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Compost tea brewer and sprayer

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by gil, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. gil

    gil LawnSite Member
    Posts: 92

    Does anybody knows an affordable and reliable sprayer and tea brewer?
    I need something that can cover up to 5 acres of lawn and multiple trees and shrubs.
  2. tadhussey

    tadhussey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    Depends what you're budget is and also how scientifically you want to approach this. Anyone can throw compost in a bucket and add foods and aeration. However, there is a lot more to this process that involves a multitude of variables such as amt. of aeration, quality of compost, size of mesh bag, nutrients for the microbes, etc....

    If you want to do it yourself and test it, this can get quite expensive. I think your best bet is to look for a commercial maker who has already done the testing for you. A good starting point would be http://www.soilfoodweb.com/03_about_us/approach.html

    Good luck!
  3. treedoc1

    treedoc1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    I have been brewing compost tea out of a system that can treat 500 gals per brew that you can make for under $100
    I utilize it on turf, ornamentals, and trees both soil drenching with a Chemlawn gun and soil injecting with a Chemlance
    PM me if you would like info
  4. tadhussey

    tadhussey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    I would love to see your lab results on your tea. I couldn't even get the materials to make a brewer for that amount! The motor alone on our unit costs over $1000.

    Are you testing with a lab? Do you have a DO meter or use a microscope to check for beneficial organisms? How long are is your brewing cycle? What types of composts and nutrients are you using?

  5. tadhussey

    tadhussey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    Also forgot to post to original poster:

    Accepted rates within the industry are 20 gal. per acre for a soil drench or turf application or 5 gal. per acre for foliar applications (though this will increase depending on height of plants/trees).

  6. treedoc1

    treedoc1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    Soil Food Web, Inc Their labs do the testing on the raw product to determine the makeup of the contents of the material that we purchase. Total cost on a finished compost tea sample is $188, $195 on the starter compost material.

    Growing Solutions in Oregon has simple brewing systems to purchase or mimic

    All compost tea production is a brewing process that extracts microorganisms from compost followed by microbial growth and multiplication. This includes beneficial bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes.

    Start with a material that is tested to contain sufficient starter quantities of what you are looking for. Brewing is simple extraction into aerated water to prevent anaerobic activity, and multiplication of the organisms you are looking for.

    Not too big a deal if you are just looking to brew quantities for daily use which has a limited shelf life.

    Minimum Standards for Compost Tea, per Milli-Liter of Compost Tea

    10-150 µg — active bacteria
    150-300 µg — total bacteria
    2-10 µg — active fungi
    5-20 µg — total fungi
    1,000 — flagellates
    1,000 — amoebas
    20-50 — ciliates
    2-10 — beneficial nematodes
  7. tadhussey

    tadhussey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    The information you have posted is correct. There are other brewer makers out there too that also provide large scale brewer. However, you cannot even afford a brewing tank for $100. How could you build an entire compost tea brewer for under $100 that can brew 500 gallons. If you've figured that out, you've cornered the market! Are your test results posted anywhere? Are they above or within the ranges you stated above?
  8. tadhussey

    tadhussey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    I would agree that making compost tea is not rocket science, but it's not as easy as just throwing some compost in a bucket and letting it sit there for an indeterminate amount of time. There is A LOT of science that goes into properly made compost tea. It's near impossible to get all the variables right the first time without having done some research or taken classes. You also need to test to know what you've got, otherwise it's just some brown liquid that may or may not be beneficial.
  9. treedoc1

    treedoc1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    Thats your web site

    Keep It Simple Inc.

    Your messages are kind of at odds with each other.
  10. tadhussey

    tadhussey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    How are my messages at odds? I'm not here promoting my company, but rather responsible information about a relatively new technology. One of the reasons compost tea hasn't taken off in the industry is because many people make it improperly and don't see good results. I'm not here to criticize other compost tea brewers, I think Growing Solutions machine works just fine. People need to realize that there is some science that goes into this process, that's where the testing comes in. I know these things BECAUSE I work in the industry. Now how are my messages at odds???


    PS-Still waiting to hear how you built a 500 gallon brewer and made great lab-tested tea for only $100....

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