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Oct 21, 2018 8:18 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Bonnie
Texas
I was reading Empress of the Garden by Michael Shoup of the Antique Rose Emporium and he has written that they feed all of their roses at ARE once a month with aerobic compost tea. I have since started researching compost tea and have found that as a foliar feed it can help with black spot and other diseases and as a drench feeding makes your soil come alive and the roses love it. I am going to try making my own tea and was wondering if any of you have or do make your own compost tea. I would love to hear your experiences and thoughts. Thanks!
Last edited by RosesnTx Oct 21, 2018 8:45 AM Icon for preview
Avatar for Tisha
Oct 21, 2018 8:40 AM CST
(Zone 5b)
Bookworm The WITWIT Badge Moon Gardener Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses
Vermiculture Frogs and Toads Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
@RosesnTx,
I received Michael`s book this year.
Lot`s of gardeners here on this site use compost teas.
I haven`t seen a discussion lately, thou.
Looking forward to a `rose compost tea` thread.
Simple on a Schedule
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Oct 21, 2018 8:47 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Bonnie
Texas
Tisha you will love this book! I received mine for Mother's Day and I look at it frequently, in fact I sat down with a pen and paper yesterday and made a list of roses from the book I would like to grow this spring.
Avatar for Tisha
Oct 21, 2018 9:04 AM CST
(Zone 5b)
Bookworm The WITWIT Badge Moon Gardener Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses
Vermiculture Frogs and Toads Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Just this fall I planted quite a few of their roses, 36, and still have the second shipment coming in the spg.
This vendor got my biggest order this year.
And I still ordered from 3 other vendors!
I keep thinking about planting my driveway like Zuzu did. The car I bought just sits there and I don`t go anywhere!
I`m still playing outside today, so I`ll check back in later.
Simple on a Schedule
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Oct 21, 2018 9:13 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Bonnie
Texas
The sun is out today after all day rain and overall dreariness yesterday so I will be outside today as well weeding beds and getting ready for the winter.
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Oct 21, 2018 11:40 PM CST
Name: Shyam
San Francisco, CA (Zone 10b)
I am a first timer, and with the help of Let It Rot! by Stu Campbell, I started anaerobic composting in a big tumbler. Little did I know about the compost tea that was dripping as the weeks went on. To avoid staining the garage floor, I collected the tea. I read it online that compost tea is good for roses. I mixed it with the water before feeding it to the roses. The roses are responding well so far. However, since it started attracting flies, I moved the tumbler to the backyard. I guess I am going to switch from the anaerobic tumbler composting to worm composting (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M9BR1L0/). Doing so, I could leave it inside the garage, have an easy access to compost tea and worm casting. Worth a try!
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Oct 22, 2018 2:30 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Bonnie
Texas
I was just really hoping to hear more of people's experiences what has worked for them and what they used in the tea. This might be old news to some people but I just found out about so I might be a little late to the game .
Shyam are you switching to worm castings because it's easier?
Last edited by RosesnTx Oct 22, 2018 3:29 PM Icon for preview
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Oct 22, 2018 3:09 PM CST
Name: Shyam
San Francisco, CA (Zone 10b)
@RosesnTx: It's easier in regards to collecting the compost tea, while the worms create a good compost with castings in it. The worm compost bin comes with a tray with a tap for collecting compost tea. I tried tumbler composting (and the tumbler full of new compost is still in the backyard), but the compost tea drips. Placing a tray underneath the tumbler helped, but the tray was not covered. Hence it attracted fruit flies. Tumbler with fruit flies buzzing about is not a good visual inside the garage.
Trust me, I am new to this as well, and I am still a bit uncomfortable about the whole worm composting, but it will be an experience.

An alternative that I am considering is to set up hanging plastic tray or place a plastic tray to go underneath the tumbler fitted with mesh netting to prevent the flies from feeding on the compost tea collected in the tray.
Last edited by Rose_Guy1127 Oct 22, 2018 3:19 PM Icon for preview
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Oct 23, 2018 12:41 AM CST
Name: Shyam
San Francisco, CA (Zone 10b)
@RosesnTx:
This looks like something you might be interested in for making compost tea:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003ANMBKQ/
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Oct 23, 2018 1:10 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Bonnie
Texas
Tisha thank you for the links. I realize this is a large gardening site and I have been researching on my own but thought it would be nice to have a discussion with other rose loving people about their experiences with compost tea.
Shyam thank you too for the links you provided. Good luck with your worms.
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Oct 23, 2018 11:46 PM CST
Name: Shyam
San Francisco, CA (Zone 10b)
@Tisha: Thanks for that! I bookmarked it for I could see myself referring to it once after I have my worm compost up and running!
Avatar for Tisha
Oct 24, 2018 6:47 AM CST
(Zone 5b)
Bookworm The WITWIT Badge Moon Gardener Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses
Vermiculture Frogs and Toads Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
I`m just finishing up planting `Lilium candidum` in some of the rose beds. Just a few more things to finish and I`ll be done outside.
@RosesnTx,
I`m sorry. I didn`t mean to offend you.
My experience with compost tea is probably different than yours.
Sorry for the offence.
Simple on a Schedule
Avatar for porkpal
Oct 24, 2018 8:20 AM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Charter ATP Member Keeper of Poultry I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Keeps Horses
Roses Plant Identifier Farmer Raises cows Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
Can someone explain how it is superior to just using compost?
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Oct 24, 2018 9:56 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Bonnie
Texas
Tisha you didn't offend me and I don't have any experience with compost tea and that's reason I was asking to hear others experiences about what does or doesn't work for them. I honestly thought that there might be a bigger response to this thread and that's fine that there isn't.

