This blog is about my garden located in Melbourne, Australia, where summer heat and long periods without rain can make gardening a challenge. This blog is the gateway to a series of my blogs showing you how I deal with these conditions................5th February 2017.
I make two 15 litre batches of aerated compost tea every month and spray the brew on the foliage of my garden plants. I
do this to boost the community of beneficial microbes on the leaves
which helps increase uptake of nitrogen from the atmosphere and provides a protective barrier against airborne plant pathogens.
The brewing process is about growing beneficial microbes extracted from a small quantity of freshly made compost. Microbe numbers are quadrupled in the 24 hour aeration process.
15 litres of clean captured rainwater are mixed with 150 grams of freshly sieved homemade compost andsmall amounts of fish and seaweed extract in a 20 litre food quality pail. The air pump is turned on and the bubbler placed in the bottom of the pail weighed down using small stones insidethebubbler.
An aquarium heater is used in cold weather to ensure the water temperature doesn't get lower that 24C as microbe reproduction slows below this temperature.After 24 hours, the pump is turned off and the brew is strained to remove solids. The finished brew is sprayed onto the garden without delay so the beneficial microbes don't run out of oxygen.
brewer is made from easily obtained components usually available from your local hardware store or plumbing supplier. The pump and the aquarium heater, however may only be available at specialist pet stores or from an on line store.
The 20 litre food quality pail comes with a tightly sealing lid, but I drill 2 holes in it so that the hose connecting the pump and the bubbler can pass through one of them and the other one is just a vent to allow the air pumped into the pail to easily escape.
Small holes are drilled in the horizontal tubes in the bubbler and the flexible hose is glued into the vertical tube withsilicone. The bubbler's rigid components are a tight fit (no glue) so they can be pulled apart for cleaning. Small stones are used in the bubbler as ballast to stop it rising to the surface when the pump is turned on.
Check out the above links for more details. These links take you to the relevant pages in my supporting blogs.