At River Cottage, Paul’s discovered the natural benefits of a liquid compost and fertiliser that’s been great for all his greens. It’s Cow Poo Brew.
If you’ve been using chemical fertiliser in your vegie garden at home but want to find a healthier alternative, perhaps it’s time to look at the benefits or a more organic approach.
Liquid cow manure is a great general plant tonic for leafy green veg, along with the rest of the garden, except native plants.
Using cow manure adds bulk to the soil, improving its structure which helps root development for vegie plants and seedlings.
It also adds nitrogen which is good for leaf growth; phosphorous, great for healthy root growth and potassium; responsible for overall health and disease resistance.
While chemical fertilisers also have these 3 essential nutrients and can grow your veg fast, they’re made from synthetic materials, have a high acid level that can burn the leaves and change the fertility of the soil affecting the natural microorganisms, raising the risk of disease and making the veg less nutritious and flavoursome.
Chemical fertilisers are also a lot more expensive.
But by mixing fresh or aged cow, chicken or even sheep manure to water and adding a boost of magnesium iron and sulphur with some Stinging Nettles or Comfrey, a plant easy to grow at home, you’ve got a cheap, simple, organic compost that your veg will love - and in turn you’ll love eating your tasty vegies.
You can start using your cow poo brew after a couple of weeks. The brew needs to steep or soak, not just to release the nutrients but also to get rid of bacteria like e-coli. Keeping it in the sun to steep will help it warm and get rid of any nastie.
Just dilute it with more water in a watering can or bucket until it looks like weak tea and use the same quantity you would when normally water your vegie patch.