River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Garden Talk

October 2001

Making liquid manure

If you are lucky, your soil will be healthy enough not to need a liquid manure or feed. But, if your soil does need one or if you're growing plants - such as peppers, celery, tomatoes and squashes (marrow, courgette, pumpkins, etc.) - that appreciate that little bit of extra nourishment, then making your own feed has to be cheaper than buying a proprietary brand. A liquid feed is basically diluted nutrients and watering your plants with it will give them that extra nourishment they need.

1. Take a water butt with a tap at the base, or drill a small hole in the bottom and seal it, raise the butt off the ground on bricks and place a container underneath. Put as much comfrey as you can spare into the butt, and add enough water to covert, cover the butt and leave. After about a month, turn the tap on enough to drip, or unseal the hole. The brown liquid dripping from the water butt can be diluted by adding 10 to 20 times more water, depending on how much comfrey you added.

2. You can also use nettles in the same way, instead of comfrey. Dilute with about 10 parts of water. It's as potent on plants as it is on the nose!

3. Half fill a sack with manure (sheep manure is best for this, but any will do (Ed -see page for your local supplier!) and suspend it in a large oil drum sized container (hang it from a block of wood placed across the top of the drum). Remove the sack after two weeks and use diluted 50:50 water and manure. Throw the soggy manure on the compost heap.

Martin Davey

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