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I made… manure tea

March 21, 2012

And we are back with our regularly scheduled useful post! :9

So, last week while browsing around online I was reminded of something I wanted to DIY. Manure tea. Some time back Mike gave me a sample of manure tea, composted steer manure, in a cotton bag. I tried it out and the plants seemed to like it ok. Except it was a bit smelly. Not nearly as bad as my usual fish emulsion though. Either way it wasn’t available at my local garden sources, and a bit too pricey and bulky an item to order online all the time, so I had never bought any more.

Anyway, saw some manure tea bags online  and remembered I had recently bought some cotton drawstring bags for drinking tea, and I had a big 3×5 one.

I just stuffed it with composted chicken manure (technically it should be guano, shame on their marketing department) that Da keeps around.

And tossed it into a 5 gallon bucket to soak for 3 days. I also remembered to cover it 😉 That’s extra summer weight row cover secured with a clothes pin to cover it. Soaking it in water leaches all the yummay nutrients out to the water so plants can take them up right away when you water them with it.

And 3 days later voila! And guess what? It wasn’t stinky at all! 😀

Ok, it didn’t look that great at first. When I uncovered the bucket it looked like the manure had leaked out the bag and pooled on the bottom, the rest of the water was only slightly yellowy. But then I tried to fish the bag out with a ladle and it was the leeched nutrients sitting on the bottom and they clouded up right quick to make that gorgeous black gold in the photo. After I used all the tea I untied the bag and dumped the leftover chicken manure over a pot that I just sowed some beans in. The bag is drying out in the sun, to be used again and again until it falls apart 😀

You could apply this method to any kind of compostedmaterial. Composted horse manure, worm castings, regular garden compost… Have fun 😉

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