Porkpal I think the difference I have seen is you can use it as a foliar spray, which is supposed to help with diseases and also a Drench feeding around the roses that adds beneficial live bacteria into the soil quicker. I hope I have that right anyway. Aerobic compost tea is supposed to be the best but I think that depends on who you talk to from what I have been reading. I just want to easiest/simplest way and was hoping for some advice from people who are experienced in making it.
Avatar for RpR
Oct 24, 2018 12:33 PM CST
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Now there are people who use these miracle fixes and it works for them but I have found that if it sounds too good to be true, not far from 100 percent of the time that is the fact.

This is worth reading.
https://www.finegardening.com/...

My big complaint on some of these wonders is when you see them on TV or in a magazine, you would have to be blind in one eye and not able to see out of the other, to not see THAT THE SOIL is far, far, far different from average garden soil ANYWHERE in the country.
I think that if one puts hundred to thousands of hours of intense labour into their soil, this stuff will do as said, but for those who do not have the time or physical durability, it is a accidental game of Three Card Monte.
There was a program about an organic farm on PBS a year or so ago that was going under. You could see from shot where they were working on the soil it was well, well, well cared for but they did not have enough volunteer help to , or money coming in from sales, to keep it going.
That is more like the real world.
Last edited by RpR Oct 24, 2018 1:14 PM Icon for preview
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Oct 24, 2018 1:01 PM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Charter ATP Member Keeper of Poultry I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Keeps Horses
Roses Plant Identifier Farmer Raises cows Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
I think I will continue to improve the soil by applying compost from whence the ingredients spring and skip the steeping.
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Oct 24, 2018 2:56 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Bonnie
Texas
RpR, thanks for the link, that was a very good article and I appreciate your input. I have been a little skeptical about the whole thing and certainly don't want to waste my time if there are truly no benefits. I was just curious about it after reading that's how the Antique Rose Emporium feeds their roses and was interested in finding out if other rose growing people used compost tea.
I am thinking I am bordering on the side with Porkpal.
Avatar for Tisha
Oct 24, 2018 5:39 PM CST
(Zone 5b)
Bookworm The WITWIT Badge Moon Gardener Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses
Vermiculture Frogs and Toads Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Simplicity on a Schedule.
Simple on a Schedule
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Oct 24, 2018 10:01 PM CST
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all
Amaryllis Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Salvias Lilies Irises
Hibiscus Garden Art Daylilies Cottage Gardener Container Gardener Composter
I use compost and "alfalfa/compost tea". My soil is sandy to sandy loam and is in the area of old cotton fields. Being in Texas I have high heat and root knot nematodes...probably from the fields. February is compost, late spring is wood chip mulch..but usually sometime in May the compost is long gone. It is hard to get back in between all the blooming plants with shovels of compost and it would make my mulch look ugly. Then I start with tea to feed the garden. It is "easier" on the plants in hot temperatures than fertilizer and is supposed to help the soil with nematodes. Because of the hot temps I do not use it as foliar feed. My concern is for the soil.

My tea used to be real "alfalfa" not pellets...but I have not been able to find that in years. So now I use pellets without additives, water soak for a couple of days, then I add epsom salts, ironite, molasses, and my "liquidy compost". Let it soak another day. I make it concentrated and add more water to it as I use it. My liquidy compost comes from a giant food service plastic jar (sometimes a 5 gallon bucket with lid) that I stuff with fresh fruit and vegetable scraps with a little water; put the top on and let the sun turn it to mush. None of this smells good but the plants are happy.

I think I have a picture or two and a little bit more detailed instructions in my garden photo thread ...My Caffeinated Garden and other tidbits. August 22, 2017. You could read it there or if you would like, I could copy it and post it here.

May everyone's garden be blessed with healthy plants and success!
One to take to heart....1 John 4 ..............................................Where there is smoke...there is fire...in most cases the smoke will kill you long before the fire consumes you. Beware of smoke screens! Freedom is not free and when those who have not paid the price or made the sacrifice...think that only they are right and entitled to speak...they bring us tryanny.

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