The Q&A Archives: How to make manure tea

Question: I'd like to start using manure tea on my garden plants. How much manure should I put in a 55 gallon barrel, and how often should I fertilize my garden with it? R.R. Hamilton Pittsburgh, PA

Answer: Fill a burlap sack with 18 gallons of fresh cow, horse or chicken manure. Place the sack in your 55 gallon barrel and cover it with water. The volume ratio should always be at least three parts water to one part manure. Steep the mixture for a month.During that time the water may bubble and darken. When bubbling has finished and the color is dark brown, remove the sack and dilute the mixture to an amber color. Manure tea is most effective when used as a soil drench around young transplants and seedlings for a nitrogen boost. Apply about one pint of diluted tea per vegetable or flower plant every one to two weeks.

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