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How to Make Liquid Horse Manure Fertilizer

By Nannette Richford ; Updated September 21, 2017

Many gardeners create a liquid fertilizer from composted horse manure. This concoction, affectionately referred to as manure tea, provides an ample supply of liquid fertilizer for watering vegetables and flowers in home gardens. Although there are many recipes for manure tea (with slight variations), all are basically the same and provide quick nutrients for growing plants. With a supply of composted horse manure and fresh water, you can make manure tea for all your gardening needs.

Fill a grain sack or pillowcase with well-composted horse manure. Raw manure is not suited for making compost tea as it may contain e coli and other pathogens. Composting manure in a pile that reaches 130 degrees kills harmful bacteria and other disease-causing agents.

Place the bag in a 55-gallon barrel filled with water. Allow to soak for two to three weeks. Some gardeners prefer to add Epsom salts to the mixture after soaking. According to the Epsom Salt Council, an application rate of 7 to 8 cups per 55 gallon barrel is sufficient to add magnesium to the soil.

Use ½ gallon per plant when watering shrubs or vegetables as the mixture is strong. Some prefer to mix one to two cups of the manure tea with a gallon of fresh water to apply to flowers and vegetables. The strength of the tea varies depending on the manure used, length of time it is steeped and water temperature.


Things You Will Need

  • 55 gallon barrel
  • Grain sack/pillow case
  • Epsom salts (optional)


  • Cover the container to keep insects out of the barrel.
  • Place in an area away from the home, as the odor is strong.

About the Author


Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.