How to Create Compost Tea for Your Garden

Guest blog by Ann Katelyn. Visit her website at sumogardener.com

Are you planning on creating your own compost at home? Did you know that you can create compost tea? The information provided below should point you in the right direction to create some decent compost tea.

Compost tea is an ideal modern organic fertilizer. This is largely due to the minerals and nutrients that it can provide your plants. It will also help encourage the growth of certain microorganisms that are beneficial for them. For people who don’t know, compost is made out of organic waste, which is then converted into a soil rich in nutrients.

Another benefit of compost tea is that it will help ensure your garden grows healthier and disease free plants. Creating compost tea is a simple and easy task to do since the only ingredients that you need are water and compost.

Recipe for Compost Tea

  • Gathering Brown and Green Materials

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Starting a Home Vegetable Garden: Benefits and How to Save Money

Guest blog by Tina Martino

Starting a kitchen vegetable garden is not easy, but it is not rocket science either. But before you rush to the nearest Home Depot and purchase a ton of seedlings, fertilizer, and dirt, here is a cheaper way of embracing home gardening without breaking the bank. Continue reading

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No-turn compost? Seriously?

Question:

Do I have to turn my compost?

Answer:

Kitchen and yard waste will compost even if you do not turn it.  Microbes, bugs and worms will do the work.  No one turns a forest floor where even the fallen trees will compost just fine.  However, in your backyard compost where you add lots of kitchen scraps, you will want to make the compost by balancing it with “browns”.  This fluffy material will provide pockets of air, too.  Add similar amounts of nitrogen-rich greens, like your kitchen scraps, to carbon-rich browns such as dry leaves, straw or shredded paper.  Add a little old compost or soil to provide a variety of microbes and grit for the worms.  Always top off with the browns so that it does not smell.  Keep it damp.  That’s it! Continue reading

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How does compost improve compacted soil?

Organic matter feeds microscopic fungi that wind their way around clay and sand IMG_2494particles.  Bacteria feast on the fungi, plant roots chase after the exudates from fungi and bacteria, worms and a plethora of tiny creatures wiggle and creep around and gradually the soil loosens up. Continue reading

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Waste Incineration – Why burning garbage is a really bad idea!

Guest blog by engineer Eduardo Uranga

Are the officials at the Comox Valley Regional District, considering building a waste incineration facility as part of a waste management strategy?

Some supporters of waste incineration have said this is a way to produce so called “clean energy”. These projects are sometimes called “waste to energy” facilities. Whatever you call it ultimately this is really just about burning garbage and that is a really bad idea. Continue reading

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Speedibin user gets his compost to 243 degrees F!

Now and then we are142-c flabbergasted.  This customer did it.  I didn’t know compost could get this hot. Here is his story, for the record. 

Just had to phone from Orangeville, Ont about results of using the device. And delighted with its performance.

Used grass clippings and then (yuck) Initially, kitchen scraps, ending up with a foot or so in the bin,  mounded up like a little mountain,  and because waiting for fall of maple leaves and had nothing more to add except human urine which worked great as an activator, ending up initially with a foot  If leveled off, and before mounding up. Continue reading

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What is your compost style?

The Saskatchewan Waste Recycle Council 20160507_111425-003 put together a fun interactive way to test what compost method suits your lifestyle. Check it outContinue reading

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How To Identify 4 Troublesome Vegetable Garden Pests

Guest post by Angela Thomas, NY City Pest Control

(Make sure you click on the excellent infographic!)

One of the most common problems discussed among all vegetable gardeners is about pests and pesticides. Only by identifying problems in your garden, you can come up with solutions accordingly. You must know some of the insects are beneficial to your garden, and some might cause trouble. This infographic describes many of the natural ways of controlling pests in a garden. Continue reading

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No Smell Composting

From the Comox Valley Echo, Tuesday 7 January 2014, Ask a Pro

Question:
How can I make sure my compost does not smell?
Answer:
Compost does not smell if it is made right. Usually any smells are caused by nitrogen being released as ammonia. And what a waste of nutritive nitrogen! Or there may be anaerobic pockets that release sulphur. Here are some tips to ensure that these tragIMG_4311-001edies never happen.
• After you add your kitchen scraps to your compost bin, always top off with a layer of    carbon-rich browns like leaves, straw or shredded paper.
• When you are adding stinky stuff, it’s best to dig a little hole in the compost and bury the matter. Then cover with browns, of course.
• If there are anaerobic pockets, get out your garden fork or a stick and churn the compost up a bit. This invigorates the aerobic microbes.
• If you aerate or fork over your compost, add some old compost or browns on top afterwards.
• Make sure there is drainage under your bin so that there are no puddles under it.
So don’t throw away those valuable food scraps. Your garden will love the nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and micronutrients. It’s easy and rewarding!

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Hot vs Cold Composting

From the Comox Valley Echo, Tuesday 5 November 2013, Ask a Pro

Question:
What is the difference between hot and cold composting?
Answer: 2015 model
The hot compost method takes some effort. You need enough biomass with a fairly precise carbon to nitrogen ratio. The temperature climbs to about 60 C (140 F) and kills most seeds. The pile needs to be aerated regularly, every day or two during the hot stage, and moisture levels maintained. Commercial and municipal facilities take advantage of hot composting systems and may aerate and mix continuously. You won’t see worms here, just thermophilic (heat-loving) bacteria. The hot stage may be finished in as little as 10 days but needs to cure for at least another two weeks before you can call it compost.
By contrast, passive composting takes almost no work – toss in the materials as you gather them, then sit back and wait. Let the worms and microbes do the heavy lifting! This is what most backyard composters do. The finished product takes from 6 to 24 months. Cold composting does not lose as much nitrogen, there is a greater diversity of soil life and you get to be lazy. Hot or cold, the Speedibin rodent proof composter is ideal. And you will be growing your own soil!

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