Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Make Manure Tea

If you’re growing your own food you need your plot to be as fertile as possible.  Manure is the small-holders best tool for improving fertility quickly.  If you have a supply of manure then making up some manure tea or manure water is a quick way of ensuring plants have a soluble supply of all the nutrients they require.

Make Manure Tea / Manure Water

  • Fill a bucket 1/3 full of manure.
  • Fill up with water and put on a not too tight lid.
  • Leave the manure water for two weeks to ferment and allow nutrients to dissolve.
  • Dissolve the manure tea with ten times as much water and use.  The brew applied to plants should look the colour of week tea.
  • Keep topping up the manure water bucket with more water as you use it to ensure a continual supply.
This is a great ‘pick me up’ or reviver for plants which have gone through ‘troubled times’ such as club root or bad weather.  It is also useful to apply as crops first start cropping as a booster feed.  We use it on tomatoes, aubergines and peppers until fruit starts to set.
In the long term a self sufficient gardener would be looking to improve the soil en-mass with regular compost and manure applications so this ad-hoc feed would be rarely needed.  But as you start to improve your soil’s fertility this quick-fix solution can be invaluable.
To make compost water or seaweed tea use exactly the same method described above.  You will need to rinse some of the salt from your seaweed haul before making the seaweed tea.  Seaweed tea is probably the best as seaweed seems to contain every nutrient a plant could want.  But as ever, use whatever you can get your hands on.
Basically you’re making your own liquid fertilizer which can even be used as a foliar feed (though not on the bits you want to eat any time soon).  Even if you were buying or bartering in manure this is a very cheap way of making liquid feeds which are ecologically sound too due to the absence of chemicals.  And, if you’re using compost or manure produced on your own vegetable plot, or seaweed picked locally yourself, this is a free organic liquid feed.  You can’t get better than that.
For a more self sufficient future
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