so i have to switch out the media in my gb's and i was wanting suggestions for a media that my worms will be happy in.
That's all fine and well Converse, but how do the microbes feel about being strained then blasted out of a hand pump sprayer. And how would PETA feel about such treatment being perpetrated upon innocent bacteria?
What I wrote above seems just as ridiculous as the notion that your gonna kill billions of microbes by squeezing the trigger on the old Windex bottle or whatever. Just plain ridiculous. Ain't gonna happen.
When I spray, I strain mine through a double layer of womens nylons, not because the holes are a sized for the microbes to more easily slide through or anything...just availability. I've not had problems with any of the 3 sprayers (4 if I count the old Windex bottle) clogging.
Vlad, I think you missed my point in all this.
Personally, I do not want to know how PETA feels about this. Not gonna go there.
The point about the filtering is that there is a point at which there IS an optimal measurement for filtering, for those who seem to need to know. Just because one can't see microscopic life does not mean it does not exist. That is one of the reasons so many people think soil is just lifeless 'dirt'. Never seen it, and have no idea that there is a whole, very live and intertwined, group of life under their feet.. However, go ahead and strain your worm casting tea.....Some of the microbial population will be held back or damaged, possibly, but the effect on the tea, due to the population that gets through, is not noticeable. This is why I do not worry about telling people to strain their worm casting tea, and to go ahead an use a sprayer.
The use of the pumps/sprayers is okay. The reason I mentioned the recommendation made by soil microbiologists,who actually study the effect of this spraying on the microbiological population, was not from the stand point of someone willing to chain themselves to a sprayer so it won't get used and harm, 'our microbial friends', but for benefit of the person applying so they can use a pump that will handle particulates and can get the stuff applied.
Depending on a person's ability and willingness to screen their worm castings, there will be differing amounts/sizes of particulate present in the castings they are using. Then, depending on the way they brew, whether they keep the castings contained or loose, and how well they filter, there will be differing particulate matter in amount and size present in the worm casting tea.
And yes, I have also used the nylons as strainer, and a "windex-type bottle" as my sprayer for years, as well as others. Never clogged either...However, I was reporting the scientific research in my previous posts. I have many years ago discovered that there is the 'Lab standard', and then there is the practical application standard. The simple, practical application standard is what I recommend our small scale backyard clients to use as well, and they have had excellent results doing so. In short, nylons and the like are very readily available, and don't cost much. Keep it simple. Our commercail scale clients have had excellent results with freshly brewed worm casting tea using the larger sprayers, and various straining methods.
The researchers in-the-know will state that Eisenia fetida thrive best between the temps of 44-88 degrees F. I know from years and years of large scale vermiculture/vermicomposting operation, that these redworms actually thrive well outside this range on both sides. The 44-88 degrees may be optional for them (not sure if the lab-guys actually asked the redworms how they feel about that), but we do not baby our 'stock', though we do care for them, and they are doing very well, year after year..There's the Lab standard and practial in-the-field standard.
Taking this thread back to the original media question...We know from practical experience, collectively, that redwoms do well in most all types of media, but I am sure none of us will ever know how the redworms feel about any of the media we choose to put them in. I'm not gonna hire a vermi-psychologist to find out either.
Hope this helps, and that you feel better about the posts above,now that, I hope, I have explained myself better. ; ) .
I'm pretty sure we're on the same page. I feel I've understood you point(s) and agree.
I was just being a facetiousness, sardonic dick about the notion that someone in a home setting can kill all (or enough to matter) their microbes by using a pump sprayer.
Hi folks; Please forgive me for my first post here not being on the subject of aquaponics which I do hold in high regard.
I came upon this post by Converse by way of a Google search. Because it states things about me which are inaccurate I feel obligated to correct portions, despite that I recognize it to be an old post. So here goes...
Tim Wilson is well known on the internet. Anyone can be. Just get typing. He is the guy that is sited above in a post that states that you don't want to damage the microbial population by using a sprayer.
I have not held myself out to be an expert but I certainly did not just begin typing. I spent years doing research with a microscope and equipment every bit as good as those used by other researchers. The difference with what I produce for the public is what counts. I provide actual video footage of my findings. Who else does this?
If Converse was to actually post the link to my work http://www.microbeorganics.com/#Does_Microbial_Life_Survive_Impelle... one would discover that my testing was not related to sprayers but to impellers. We just included one of the squeeze type sprayers (like windex) as a point of interest and comparison but we were startled by the results (again openly posted). Because of observing these results with that type of sprayer we tested the pump up sprayers and did not observe similar damage. I apologize that I did not post up video data of this but I have written this many times.
His credentials? Not so impressive, well, as compared to the people he chooses to criticize.. But that does not necessarily make one a reliable source or not. ( I am not discrediting Tim, just putting him into perspective here.) I was a bit concerned when I read his critical comments in Dr. Elaine Ingham scientific procedures. This makes me wary of his assessments, methods, etc.
I went to school for as many years as other researchers but rather than focus on one field I chose to take a broad spectrum of subject material including; special education, neurology, brain & behaviour, biology and English literature. I worked as a teacher, behaviourist/counselor and volunteered running a horseback camp for disabled children for 15 years before returning to my science roots.
The comments I made related to the testing protocol used by the SFI/Earthfort labs related to compost tea are 100% credible and based upon math and standards set by accepted scientific procedure. Check it out if you wish. The main problem is that Dr. Ingham puts down plate culture type testing and espouses direct microscopy but it is plate culturing which they use for protozoa counts.
Besides this, how can they have an objective account of testing done on ACT makers on the market place and divulge results to the public, when they also have ACT makers on the market. This sure seems like a conflict of interest, especially when Dr Ingham was employed by Rodale. At least that is now rectified.
