How to Make Manure Tea For Your Garden
The effectiveness of manure tea is one of the most hotly debated garden discussions. While many scientists contend that manure tea is not an effective soil amendment, the vast hordes of gardeners who have applied a dose to their plants disagree vehemently because they have seen the positive results. Manure tea is filled with aerobic bacteria and has been used for centuries as a valuable and economical fertilizer. Typically, it is made from a hot, nitrogen-rich manure. This creates a positive soil amendment for heavy garden feeders that require additional nutrition throughout the season; among these are asparagus, tomatoes, and peppers. Manure tea is a nutrient-rich concoction for your garden that is easy to make and apply. A bit of manure plus some brewing time, and you have a great source of organic nitrogen fertilizer for your gardens and container plantings. Here's how to make and use it in your garden.
Homemade manure tea
The best manures to use for homemade tea include cow, horse, goat, and rabbit manures. Put a shovel-full of rotted, composted manure in a large burlap or cotton sack and close the sack with twine tied tightly at the top of the sack. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with rainwater. Put the manure sack in the water. Stir occasionally. Steep in the water for three to five days until the tea is a deep brown color. Dilute your homemade manure tea by half, so you do not burn your plants. Use one to two times per week throughout the growing season when watering.
Pre-made manure tea bags
Some brands provide a no-fuss and no-mess way of making manure tea. Simply fill a watering can or 5-gallon bucket with rainwater, toss in a tea bag, and let steep for one to three days until the tea is a deep brown color. There is no need to dilute this tea; pour directly into a watering can and water your thirsty plants.
Remember: It’s only to be used as a soil conditioner for your plants. Water your plants with the tea, and be sure to sprinkle it on the leaves as it is also absorbed through the leaf system as well as through the soil.
Fill a watering can or bucket with rainwater, toss in a manure tea bag, let steep, and then feed your plants with manure tea for a healthy garden.
How to Apply Manure Tea
Manure tea can be applied as a foliar feed or directly to the soil around the plants. To use it as a manure tea, strain it well to remove solids, dilute it to the color of weak tea, and add it to a sprayer. Then just apply it to the top and undersides of the foliage on your garden plants.
To apply directly to the soil, pour about one pint of diluted manure tea around the base of each plant. Apply manure tea weekly throughout the growing season.
What Plants to Fertilize With Manure Tea
Just about any plant in your garden or container plantings will benefit from manure tea. But don't fertilize root crops such as carrots, radishes, turnips, potatoes, and beets with manure tea. These plants need more potassium than nitrogen—excess nitrogen (which manure tea would provide) would result in pretty, healthy top growth but not much root growth.
A regimen of applying manure tea will definitely result in healthier, happier plants. Consider brewing some for your garden this season.