It looks good enough to drink...
I'm darn excited to bring more manure into your life! It's high time manure tea makes a mainstream comeback, for it's a sad thing that this valuable by-product has been replaced by the likes of MiracleGro and other chemical based fertilizers. I won't preach...well, just a little...but why the heck are we throwing our money at that crap? (pun!) The
MiracleGro may give you bigger flowers but you're killing your soil and all of it's beneficial flora and fauna in the process therefore, your flowers and edibles will suffer in the long run...not to mention your health?
Which leads me here. To the lowly bucket of broken down, sundried manure.
In Wyoming, manure is everywhere! But, I come from the big city (Long Beach, CA) and I could find it there too. Every city has horses, and every horse owner will love you for hauling away their manure! If, you absolutely cannot locate manure, a bag of cow manure from your local garden center will do. At about a buck a bag, it's still an economical option!
This here is a photo of broken down (composted), sundried horse manure. Brown gold!
If you're going to make your own manure tea, it's very, very, extremely important to use OLD manure. Got it? Good!
Fresh manure is very hot and will burn foliage because of the excessive amounts of nitrogen.
The benefits of manure tea are numerous!
- Organic fertilizer such as manure tea, feeds the soil. We need a myriad of microbes to get biologically active soil. Healthy soil will welcome earthworms and beneficial nematodes, your dirt's natural defense against pests and disease. Simply put: if earthworms like it, so should we. Chemical fertilizers will chase earthworms away, not mention leach your soil with salt and chlorine.
- Manure tea is fast acting.
- Use of manure is the poster child of recycle, re-purpose, renew.
- Applying manure tea to your plants is comparable to us drinking a power-shake. Easily absorbed, giving your plants the energy they need to get through hard times.
- Manure tea can be poured directly into your compost pile to speed decomposition.
- The tea is a super transplant, rooting solution. Dip your plant, pot and all into manure tea to saturate before planting.
- It's free!
Okay, lets get dirty!
There are different methods, but this one works for me.
This is my set up: a 20 gal garbage can, a big bucket of composted manure, a pail and an old pillowcase for steeping and straining.
Take a Ralph Lauren pillowcase and fill it with 2 shovels full of manure.
Sorry Ralph *love you!*
P.S. It was a thrift store find many moons ago.
Tie off your manure filled pillowcase and drop into your garbage can filled halfway with water.
Now all that needs to happen is a 2 day soak. You might want to cover the brew with screen or a lid to prevent twinkly fairy bugs (flies) from invading.
Here are the results of your efforts. As the Clampetts would say... black gold,
The end product (pun!) and bounty.
I filled a 1 - 15 gal plastic bottle and 3 - 1/2 gal mason jars which I give as gifts to appreciative gardeners. Keep in mind, this is manure tea concentrate! Dilute one part water to one part tea when fertilizing.
More happy news for you! Use your hose feeder bottle, it works great! This is my old
That's it folks. All I can say is...give manure tea a chance. It truly is a sweet tea, for the garden of course. If you use aged horse manure, there is only a sweet, earthy smell...nothing repellent about it. But it is manure...so be prudent and wash your hands after using.
Go forth and sprinkle tea!