Wednesday, May 27, 2009

manure tea!

Since we are going to be transplanting our tomato and pepper plants on Saturday, I thought it might be good to know some basics around transplanting and caring for these plants. I consulted John's handy "All New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening" and took note of the most important points.

I think it would be in our (and the tomato's) best interest to get a few bags of compost for transplanting the tomatoes. Tomatoes are HUGE bottom feeders, they need rich composty soil, and if we "spot-compost" as we transplant, it will save us compost (because we're localizing it) and probably give us much greater yields. I'll get a few bags to take out to the garden on Thursday.

The thing that kept getting mentioned in the book was this delectable concoction called "MANURE TEA". Check out the recipe below.

Manure Tea

To make manure tea, place one or two shovelfuls of fresh or dried manure in a permeable bag. (Burlap is best, but perforated plastic or mesh will work too). Tie the bag closed, then place it in a barrel or other large container filled with water. Make sure the bag is submerged. Allow your "teabag" to steep for about one week.

Apply at full strength for periodic feedings or dilute it and use it whenever you water your plants. Do not apply undiluted manure tea directly onto plant foliage - it will injure plant tissue.

I was thinking that we could use the sheep manure that Ed Janzen promised us for this. I am on the lookout for an appropriate bag, and I have a rain barrel that I found on the side of the road, that I will bring out in Matt's truck on Thursday. I am also trying to find us some MULCH (either straw or lots of newspaper) to put around the peppers and tomatoes. The mulch will help keep down weeds, and also protect the tomato vines from the soil if we let them sprawl.

Alright, that's me for now!