February 12, 2017 4:09 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Actively aerated compost teas (AACTs) are an amazing asset to your garden.  AACTs put the microbiology back into your soil in an effort to establish a true soil food web.  Actively aerated compost teas are made using rich sources of compost and simple carbohydrates in water with an aerator.

AACTs provide a host of bacteria, fungi, nematodes, archaea, protozoa and more to your soil and soil aggregates.  AACTs should be applied to depleted soils, eroded soils, container gardens, raised beds—-anything that grows in the ground or a containers.  You should apply via root drench as well as a foliar spray.

When foliar spraying an AACT it is important to spray underneath the leaf itself.  Under the leaf is called the stoma, a tiny opening that allows the plant to exchange gases.  In this phyllosphere area a symbiotic relationship can exist amongst the plant leaves and the beneficial organisms.  Foliar spraying will allow the leaves to have better resistances to pests and more, similarly to how the soil food web is benefitting the rhizosphere of the plant.  When foliar applying an AACT, is important to do it before the sun rises or after the sun sets.  You want to allow the stomata to have at least fifteen minutes of time to allow the compost tea to inoculate the plant and not evaporate from the sun.

Some ‘best practices’ for applying compost tea is immediately after the leaves have fallen in the fall and in the Spring just before you plant.  Compost tea should be applied 2-4 times a year, generally speaking.  I also prefer to apply compost tea directly after pruning fruit trees and planting new seeds/transplants.

It is actually quite simple to make a compost tea.  You will need a five gallon bucket, an aquarium aerator, associated tubing and an air stone.

Here are some recipes for brewing an actively aerated compost tea.

EWC Compost Tea

-6-8 Cups of High Quality Earth Worm Castings
-5 TBSP Molasses
-5 Gallon Bucket with Water
Brew for 36-48 hours.  Root drench and/or foliar.

Botanical Compost Tea

-4 Cups EWC
1.5 Cups Alfalfa Meal
.5 Cups Kelp Meal
4 TBSP Molasses
-5 Gallon Bucket with Water
Brew for 36-48 hours.  Root drench and/or foliar.

Protozoa Compost Tea

-6 Cups Fresh Grass Clippings
-2 TBSP Molasses
-5 Gallon Bucket with Water
Brew for 24 hours.  Root drench.

Fungal Compost Tea

This tea is a little different.  Three days before your tea brewing, take high quality compost and add powdered baby oatmeal to it and leave in a warm, dry place for 3 days in a covered bin.  Thoroughly mix the oatmeal at four TBSP per cup of compost.  At the end of three days, the compost should look like Santa’s beard.

Put this mycelial mass into your 5 gallon bucket and fill with water.  Add one TSP powdered humid acid and 2 TBSP powdered Yucca and one TBSP molasses.  Brew and aerate for 24 hours.  Root drench and foliar.

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This post was written by sperling

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