Growing Herbs Eco Chicago IL

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Manure Tea and Earth Day

How will you celebrate Earth Day?

by Rebecca Sweet, Gossip in the Garden

Earth Day is April 22, and I’ve been invited to participate in a blogging event hosted by Jan Huston Doble’s blog Thanks For 2 Day, where garden bloggers are writing about ways in which we’re making ‘greener gardens’.

I’ve decided to write about two of my very favorite organic garden products: Haven’s Authentic Brand Soil Conditioning Tea and John & Bob’s Soil Optimizer.

1) Haven’s Authentic Brand Soil Conditioning Tea

The first is one that I lovingly call Moo Poo Tea. It’s really called Haven’s Authentic Brand soil conditioning tea. But Moo Poo Tea is definitely more fun to say.

What is it? It’s the by-product of natural grass-fed cows raised free of antibiotics, growth hormones and pesticides. The rancher who created this product, Annie Haven, was kind enough to send me some samples which I said I’d gladly test for her.

When I opened the envelope, I was amazed at how darn cute these oversized tea bags were (yes, they’re intentionally oversized to avoid any possible mix-up with your regular Earl Grey tea bag! Ewwww….)

I must admit that due to it’s simplicity, I was a bit skeptical. It seemed simple enough to do – just brew a teabag in a 5-gallon bucket for several hours. Then over the course of about 3 days, use what you need directly on your houseplants or outside plants. There’s no smell whatsoever, and all you need to do is cover the bucket when you’re not using it.

I had been wanting to start some nasturtiums from seed, so I figured the timing was perfect! I split the seeds into 2 categories: 1 fertilized twice with the product, and 1 without any additional fertilizer.

This is the ‘before’ photo. Both sets of seedlings have been given only water, and both sets look the same. (click link below for full article and photos)

It’s now been about 10 days and I’ve given the batch on the right-hand side 2 doses of ‘tea’.

While the plants aren’t blooming yet, you can clearly see the difference in growth habits! One has thicker, lush growth on sturdier stems, while the other is lanky with sparse foliage.

This is a ‘test in progress’ as I only planted them in the ground about 3 weeks ago. I’ll keep you all up to date with the progress of my test batch, as I’m sure the results will be dramatic!

Click here to read some amazing history about Haven’s ranch – makes you proud to be using their tea bags, that’s for sure!

Note: Click or copy and paste this link to view the full post by Rebecca Sweet Gossip in the Garden for Earth Day aritcle complete with pictures

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