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Chris Burisek
10-29-2008, 04:34 PM
Does anyone have a worm farm or brew their own worm casting tea for use on lawns and landscapes? If you have any pics/videos or ideas to share I would love to hear/read about them. I have seen some homeowner models online but would like to know about larger scale farms or brewers. I would like to try to start with something homemade before dropping thousands on a worm farm and them more on the brewer. I saw a great worm farm unit for about $5,000.00 and the brewers for $3,000 and up. I don't want to drop that kind of $ yet. I have some tank sprayers (100, 175, and 200 gal each with 250 ft of hose and spray gun) I would like to set these up to spray worm casting tea on residential lawns.

NattyLawn
10-29-2008, 05:02 PM
As far as the brewer goes, look into Tim Wilson's Microbulator 50, which can be found at www.microbeorganics.com. It's a 50 gallon brewer which goes for around 500 shipped if you don't need a 55 gallon drum/barrel. We switched over to 2 actually, and the results through the scope have been great so far. Tim also gives his recipes and is a somewhat regular contributor on here.

As far as the worms, Tim, treegal and a few others can weigh in on the worm farms.

growingdeeprootsorganicly
10-29-2008, 05:39 PM
i'll second that on tims brewer..

for the money it can't be beat as well tim can provide great support

if you buy a brewer, buy it from some one who will give good support when issues come up.

tadhussey
10-29-2008, 07:00 PM
Hey, just FYI, we'll be offering Tim's brewer in the next month or so also, and will be adding a tank option for people who don't already have one. I've got his brewing system at my place right now, just need to get a tank so I can get it up and running to test it with our Pro Kits (haven't you done a bit of that already Natty Lawn?).

It's hard to compete with it in terms of cost, when our cost of materials on our brewers well exceeds $500, and we're selling our 28 gal. brewing system for $1,650. (of course, ours is much prettier! :-) (that comment is for Tim if he ever reads this thread)

~Tad

tadhussey
10-29-2008, 07:03 PM
I would recommend finding a good local source of worm casting initially that has done biological testing on their product (I've seen significant differences biologically on worm castings from different suppliers). Then, you could get a brewer and start spraying before investing in a worm farm. Worm farms take a bit of time and if you're just looking for material to spray with, you don't need very much, relative to the amount of tea you'll be brewing. For example, in a 55 gallon brewer, you're looking at around 2 gallons of total compost....not all that much material, it just needs to be high quality!

Chris Burisek
10-29-2008, 10:16 PM
tad
you said in a 55 gal brewer I'll need around 2 gallons of total compost... is that 2 gal of worm castings? I'm new to the worms so sorry. I need to get my info correct.
What type of sprayers are some of you using to get this product to the lawn/plant? I would like to do this on lawns of about 5,000sq ft on up.
Thanks for your help.

growingdeeprootsorganicly
10-29-2008, 10:46 PM
i use between 4-6 litters of compost depending on food added and temp's for 50g brews

chris,
preferred setup is a diaphragm pump"more gpm the better" and as big a tank as possible, but there are many ways to get tea applied
you will need to spray at very low presser so not to harm biology

tadhussey
10-29-2008, 10:48 PM
Chris,

You're correct, 2 gallons of compost/worm castings/thermal compost. We use a combination of 3 composts to maximize our biological diversity, however that is not necessary.

As for sprayers, I attached a photo our our spray rig.

~Tad

NattyLawn
10-29-2008, 11:58 PM
Hey, just FYI, we'll be offering Tim's brewer in the next month or so also, and will be adding a tank option for people who don't already have one. I've got his brewing system at my place right now, just need to get a tank so I can get it up and running to test it with our Pro Kits (haven't you done a bit of that already Natty Lawn?).


~Tad

Tad,

We use a 55 gallon drum and have brewed using the pro kits in the bag and in free suspension. I prefer free suspension, but you do have to filter out some of the small pine cones and larger wood pieces over 1 inch by 1 inch to avoid potential clogging issues.

Chris Burisek
10-30-2008, 12:18 AM
Ok great... you have the brewer, when it's ready how do you get it into the spray rig? Do you pump it to your sprayer? Then do you add more water or is it only the tea that you put into the sprayer? How much tea are you using per 1,000 sq ft. Our lawns are about 5,000 sq ft here. How many lawns do you do each day or would you like to do?
Thanks for all of the great info.

NattyLawn
10-30-2008, 12:27 AM
To get it into the spray rig you can pump it, pour it with buckets, or cut a hole and attach a faucet to the drum (this is what I did).

It used to be 5 gallons per acre of AACT, but I think 5-10 gallons per acre is generally used. I spray at 4 gallons per minute as a soil drench, but that rate varies for everyone. How big is your tank and how much water weight do you want to carry?

ICT Bill
10-30-2008, 11:17 AM
Chris,
Typical dilution rate varies by applicator but it runs anywhere from 5 to 1 up to 20 to 1, water to compost tea. Most folks out there that I have been around use a 20 to 1 dilution rate, but everyones different

tadhussey
10-30-2008, 04:04 PM
We go 1:1 or 2:1, water to tea, but that's only because we have a very large brewer and access to a lot of brewing materials. I think 5:1 is a perfectly reasonable rate.

We use a transfer pump that is a pool pump from Grainger that we've tested. I think it sells for around $250, and then you just need to wire it and fit it to a hose attachment.

Make sure to de-chlorinate before using city water and any water that you mix the tea with needs to be de-chlorinated also.

tadhussey
10-30-2008, 04:06 PM
Tad,

We use a 55 gallon drum and have brewed using the pro kits in the bag and in free suspension. I prefer free suspension, but you do have to filter out some of the small pine cones and larger wood pieces over 1 inch by 1 inch to avoid potential clogging issues.

