Manure Tea : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I've been kicking around the idea of making a manure tea to use to supplement watering the garden with...

Has anybody ever done this before? Any gotcha's?

I have a 55 gallon translucent white plastic drum I was going to set up on a stand, and attach valves to. One large inlet (looks like 2 or 2.25" pipe thread) to add water and a manure slurry mix, and a 3/4" outlet.

How long do I need to let the tea "steep"? Should I use composted manure or can I use fresh (I have an ample source of cow and horse available from friends down the road. And what about rabbit - I plan to have a few by years end if God blesses me and everything goes super smooth. If not rabbit next year.)

Thanks in advance! Eric

-- Eric Stone (, April 13, 2000


I make manure tea with a old large coffee pot [30 cups]which had stoped working, just put compost in basket and pour water over could use any manure that dosnt need to be composted before putting around plants [goat, rabbit ect] but cow and chicken needs to be composted first.Compost tea works a little better because it has more nutrients [wide variety of things in it]but they are both good for the plants.

-- kathy h (, April 13, 2000.

I usually make a 55 gal. drum of it each year. I fill a burlap bag about half to one third full, tie a string TIGHTLY around the neck and suspend it in the water. You could just drop it in too, I guess. I dip my watering can or pail right in the barrel when I want to use some. If you keep the solids separate from the liquid you can sprinkle without clogging the holes. Mosquitos LOVE this stuff! I tie a piece of soft window screening over the top. Oh, and I'm not fussy about how long the manure has composted. Doesn't seem to matter to the plants.

-- Peg (, April 13, 2000.

Thanks for the replys!

The buralp sack is a good idea...

I hadn't thought about solids coming out with the tea. But then again, I was thinking about using my drill and a paint mixer to make a slurry in a 5 gallon bucket before I poured it into the drum. And then when the barrel was about empty I'd pour the remaining solids out into my compost pile. Maybe I'll just put a small piece of window screen across the top of my watering can when I'm filling it.

Another question though - how often do you "tea" your plants?

-- Eric Stone (, April 14, 2000.

I've never done it with valves but I think you may have a problem with the valves getting gummed up. Manure has a lot of undigested "stuff" in it, not to mention the hay and bedding that may come with it. All the solids will sink to the bottom and even if you make a slurry there will probably be a lot left to sink. I'm only speaking from my experience here though, maybe your manure will be cleaner. As to how often- when the plants look like they need a boost. Sometimes once a week, sometimes every other week.Not a clear-cut answer, I know.

-- Peg (, April 14, 2000.

There aren't always clear-cut answers. That's why we have sayings like "The eye of the master fatteneth the cattle." and "The best fertilizer is the farmer's footprints." Farming/homesteading is an art, not a science -- though science can be helpful!

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, April 14, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