Home Healthy food 3 Easy Ways to Make Fertilizer Tea (for Garden, Flowers, and Indoor Plants)

3 Easy Ways to Make Fertilizer Tea (for Garden, Flowers, and Indoor Plants)

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3 easy and inexpensive ways to spray leaves and soil with Fertilizer Tea to nourish your garden vegetables, houseplants and flowers.

Whether your gardening involves vegetables, fruit trees, or flowers, fertilizer tea can be a beneficial tool to use in combination with natural fertilizers to improve productivity.

And with fertilizer prices skyrocketing, it’s nice to know how to make your own garden tea at very little expense!

What is Fertilizer Tea?

Fertilizer tea is a nutritious liquid made from granular manure, compost and grass clippings.

Apply to plant leaves or directly to soil for a quick burst of nutrients and faster growth.


Fertilizer tea is diluted with water, so it is a mild solution that does not burn the leaves and roots of plants.

Therefore, it can be applied more often without the risk of overdoing it.

I like to apply every 2-3 weeks.

It is best to apply only Fertilizer Tea to the soil once the plants have flowered.

3 ways to make it at home

There are three main ways to make manure tea. Two of them are completely free.

If you’re concerned about rising prices for organic and commercial fertilizers, choose one of the free methods below to keep your gardening efforts as cheap as possible.


The easiest way to make manure tea is to use freshly cut grass after mowing the garden.

This method is also free.

Grass is naturally high in nitrogen and potassium. These two nutrients are essential for plant growth and establishment.

To transfer these nutrients from your clippings into your fertilizer tea, follow these instructions.

  1. Collect fresh green clippings the next time you mow.
  2. Fill a 5-gallon bucket two-thirds full with these cuttings.
  3. Top up with rain or filtered water to just below the brim of the bucket. Do not use tap water that contains chlorine or other toxins.
  4. Place the bucket in a warm, dry place, but out of direct afternoon sunlight.
  5. Let the cuttings ferment uncovered for 3 days. Stir at least once a day.
  6. Strain the clippings and cover the 5-gallon bucket to keep the critters out. To do this, we recommend pouring the tea into a second 5-gallon bucket with a strainer on top.
  7. Add wet stumps to the compost pile or discard.
  8. If desired, decant some of the fertilizer tea in a spray bottle or commercial sprayer and apply extensively every two weeks or whenever the plants can use a boost.

If you treat your lawn with pesticides or weeds and fodder, it’s best not to use clippings to make manure tea, especially when used in a vegetable garden.

compost tea

Fertilizer tea made from compost deserves to be called “compost tea”.

Making your own compost from garbage is easy and free.

If you don’t have your own compost, you can also purchase cheap organic compost bags from your local nursery.

*Do not use compost made from compost for compost tea.

The method of making compost tea is very similar to manure tea. Please follow these steps:

  1. Take a shovelful of the resulting compost and place it in a 5-gallon bucket.
  2. Top up with rainwater (best) or filtered water to just below the rim.
  3. Place the uncovered bucket in a warm, dry place out of direct afternoon sun.
  4. Stir daily for 3-7 days.
  5. Strain the compost (I do this with another 5-gallon bucket and strainer) and attach the lid.
  6. Return the wet compost to the compost pile.
  7. Every two weeks or as needed, apply undiluted compost tea to the plant leaves or as a soil waterer.

organic granular fertilizer

If you don’t have a compost pile and garden cuttings aren’t readily available, you can make manure tea from granular manure.

*This method recommends using only natural organic fertilizers (I use this brand).

To make tea with granular fertilizer, follow these steps:

  1. Add 1 cup of organic granular fertilizer to 1 gallon of rain or filtered water in a large bucket.
  2. Stir the mixture and let it sit outside for 24 hours in a shady, dry place out of direct afternoon sun.
  3. Strain the fertilizer and use the solids to mulch around the base of garden plants and flowers.
  4. Apply 1-2 cups of undiluted solution per plant, or 2-4 cups for larger plants, to the foliage as a soil waterer or as a foliar feed.

Manure tea vs compost tea

If you have both compost and fresh, unsprayed garden clippings, is it best to make manure tea or compost tea?

In that case, it’s best to choose compost tea, as the nutrients in the final liquid will be more extensive from just the cut grass.

shelf life

Stored in a dry place, homemade manure tea will last for months.

If it’s been over a year, we recommend creating a new batch.

As time passes, fermentation progresses and it becomes smelly, so be sure to close the lid tightly and store it!

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