I'm going to do some testing as soon as I get Tim's brewer up and running. I have a couple of ideas on a Pro Kit specifically for his brewer, where you would not need to worry about the particulate in free suspension.

Barefoot James
10-30-2008, 08:20 PM
I have one of Tim's brewers and love it as well as Tim (100% support).

I sump pump it from the 55 gal tank (in basement of home) into my 210 gallon sprayer or 300 gall TT hydroseeder sprayer. I use worm casts with other mixes (food - like kelp, molasses, humates, etc) I have used kits from compostwerks.com, compost from different sources, etc - but always use some of my casts. The main thing is diversity.

I also use ICT Bills great ICT as this is a known enity and known bugzzz. I have a 7 to 10 application program and make sure I mix up the spray to add diversity to each property. I will take a bunch of photos as the weather get's bad here in KY to show the power of tea during the worst times of the year and will vs other lawns and post them on my website (check my profile).

I also check it all out at 24 hours, 36 hours and beyond under a scope to insure I have good life going on down there. I get great bacterail activity and fungal hyphe stuff form my primary casts I use - night crawlers for Lake Erie fed only Canadian Spagnum Peat Moss.

I add myco spores, humus and other stuff to the brews before I spray and I have some of the best looking turf around these parts - especially MY YARD - looks like Augusta turf!! BUT I do have a few weeds (less tha 1%) cause I'm 100% organic out there (in my yard) - I do pull them when I see them.

BTW ICT Bill rocks he has some incredible new stuff and improved old stuff.

ICT Bill
10-30-2008, 09:13 PM
Barefoot, your $5.00 is in the mail, thanks LOL :laugh:

Chris Burisek
11-21-2008, 08:05 PM
Ok thanks for all of the great and helpful info. I have started brewing and for now have a blend of casting tea, bio-seaweed and bio-hume.
What do you all do with the used worm castings? I have been thinking just start putting them in our garden?
My tanks are 100 gal, 175 gal and 200 gal. Not sure which I'll use. I would like to change the pump on my perma greens and use them, right now they spray 2 gal per min. I've seen pumps that do up to 5 gpm, I hope one can be put on my magnum.

NattyLawn
11-22-2008, 11:02 AM
You can do whatever you want with the leftover castings. Putting them in your compost pile or in the garden is great.

Spraying tea out of your Magnum will be difficult. Adding pumps and different spray tips will be needed, but I don't think you'll get the desired volume. Trust me, I wish I could do it. I did try once, and even after straining the tea it still clogged.

Kiril
11-22-2008, 06:30 PM
Img size >>>> omg >>>>>>>>>>>>>> resize

Chris Burisek
12-03-2008, 02:47 PM
Ok ... I can keep my worm farm in a heated area but can I store may castings in an area that is unheated for the winter? I'm in Chicago, IL and the winters are COLD ... what if my castings have frozen? I keep them in a room that is not heated but I can move them to a room that is heated if I need to. Some things loose their potency if they freeze ... will the casings be o.k.?

NattyLawn
12-03-2008, 05:29 PM
You will probably lose a minority of the biology on the outside of whatever you're storing the castings in. If you can, bring them in.

treegal1
12-03-2008, 06:48 PM
refrigeration ******s microbial growth thats why we have refrigeration.

incubators stay at 84 most of the time for growing bac. cultures.

NattyLawn
12-04-2008, 10:36 AM
Are refrigeration and freezing the same thing?

treegal1
12-04-2008, 07:38 PM
No! two different handle's, up-er and lower or side by side or a chest type??

frozen good for meat bad for beer

ICT Bill
12-04-2008, 09:28 PM
Most bacteria and fungi have a cycle, this is why they have lasted so long on earth, when the environment is not conducive to growth they spore-late or go dormant.

They are still there, just in a form that can last for many years, even 1000's. when the environment is good again they wake up and procreate

1 bacteria can reproduce to 17 trillion in 24 hours, really. get the environment right and you have lots of buddies, fungi take longer but do the same thing

are they dry is the question, ice crystals can do damage to microbes. dry and cold is really not an issue

growingdeeprootsorganicly
12-04-2008, 09:50 PM
not great pic's but you get the idea.... see the fungi spores?
how long different ones can last in the environment is a good question.:confused:
done some research and it very's greatly... some die very fast,some don't?

treegal1
12-04-2008, 10:26 PM
thats exactly why I said that" it ******s the growth" not kills the little buggers........ other wise we would just put the bad bird in the fridge and eat it after its cold. did you know that one of the micro herd is supposed to make the snow flakes form or something like that.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/45546/lost-worlds-life-in-the-balance

Smallaxe
12-05-2008, 11:14 AM
thats exactly why I said that" it ******s the growth" not kills the little buggers........ other wise we would just put the bad bird in the fridge and eat it after its cold. did you know that one of the micro herd is supposed to make the snow flakes form or something like that.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/45546/lost-worlds-life-in-the-balance

I wish ALL video downloads would continue to load while at the same time allow you to back up and watch the parts that have already been loaded.

This is another one that can only be viewed as it streams in. Buffering every few seconds makes it impossible for me too endure.

I have a satelite dish that runs at 100Mbps and it is not fast enough for some streaming videos. Is there a way in which I could watch these things after the download is complete? I don't want to 'save' everything, but a temporary internet file would be fine.

Kiril
12-05-2008, 11:38 AM
Is there a way in which I could watch these things after the download is complete?

Probably not ... copyright issues and all.

treegal1
12-05-2008, 06:05 PM
pause it for a while the let it play??? they have a help button on there some where. sorry hope that helps. my t1 line will get 9 megs down and 4 up...................