Chamomile

Okay, so now you think I’ve really gone off the deep end. But really, manure tea is good stuff! Let me explain. This is for my garden, not to drink.

I have geese, horses, sheep, goats, and a very opinionated Macaw named Rita, all of whom supply the needed material to make manure tea. It just so happens that the geese roam at large and like to hang out next to the house. This makes for a very messy yard if not raked every day. The horses need their shelters cleaned out, and the goats, well, they just roam around. Rita’s cage tray is also a good source for well, I guess there’s no polite way to put this, Rita Bird poop.

The first ingredient for manure tea is, you guessed it, manure. All these types of manure, including the Rita Bird poop, is good for tea. I keep a wheel barrow (any barrel or some such thing will do) next to the water spigot, and fill it with the raked-up goose droppings, some horse manure, and the Rita Bird poop from her cage. I then fill it with water from the spigot and let it steep for a few days. Walla! Manure tea. You will have to strain it with anything you can think of such as an old pillow-case, then dilute it to the approximate color of regular tea, then apply it to your garden soil.

I’d use the goat and sheep manure, but they roam also and their manure is not concentrated in convenient, easy to pick-up piles. So, my garden will have to survive without their contributions. They do okay fertilizing the Chamomile, which grows all around the house. My motto? If possible, nothing wasted.

Barb

17 Responses to “Manure Tea”

  1. Joao Says:

    Hi Barb,

    Interesting idea…but why do you have to strain the “manure tea”. Can you no just slush the stuff onto the garden without straining.

    Great site…keep up the good work.

    I’m planning on buying a couple of acres of land in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range of Andalucia, southern Spain, later this year. Therefore, I am picking up as many good ideas as I possibly can.

    Tchau for now, Joao


    1. Hi Joao,

      The liquid contains the good stuff without the added seeds, etc. that go along with the solid manure. Of course you can use the manure, but the tea will yield less weeds. Great idea about getting some land. Keep us posted!

  2. Wendy Says:

    Just stumbled upon your web site after googling seed storage. What a great blog! I have a friend that is going to give us some cow poop, and we plan on using some to make tea and some in our compost pile. We are also planning a trip out west next spring, and hope to one day buy our own land in Oregon and live as self-sufficiently as possible. Can’t wait to browse more to see what else I can learn! Thank you!


    1. Hi Wendy,

      Before buying land in Oregon, check out the weather patterns and soil composition, as well as flood zones. I live in the high desert area, and our planting season is limited. There are certain crops we cannot grow outside of a greenhouse, such as melons, tomatoes, and corn. Also, we have no fruit trees where I am, a big loss for me. If you can find a place where there is limited snow, good soil, and water available, go for it! If not, then you can still grow, just with limitations.

  3. Rosemarie Says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I have chickens and get plenty of manure,They leave me nice piles after a good night sleep and I just scoop it up without dirt etc. I heard it is not safe for vegetables. Is this true, I have been saving the manure to make tea and or spread on my vegetable garden. I also save the eggs shells and grind them a bit to toss in there also. Thankyou for your anticipated reply.
    Rosemarie from NJ


    1. Hi Rosemarie,

      I have chickens and geese, and their manure is excellent. It is also very hot, so you have to be careful to not use it while it is still fresh or it will burn up your plants. Here is some really good information from a university. Go to the website and it will give you a chart showing what percentages to use for what crops. It doesn’t address the tea, but is a good reference guide. Here is an excerpt from the site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AA205:

      “Animal manures have been used effectively as fertilizers for centuries. Poultry manure has long been recognized as perhaps the most desirable of these natural fertilizers because of its high nitrogen content. In addition, manures supply other essential plant nutrients and serve as a soil amendment by adding organic matter. Organic matter persistence will vary with temperature, drainage, rainfall, and other environmental factors. Organic matter in soil improves moisture and nutrient retention. The utilization of manure is an integral part of sustainable agriculture.” http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AA205

  4. Wendy Says:

    Thanks for that advice, Barbara! We are planning to wwoof the west coast in 2010 for a year (visit http://www.wwoofusa.org for more info), and want to work at a few farms in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington State. Hopefully we will find an area we like and work towards getting some property and starting our little homestead. Your blog is very inspiring for us! :)


    1. Great site, Wendy! Would like to place a link to it on my site.

  5. J.Masterson Says:

    Other articles I have read about goose manure say that it contains contaminants and bacteria…does making a tea out of it make it safe for plants.


    1. Goose manure is classified as a “hot” manure, and must be composted before using or it will burn plant roots. Here is some info on composting:

      “According to past Edgewood studies, goose manure is one of the best decomposers in compost. ”

      http://natsci.edgewood.edu/wingra/wingra_compostingeffects.htm

      This actually goes for any type manure. You do not want to use it straight from the animal. We collect it, mix it with the soil and other nutrients, and let it sit for a year before planting. Either the manure or tea can be put on the soil after harvest, turned, and left until next year. The reason to make tea is to eliminate a lot of the weeds that come with solid poop.

  6. Greg Stanko Says:

    Chicken manure is hot but if used sparingly, in my experience, will not cause burning. I experimented this year with 6 rows of corn this year- 3 with chicken manure, 3 without(control). Results-control corn is much shorter and nowhere near as green as the “chicken corn”. Corn is very shallow rooted and if any plant would be burned easily, it would be corn.
    If there is a way to attach a photo, let me know and I’ll post it. It’s impressive. Greg


    1. Greg,

      If you e-mail me a pic I will get it up on the site along with a blurb about what you have done. I think it is important for all of us to share our experiences so that we can learn from each other.

  7. Greg Stanko Says:

    Trying to email you pics. I pasted the brewser adress from this page and tried “worldpress.com” without any luck.
    Suggestions? Thanks, Greg

  8. Daniel Says:

    I have recently bought a piece of land and acquired a small ranch. My daughter talked me into buying her a few goats……blah,blah,blah. Now we have 7 total!!! 11 Chickens and pigs coming soon. I have been making the tea as my mom “the old school grower” has as long as I could remember. Simply take the manure and break it down as much as possible, a drill with a paint mixer attachment works awesome. I do this with my daughter of 3yrs and we call it the Poop Soup. this is all done in a 5galllon bucket. The bucket is filled about a 1/4-1/3 of the way up with goat manure. After adding a little water and violently mixing the soup,it will break down into a beautiful tea. I fill the bucket up as i stir it, then continuing the stir for maybe 10mins. As your filling it up make sure to spray the water directly into the soup to cause a foaming effect. Air is good to wake up all the “microlove” I pour around the base of the plant and when I get half way down the bucket I replenish the water to bring it back up to full. I only do this once but use all it-I would challenge anyone to believe anything else. I do this twice a day and my garden has gained the attention of the “big wigs” asking to take pictures.
    A little secret,never reveal all your secrets
    A free tip: The more roots=better yields of better grade harvests!!


    1. Wonderful, Daniel! Thanks for the great tips.

  9. pius Says:

    Hi you all,am looking for the difference between goats and sheep manure in term of composition.

  10. James Says:

    I have a city 100×200 ft lot. I grow a lot of perennials, bushes,containers etc. I use mixed manure sheep, poultry, etc exclusively. I my experience somewhat aged manure ( say six months) can be made into what I call manure coffee. I put a five gallon bucket of manure in my garden cart and fill with water. I have a large garden cart. After sitting for a day or two I water with the coffee colored liquid. Have not had any burning problems The yard is full of worms and soil insects. I use the coffee in containers as well as the general garden and compost pile. Getting hold of the manure is the only problem I have had over the years. Good gardening to you all.

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