides.sfgate.com/disadvantages-soilless-mixes-92328.html SF Gate article on composition of potting soil (good place to start to understand potting soils which are often replaced by soil-less pro-mixes). Also ratios of stuff: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/composition-potting-soil-75052.html On the springtail and fungi note, that is harder to source. The certain springtail eating and red hued mushroom producing fungi comes from Host Defence's Myco-Blend all purpose microbial and biostimulant inoculant and I think the springtails followed me via transporting the same compost over a long period of time. On the transpiration topic: Dr. B.C. Wolverton's book "How to Grow Fresh Air" explains that there is an equation that dictates how much air a plant is filtering dependent upon how much mass the plant produces. This has a lot to do w/ the soil medium. High porosity soil makes for the fastest mass production in plants. PS. If you have your own high porosity pro-mix or something similar please post it here. Of particular interest are environmentally friendly mixes, which the above mentioned mix is not due to the unsustainable peat moss component. Coco coir can be used to replace it (and is more environmentally friendly) but then potassium salts should be added at some point although I am less experienced with that mix so I don't know how soon potassium would be essential. I imagine co co coir may cause issues w/ pH because it may not be super acidic and so dolomite lime may need to be adjusted to lesser quantity per gallon. Also this mix may have too much calcium and magnesium due to coco coir and dolomite lime having so much of these elements. Maybe it'd be fine though. A good pH, texture, and an organic base, and magical things can happen with any soil mix basically.

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