I was watching gardening videos on the internet and came across the concept of compost tea. At first I thought it was one of those passing fads, but then I thought about the science...basically forcing good bacteria to multiply in a slurry so you could put them on your garden...and wasn't sure. I dug around some more and found some actual scientists doing it to build soil nutrients.
The reason I was unsure at first is that a lot of these gardeners on the internet seem a little flighty. Most of them seem to think that compost tea is magic or something. Also, most of them seem to lack decent tools. I saw one pounding in nails with a pair of pliers. Very few of them have tractors, or anything more modern than a garden fork. Some of them refuse to use bone meal and manure because they are Vegan. No doubt they feed their dogs grass clippings too. By the way, if I ever claim to be a Vegan, what I will mean is that I always wanted a Chevy Vega with a 350 small block in it, not that drinking milk is morally wrong.
Once I started watching agricultural videos, I became a believer though, at least enough that I'm going to try it. Competent farmers, organic and not, use it as part of their irrigation regime and ag departments at universities are teaching and studying its effects. These people own tools and tractors and have science behind them. They don't think this is magic, they know how it works. They are rebuilding land that has been over-farmed with it, and they are doing it without taking the land out of production.
That's important because my garden has been there since the 1940's and keeping it productive is a battle. It's depleted. It needs to be rebuilt.
Nobody seems to have a solid recipe that you can just look up and use on a small scale though.
What I've come up with is:
1 shovel of compost
1 or 2 cups of rock dust
1 cup of molasses
1 or 2 cans of stale beer
5 gallons of rain water
Optional: 1/2 cup of ammonia if extra nitrogen needed.
Aerate for 24 hours with a fish-tank aerator. Strain through old pantyhose. Apply with garden sprayer. Repeat once every two weeks.
The molasses and stale beer is to feed the bacteria so they multiply. The rock dust is to get minerals back in the soil. The aeration is so that you get aerobic bacteria.
So I'm wondering if any of you use compost tea and what your recipe is.