Again, all of my observations/assessments are recorded in video. There are no smoke and mirrors and printouts of test results with unknown foundational data. (e.g. expected levels, N provided per acre, projected weight of bacteria & fungi)
This is one lady who has world-wide respect in the world of soil science
Please name more than a few soil scientists who have such respect. If you wish to identify a shining star soil scientist from North America who is gaining respect look to Allison Jack-Horner. I'm not saying that Dr Ingham's contributions are without merit. I only challenge the portions of what she says that do not add up.
She is the scientist pioneer who put her entire career on the line and managed to save the world from a horrible genetic engineering experiment backed by a big name companies.
This is incorrect. The real story includes apologies made in writing. For those interested in reading the published versions feel free to email me.
She is dedicated to keeping research current
Not exactly. She shuns quite a number of new findings and techniques, like using fermentations and Luebke composting. It would be nice to see more ongoing research and learning
http://www.lawnsite.com/archive/index.php/t-267933.html admits he knows little about spraying rigs.
On to the filtering of your worm casting tea. According to Dr. Elaine Ingham, the best filtering for tea is to use mesh alteast 400 micrometers. At this size you will let microbes pass and still hold back particulates. One of the concerns about filtering is that fungi (there is beneficial fungi) tend to form in strands. These strands can be damaged or held back in fine straining.
I openly admit to knowing very little about various models of sprayers due to the fact that we rarely used them, preferring to distribute CT through irrigation or by using a sump pump. I have never said anything different.
You are however confusing filtering with extraction. When one is extracting, the mesh container holding compost is submerged into the volume of water, preferably with air being blown into the compost contained in the mesh container or at least being agitated. In this way the extracted microbes and spores can work their way loose from the matter, through the mesh and become suspended in the water where they can grow and divide. It is correct that 400 microns is a good average size to allow this activity but still contain the matter. I did testing which concurs with Dr Ingham's on this as did several other folks with scopes.
When one is filtering ACT after it is made, one is pouring or pumping it through a mesh screen. For this, 400 microns is too fine. The organic matter accumulates rapidly on the screen, blocking the passage of many microorganisms, especially fungal hyphae. I prefer to use 800 to 1000 micron mesh for this and even then the screen needs cleaning off periodically during the process. Alternatively, one can drop a submersible pump into a 800 to 1000 micron mesh bag placed into the tank and pump out.
You can also use a paint strainer in a second bucket and pour in the tea and gradually draw out the paint strainer. You can see this on my youtube channel.
the authors of the book ( also respected, educated scientists, who Dr. Elaine praises) above, state that using hand pump sprayers is a good way to apply teas
The authors of this book are friends of mine. You can read their input on my webpage. Although neither of them are scientists, I very much respect them and most of what is in the book is very good. I believe they are referring to the same pump up sprayers as I condone as safe but they commonly defer to my findings on such simple to observe matters.
One related issue is that sphagnum peatmoss was considered inert/lifeless until I proved otherwise. My findings were accepted by them as well as by Dr Ingham.
So Coverse, you are very mistaken and you should be careful before you smear someone and spread misinformation.
Tim Wilson ~ DHP
I believe in keeping things simple yet, accurate. In order to keep some of you from worrying abot negative effects of making worm castings tea, and then straining out all the good stuff , or damaging it as you apply it, let's look at some of the research and respected and educated sources for our information.
Tim Wilson is well known on the internet. Anyone can be. Just get typing. He is the guy that is sited above in a post that states that you don't want to damage the microbial population by using a sprayer. I read his research at the website posted above. Lots of stuff, volumes of stuff, impressive looking photos. His credentials? Not so impressive, well, as compared to the people he chooses to criticize.. But that does not necessarily make one a reliable source or not. ( I am not discrediting Tim, just putting him into perspective here.) I was a bit concerned when I read his critical comments in Dr. Elaine Ingham scientific procedures. This makes me wary of his assessments, methods, etc.. This is one lady who has world-wide respect in the world of soil science - current research and soil microbiology. Dr. Elaine Ingham is a world-renowned soil microbiologist who continues to study the microbial life of the soil, which in large part explains why organic “works.” She currently is the chief scientist for the Rodale Institute. She is the scientist pioneer who put her entire career on the line and managed to save the world from a horrible genetic engineering experiment backed by a big name companies. She is dedicated to keeping research current and helping farmers worldwide learn how to manage soils organically to better feed populations... I digressed from the reason for my post..I'll get back to it.
Tim Wilson on a post
http://www.lawnsite.com/archive/index.php/t-267933.html admits he knows little about spraying rigs.
On to the filtering of your worm casting tea. According to Dr. Elaine Ingham, the best filtering for tea is to use mesh alteast 400 micrometers. At this size you will let microbes pass and still hold back particulates. One of the concerns about filtering is that fungi (there is beneficial fungi) tend to form in strands. These strands can be damaged or held back in fine straining. If you look in the book "Teaming With Microbes, The Organic Gardener's Guide To The Soil Food Web" on page 158 this same issue is addressed and the same answer is found. By the way, this excellent book is available on Sylvia's online store here. An extremely valuable source even for Aquapons, since the microbial/biochemistry aspect of AP is much the same as it is in soil.
What about using sprayers? Both Dr. Elaine Ingham and the authors of the book ( also respected, educated scientists, who Dr. Elaine praises) above, state that using hand pump sprayers is a good way to apply teas. Backpack sprayers can be used too. But they also recommend concrete sprayers for large volume application, since they are designed to handle particulates.
Go ahead and spray or use a watering can. The point here is that you NEED to coat the entire surface of a plant leaf if you wish to have the beneficial microbial population at work for your plants. Coating completely is necessary if you are using the tea for fighting off plant maladies or pests. A watering can cannot do this.
I hope this is somewhat helpful.