By Mary Nakirya
Many farmers would like to make manure but they fail because they are lazy, or they assume it takes much time to be ready. One of the aims of making liquid manure and plant teas is to quickly provide a crop with adequate natural plant food during the growing season. Liquid Manure and plant teas are ready for use after two or three weeks, as compared to more than eight weeks for compost.
There are situations when liquid feed is the only answer to feed crops urgently. For example when crop roots have been damaged and cannot take up enough solid nutrients. Liquid feed from animal manure or plant leaves supplies nutrients much faster. Liquid manure is also essential when plants are grown in limited space like pots, plastic or polythene bags.
To make liquid manure; get animal manure e.g. dung, chicken droppings, rabbit droppings etc. Each can be used alone or mixed. Also get a drum or bucket, a strong bag and a pole/strong stick with a rope.
Put dried animal or poultry manure in a polythene bag and tie it properly. 50 kg of animal manure are enough for every one drum of water which takes about 100 liters.
Put about three quarters of clean water in the drum so as when you finally put the bag water does not spill out. Hang the bag containing manure in the container/drum. Suspend it on a strong pole placed across the top of the drum/bucket.
Prepare plant tea using soft crop branches and green leaves. Cut them into pieces and place in a drum or bucket, full of clean water. There is no need of putting them in a bag.
Cover the container to prevent excessive evaporation.
Leave the liquid manure / plant tea to stand for 15 days.
Stir the solution after 3 days and thereafter, stir every day drum. For liquid manure stir by lifting the bag many times using the pole/stick.
Within 15 days the water will have turned black and most of the plant nutrients in the manure will have dissolved into the water. Remove the bag.
Dilute the solution by one part of the solution to 2 parts of clean water i.e. 1:2
Spray the manure around the base of the crop.
“Never apply liquid manure or plant tea on plant leaves because it may have a burning effect”