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close this bookBio-Intensive Approach to Small-Scale Household Food Production (IIRR, 1993, 180 p.)
close this folderSoil management
View the documentKnow your soil
View the documentDiscovering your soil type firsthand
View the documentSoil modifiers
View the documentNutrient composition of various organic materials
View the documentComposting
Open this folder and view contentsComposting methods
View the documentLiquid fertilizer
View the documentFish emulsion as plant food for bio-intensive garden
Open this folder and view contentsGreen manuring
View the documentNutrient requirement of vegetables

Liquid fertilizer

Liquid fertilizer is made by immersing a sackload of fresh animal manure in a drum of water and allowing it to ferment. When used to water the plants, the "tea" makes possible the easy nutrient extraction by the plants. Depending on the availability of materials, animal manure can be substituted with fresh leaves of nitrogen-fixing trees like Leucaena (ipil-ipil) and/or Gliricidia (kakawate) or with green grass clippings and/or fresh weeds.


1. Fill the burlap bag ¾ full of wet manure or fresh leaves or compost.

2. Tie the open end then place the bag info the empty drum (regular size, 55 gallon capacity).

3. Place a big stone to hold the bag down.

4. Fill the drum with water. Cover.

5. After 3 weeks, remove the bag from the drum.

6. Dilute solution at a ratio of 1 part liquid fertilizer to 4-6 parts fresh water.

7. Apply the liquid fertilizer around the base of the plant (avoid any direct contact with the plant) 2-3 weeks after germination or Immediately after transplanting. Repeat after 3-4 weeks.

8. Start over again with fresh materials following steps 1-6.

9. Smaller quantities of liquid fertilizer can be produced in smaller containers (if a 55-gallon drum is not available), using the same ratios.