Manure tea for tomatoes: How to make, how to use
Organic and made from steer manure, manure tea helps your tomato plants grow large deep green leaves and loads of tomatoes. Make a “Steer Manure Tea” and pour around the base of your tomato plants. As we talked in fertilizers, liquid nutrients are taken up by the tomato plants almost immediately and your plants will love this steer manure tea.
How to make a Steer Manure Tea. Purchase well aged compost or Composted Steer Manure with Compost. The bags are small, about 1 cubic foot. Place no more than ½ the bag of the Steer Manure blend in a burlap bag, pillow case, etc., and tie shut. Use no more than ½ bag as once wet the bag becomes too heavy for lifting.
Pictured below is a bag of composted steer manure and a burlap bag.
Don’t use fresh manure. Use composted manure which means it’s dry, over 3 or 4 months old, pretty well cooked and no pathogens, germs, etc., to worry about. Buy it at the big box stores. If you use fresh poop in your garden … I won’t be eating your carrots…..hahahaha.
Sometimes barnyard type poop contains too much urine and too much urine in your soil means too much salt and it may take years to leach the excess salt out of your soil. Use store bought manures to avoid this.
Put about ½ of the bag of composted steer manure in the burlap bag then tie it shut. Fill a 30-40 gallon trash can with water, then soak and agitate the giant tea bag a few days. After 3-4 days soaking and agitating, the tea will become a little foamy and take on some color. Fill your bucket with this steer manure tea and pour around the base of your plants so that the tea gets down into the root zone. You almost cannot use too much of this liquid steer manure tea.
So, water your tomatoes as needed … sometimes you will water every couple days. Fertilize tomato plants according to package directions … steer manure tea does not take the place of fertilizer. Pour steer manure tea around base of plants at least once a week and if possible twice each week.
For convenience, if you want, you can add your regular fertilizer to your bucket that you pour around the base of the tomato plant. Review what we talked about on fertilizers.
The steer manure tea and liquid nutrients poured around the tomato plants root zone will be transferred into your plants almost immediately.
Have lots of tomato plants? hahaha…..You can use a 100 gallon trash can for the steer manure tea using about 3 burlap bags…each with steer manure compost. Look at that foam? I wouldn’t park this brew under your open bedroom window……hahaaha.
Use a bucket to pour around base of tomato plants or you can pump the steer manure tea to the tomatoes. Email me for info on the pump setup.
What does science say about using manure teas for tomatoes? Science says mostly no evidence that manure teas do much for your tomatoes but then again, these last few years and our experiences with covid, we have learned to question science and I say give your tomato plants steer manure tea and your tomato plants will love you even more. hahahaha
You are welcome to share this information with others—family, friends and clubs, etc.
Sharing tips helps us be better growers.
Dave Freed / the Tomato Guy