A great recipe to brew a great organic liquid fertiliser for easy on hand access.
The Pillow Case Contents…
You will need
- An old synthetic pillow case (a cotton case will disintergrate quickly, letting your fodder spill out into the soak water)
- A length of rope 1.5m long
- 44 gallon drum with secure lid for safety
- Lawn Clippings, Seaweed, Hedge Trimmings, Animal manure, Weeds, Comfrey . . Collect everything into one area in equal proportions
- 1 Tablespoon of Dolomite Lime
Mowed Over – Fresh lawn clippings are very high in Nitrogen. Next time you mow the lawn, collect the clippings.
Ocean Gold – Head down to the beach and pick up a bag of seaweed or sea grass or use Seasol plant food from your local Palmers. This will give your mix an amazing boost. Don’t wash the salt off fresh seaweed, your garden will not be harmed. Seaweed is packed full of minerals, vitamins and antibiotics for garden.
The Trimmings – Green tip growth from hedges, or trees. This has to be new tip growth. New tip growth has all the stored nutrients from the roots zapped in the new growth tips of the plants. Trim your garden plants or your neighbours with a hedge clipper or garden shears. (The best time to make this brew is in Spring – I love to make two big drums to get you through the year. It keeps well in large plastic rubbish style bins with a removable lid)
Dung it animal manures – With this recipe it doesn’t matter if it is very fresh but it is important not to use anything from a meat eater like your dog or cat. Sheep droppings, cow dung, and especially chicken manure are great to add. I like to keep steralised sheep pellets from Palmers on hand. They dissolve quickly and there are no risk of any ungerminated seeds taking hold in the garden.
Dolomite lime – New Zealand soil is deficient in Magnesium. Dolomite is a magnesium lime composite which will add your own dose of magnesium to your veggie patch.
Comfrey Leaves – Comfrey is a herb that you can pick up in the Palmers herb isle. Grow it without any fussy treatment in any area of your garden you don’t mind as being permanent! A small piece of comfrey root will mean comfrey forever. Comfrey is wonderful for bringing up minerals deep beneath the soil into their leaves which when soaked will feed your garden well.
Weeds – A weed is a plant growing in the wrong place – Weeds are a great one to add to your pillow case as they are the thieves of the goodness in your garden.
The precious nutrients they sucked up can now go back into your soil when you use them as Pillow Case Fodder.
What to do next…
Preparing your goodies – Chop all your ingredients to a small size. The smaller the pieces the quicker the breakdown process is and the faster and richer you will have your garden brew. Pop your goodies into your pillow case. It is a ratio of equal proportions to make it easy. When you are done get a length of rope and tie tightly around the top of your bag.
Setting up your drum – Position your drum in a shaded spot in an area that is protected from children opening the lid. Ensure you leave a length of your rope hanging out of the drum so you can easily pull your pillow case bag up out of the water.
Drop your bag into your 44 gallon drum and fill with water.
Steeping your brew – during the next two weeks plunge your sack of goodies tied in the pillow case in and out of the water every few days. The best technique is to lift it out above the drum and hold it above until the liquid stops pouring out. Repeat this a few more times and be satisfied you have just had a great arm workout as well!
When you are done leave a length of rope hanging out of your drum and lock the lid.
SAFETY TIP: Even with a lockable lid it is important to keep your drum behind a suitable gate to ensure no one can climb into it.
Using Your Brew
Bail your liquid into your watering can – 1L of liquid to 5L of water and water straight onto the leaves of your plants. It is a good idea to water plants early in the morning to prevent burning of the leaves from the sun and best not to do it in the evening so the plants are not going to bed wet.
Watch them grow! Every two weeks you can feed your plants your brew. Your yield will be healthier and growth will be stronger with this brew.