#145 - Brewing A Batch of Vermicompost Tea.
I decided to brew a batch of Vermicompost Tea today to feed the pineapple plants along with some new Areca Palms that I planted a couple months ago.
This will be the first feeding for the palms as I have been waiting for them to become established and make sure there was no shock from their planting. For the pineapples, this will be a supplemental feeding as pineapple plants normally feed through their leaves however they do absorb some nutrients through their roots also.
I will be creating both a fungal and bacterial tea this time to better infuse the root zone with lots of beneficial microorganisms to help the plants. Vermicompost, or worm castings, is one of the most beneficial fertilizers for gardens and is packed with nutrients and beneficial microorganisms. It can either be placed directly in the soil, or, as I am doing this time, a more economical way to use them is to brew them into a microorganism dense liquid fertilizer.
Along with being one of the best fertilizers you can use on your plants, this is also a very good organic way to control both pests and diseases in your plants.
Since I will be creating both a fungal and a bacterial tea, I will be adding both unsulphered molasses and kelp meal to the brew. The unsulphered molasses is a sugar source for the bacteria to eat while they quickly multiply. The kelp will be a food source for the fungi.
I will be using the tea brewer that I made last year with the 32-gallon Rubbermaid trashcan to brew 25-gallons of vermicompost tea.
The first step is to fill the brewer with water. Since I am using chlorinated water, I need to remove the chlorine from the water as it will kill a portion of the bacteria that I am trying to get to reproduce in the tea. I could use a chlorine filter on the hose as I fill it, but since I am not in a hurry to produce this batch, I will instead allow it to off-gas with aeration instead.
With the brewer filled with water, I simply turn on the aeration pump and allow the bubbles to off-gas the chlorine from the water. With the amount of aeration I am providing to the water, this only takes a few minutes and the chlorine will be removed, but as I said, I am not in any hurry for this batch, so I let the water aerate for a full 2 hours before adding the kelp meal, vermicompost, and unsulphered molasses to the water.
For every 5 gallons of compost tea that you are brewing, you need to add 2 tablespoons of either kelp meal or liquid kelp, and 2 tablespoons of unsulphered molasses. You will use 2 cups of vermicompost per 5 gallons of water. Since I will be brewing 25 gallons, I will need to add 10 tablespoons of each of the kelp and molasses and 10 cups of vermicompost. The kelp meal will go into the bag that hangs from the center pipe inside the brewer along with the vermicompost. The molasses will simply be poured into the water.
Once the filled brewing bag has been hung from the center pipe with the shorter aeration downpipe inside of the bag, and the molasses has been poured into the water, it is time to turn on the air pump and close the lid. Allow the tea to brew for at least 24 hours, but no longer than 72 hours and make sure that you use it immediately. Compost tea cannot be stored and used later.
I just harvested a fresh batch of worm castings from my Hungry Bin worm farm that I will be adding to this batch of tea.
The castings and the kelp meal are added inside of the bag and its built in buckle strap allows it to easily hang from the center pipe.
I prefer Grandma's brand unsulphered molasses. It is carried in just about any grocery store across the country so it is easy to locate and I have always had good success using it.
Well, that is it. Now I just allow it to brew covered with the lid for to protect it from the sunlight and let the magic happen with the fungi and bacteria within the tea. In 24-72 hours it will be ready to add to a watering can from the convenient spout at the bottom of the brewer and use on my plants, and I am sure they will enjoy it.
That's all for this time,
Aloha & 73