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Weed Tea - Turning weeds into friends

If you've followed the saga of my weed problem, and how I'm trying to turn the weed (I'll call it Trans for short,(we are on close terms)) to my advantage. You will know that I had to rely on others, much to my embarrassment, it should be acknowledged, to identify what it is that has been causing me such angst. 

I found that drowning the bugger in a sealed drum for over six weeks took care of it and produced brown lifeless mulch for the garden. The remaining brown liquid, we'll call it weed tea, was left behind but due to it being produced in an anaerobic way, according to Dr Elaine Ingram, it would be problematic to use it like that on the garden. So I've been applying myself to the task of introducing oxygen to the liquid. Elaine Ingram advises that I should pump oxygen into the drum via a fish tank type of pump, which we all know pumps bubbles of air in at the bottom and this then percolates it's way upward from there. She also states that the smell of an anaerobic drum of liquid will be very strong, but as my nose is about as reliable as my weed identification skills, I couldn't tell whether the liquid was indeed "off" or not. So the above photo shows my solution. What you see is the top of my 44 gallon drum, an old pump is spraying liquid from the bottom of the barrel onto the water at the top. You can see the white foam being created.

My questions to you all is, "will this introduce air (oxygen) to the mix", and if it does how long do you reckon I will need to keep this going for? At this point I need to acknowledge that it was my wife Brenda who's idea it was to turn the sprinkler upside down, I had constructed something on top, but once again I was wrong, (ouch).

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Comment by Rob Walter on June 18, 2015 at 16:40

I've been lucky in that so far it's never my fault. It's been the fault of the heat, the cold, rain, drought, pests, possums, the soil, the sun and the humidity, but so far never my fault. I guess I'm just a really good gardener.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on June 18, 2015 at 16:08

I prefer to think of it as "prematurely headed for the compost bin."

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on June 18, 2015 at 8:32

As the leaver of a trail of dead plants, I have to own up to not always being the plants best friend.

Comment by Rob Walter on June 18, 2015 at 7:43

I was more impressed by the sly implication that not all of us do a great job for plant health.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on June 17, 2015 at 23:21

Holy cow!!!!!!!

Elaine just came out!  What?  No, nothing to do with sexuality.  I've been divorced twice - I'm not going to judge someone's sexuality.  Get ready.... she is a German with a sense of humour!!!!!  LOL. 

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on June 17, 2015 at 23:07

Difference between microbes and us is that all of them do a great job for plant health. A short life and maybe a gay one ;-)

Comment by Roger Clark on June 17, 2015 at 21:42

Elaine, These microbes don't seem to have a great life do they? They either starve to death or kill themselves with their own excretia. What a choice!

Comment by Susan on June 17, 2015 at 16:59

Thanks very much Roger :) 

Comment by Roger Clark on June 17, 2015 at 16:37

Susan, The three photos are 1 - the whole pump set up, showing the hard black plastic water pipe that sucks the water up from the barrels bottom, which is connected to the pump inlet via screwed fittings. 2- The outlet connection which has the garden hose fitting on top. This also connected to the pump via screwed fittings. 3- the inlet connections in closer detail. It would be much easier to get fewer fittings in each set up, but old scrooge Clark, used what he had available at the time. I have used thread tape to help seal the connections. Your pump may not have as large a screwed socket to fit the connections to (inlet and outlet) so you may need fewer fittings. I would advise you to take the pump along to a plumbing suppliers and demonstrate what you need (print outs of my set up may help). If you haven't got your pump yet, you may not need one as big as mine, it was an old sullage pump in a former life.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on June 17, 2015 at 12:57

If you watch the bubles from an airstone, they just float to the top and burst (rather than burst in the water).  When they burst on the surface, they break the surface tension which lets air into the water. There is some minimal release of air on the way up to the top but not much. 

Here's a quote from Jun 18, 2012 - As for increasing the oxygenation of the water, the best thing air stones do is provide good water circulation - so if your filter is adequate to the tank, it will already be providing adequate water circulation, and the benefit from an air stone andair pump will be minimal and unnecessary.

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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

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