I spent a little time yesterday afternoon making two new compost tea presses with some scrap 100 mm PVC pipe that I found. I had to buy a joiner and the end pieces but they’ll pay back soon with beautiful Nettle and Comfrey tea, over time. They’re all ready to mount somewhere in the garden.
We don’t have a lot of space here at Ligaya Garden and often have to think vertically. I looked around for ideas and found a precursor to these online somewhere (it was ages ago, so don’t ask me for a link). They’re the perfect solution for a composting system that only has a small footprint. Of course, you’ll still need to add solid organic material to your garden somehow but these will help give your garden a nutritional boost. I use them to get a lot of the brews for the bioponics system.
I’ve experimented with both 150 mm and 90 mm pipe diameter and, while bigger has proven to be better, the price of going to 150mm jumps up by astronomical amount! 90 mm works but 100 mm is the sweet spot for price and production.
1.2 metres in length is perfect for me, I can easily reach to load it and clean the pipes out. It doesn’t look awkward in the garden either. You may have much longer arms than I or enjoy climbing ladders, if you do, you can go for longer pipes. I haven’t experimented to find a maximum length yet but I suppose there is a length where the pressed material won’t budge or will absorb fresher liquid. I get about a 1.5 litres per batch out of the 150 mm press that I’ve been using up until now.
They work through gravity, with a weight slowly pressing down on the packed leaf material and squeezing the liquid out as the material breaks down. It concentrates the liquid by passing the liquid pressed from the top leaves down, over lower, compacted material, drawing more out on the way. It all works by gravity! All you need to do to collect amazing compost tea is to put a bucket or bottle underneath the outlet.
I’ve covered the construction of these useful additions to a small garden on our ‘odourless compost tea press‘ page.