This weekend I took a visit to East Texas to work on some of our worm beds. While loading manure from some piles to start a new worm bed, I noticed some termites in some fence posts, as well as, some fire ant mounds. I have had success with compost tea applications before in controlling ants, grubs, and fleas. So I started a small batch of tea with finished compost and some redworm castings. I also did a little research to see if anyone had had any experience with termites and found this article. Microbes like nematodes and bacteria can be amplified with a quality finished compost and brewed into actively aerated compost tea. Beneficial predators that can control and eliminate many pests. So if you have a roach, ant, flea, tick, grub, cigger, termite or other problem chances are actively aerated compost tea can come to the rescue.
I started brewing a batch yesterday afternoon of actively aerated red worm compost tea (red worm castings, unsulphured molasses, and rain water).
I have collected about 15-20 gallons of rain water to use over the last month or so. Rain water, well water, or water from other natural sources are the best choices to be used in your compost tea. Tap water should be left out in the sun for a day or so to eliminate Chlorine. Next, I harvested some castings from my worms. I use a mesh laundry bag for my tea bag. Compost can be added to the water or steeped with a bag. The tea bag eliminates the need to strain before putting in your sprayer.
Aeration- I’ve got a pond aerator pumping into the brew to supply plenty of O2 supporting beneficial microbial growth.
To make is “sweet” compost tea, I’ve added some unsulphured molasses to feed the beneficial bacteria.
This batch will be ready this afternoon. I’ll put the finished product into a pump sprayer and apply to my plants. It’s that easy to add beneficial microbes and add “life” to plants and soil. Compost tea applications will reduce water consumption by plants, and add balance back to your yard and plants. Beneficial microbes (bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and nematodes) can eliminate the need to aerate your lawn, the use of pesticides, and commercial fertilizer.
I will need about 5 gallons or a third for my use, and will be glad to share the rest. I’ll be giving a gallon away with any worm purchase this weekend. First come first serve.
I had mentioned in my previous post that positive indicator for my compost tea application was to rid a section of our hay patch of ants. The spot of concern has been infested for a few years with “town ants” or Texas leaf cutter ants. Town ant hills were sprinkled throughout a 20 yard X 20 yard area. The operative word being “were” because two weeks later the ant hills are vacant.
Beneficial microbes in compost tea are parasites to ants, fire ants, fleas, ticks, and chiggers. I had had success in my lawn in getting rid of some of these pests with compost tea, but never on this scale. This alone is encouragement enough for us to continue compost tea applications, and we’re looking forward to the next batch.