The Old System
My old Compost Tea brewing system simply consisted of the standard Home Depot bucket with an aquarium pump and an air stone. I used a micro-meshed worm bag to place the compost in, filled the bucket with water. And let it brew for 24 to 48 hours.
After 24 hours, if the tea smelled earthy and kind of sweet, then I considered it ready to spray onto the plants.
For future consideration, it would be nice to go one step further and look at the compost tea under a microscope and observe the population of microbes. But, my gauge for weighing how successful the compost tea worked was always the health of the plants after applying the compost tea.
The important benefits after applying the compost tea:
- The leaves of the plant became richer in color and more glossy.
- The growth was much improved.
- In rose bushes, there were more buds.
- The plant, overall, was resistant to disease, especially rose bushes which can be susceptible to a variety of molds, fungal diseases and the like.
A Compost Tea Vortex Brewer
Below is my own DIY setup for a Vortex Brewer.
I’m only using a 3 gallon bucket. And my reasons for this are:
- 1. I don’t really like orange 5 gallon buckets.
- 2. I’m thinking the black color will help with algae growth and minimize light.
- 3. Carrying the 3 gallon buckets are easier than the 5 gallon buckets.
I find this vortex brewer design fascinating. For one, I like the uptake pipe in which the end of the pump hose sits near the bottom. It’s recommended you use a commercial air pump for a stronger flow, and these things are pretty powerful. The airflow acts like a syphon, forcing the water from the hole in the bottom of the bucket and up the pipe to be distributed onto the surface of the water near the top of the bucket.
I had to experiment quite a bit on positioning the PVC pipe opening in order to get a good vortex going. My son and I found that it gets a good vortex when the pipe opening is closer to the wall of the bucket, and I’m still debating whether it’s better that the pipe opening touch the surface, or positioned just above it.
Needless to say, the vortex brewer delivers a strong current of water and my concern with the older system was there might be stagnant areas at the bottom of the bucket where anaerobic bacteria, pathogens and the like might develop. With the vortex brewer you get more movement at the bottom of the bucket and the water being more exposed to air for the aerobic bacteria to thrive.
I’ll keep you posted as to how the compost tea from the vortex brewer works with the plants, and whether there is a significant improvement or not.
Compost Tea Results
The following are photos of the roses and orchids in the garden, after using compost tea consistently for the past 2 months.
Iceberg Roses – Floribunda
Double Delight – Hybrid Tea Rose
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