Weed & manure teas

April Sampson-Kelly askpv at ozemail.com.au
Thu May 13 21:22:10 EDT 1999

In permaculture we try to make things work at least two ways.
so i use a lot of green manure/tea that i make from
1. highly noxious weeds (fermented until absolutely unable to rise again.
2. any fruit-fly infected fruits left over from summer.  (again this kills
the fly eggs
and maintains healthy orchard hygiene and returns nutrients to the soil.  i
am careful to let it
brew until it is no longer too acidic.  (sometimes all year)

Permaculture Visions International
Students and graduates in 13 countries

> -----Original Message-----
> From: CtopherP at aol.com [mailto:CtopherP at aol.com]
> Sent: Friday, 14 May 1999 1:55
> To: permaculture
> Subject: [permaculture] Re: Weed & manure teas
> In a message dated 5/13/99 9:39:11 AM, you wrote:
> <<I'm interested in reading people's experiences with weed teas
> and manure
> teas as fertilizers.   I'd like to embark on an extensive fertilizing
> routine using these two nutrient sources but want to reduce my learning
> curve relative to how to effectively apply them.  Any information or
> recommendations of resources would be helpful.
> >>
> the folks that work with john jeavons put out a little booklet on foliar
> feeding with manure and weed teas. they take the view that foliar
> feeding, or
> any kind of fertilization program, basically feeds the plants. for
> sustainablility one should be focused on feeding the soil. that
> being said,
> foliar feeding, which is a very direct way to get the teas to the
> plants, is
> a good remedial method of fertilization when your soil is still being
> developed. my experience would tend to support this point of view. in the
> early stages of developing gardens, first couple years, foliar
> feeding does
> tend to provide a little boost. after that it doesn't seem to
> have nearly as
> much effect.
> in general I think it is preferable to compost or mulch the
> material and get
> it into the soil cycle that way. reasons: soils need the full
> complement of
> goodies in the weeds and manure, less work, less risk of leaching those
> nutrients, feeds the soil, not just the plants.
> it is a bit of work, particularly if you're going to do it on any scale
> larger than a backyard garden. you're moving alot of water
> around, which is
> always a big job.
> situations that I find particularly well suited to tea application are
> greenhouse fertilization and potted plants, where soil building
> is a little
> more difficult.
> I wouldn't say don't do it, just recognize that it's work, and when it's
> appropriate. build the soil and over time your need for external
> fertilization is not necessary.
> I hope this helps,
> Christopher Peck
> Santa Fe, New Mexico
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