Introduction: Organic Care of Your Garden: Manure, Maceration and Decoction (incl. Plants Chart)

About: I am just a guy who love making things Proud father of 2, I cook, build lots of things, learn new things (CAD, Arduinno...), gardening etc... Oh yes, I love cardboard, skateboards and Hydroponics/aquaponics! …

I have an Urban Garden on my balcony for years and I try to use less and less chemicals, mainly fertilizers. I have never used any chemical instecticides or so as I have access to a wide range of fresh herbs, thanks to my mother-in-law house situated in the countryside not so far from us.

I will share with you today the 3 kinds of preparation I make to organically take care of my garden, fertilize it and save it from bugs and fungi.

To follow me on this I'ble you will need the following:

  • Plants: plants are numerous and different within a km around you. Most of the time you can cut them and use them at home but take care to do it carefuly, leting enough leaves for the plant to survive. Take care also to your local laws which may differ from mine...
  • Water: Don't use water from your local distributor. If you use normal town water, please let it aside for one or two days in order for the chlorine to escape.

Let's make it!

If it happens that you like this I'ble, share it, favourite it and ev. vote for it!

This I'ble is the last one of a serie I have made regarding my urban balcony garden. Please find the full collection including hydroponics and vermicomposting here.

Step 1: Maceration

Let's be cold!

Maceration is an easy to do preparation but which cannot be kept. This is the main difference with manure. Maceration is particularly adapted for fighting fungis and for small garden such as mine ;-) It is also suited for emergency care of your garden as it can be quickly done.

I have a lot of nettles around my mother-in-law house so I use this plant a lot. It also appears to be one of the most interesting ones when dealing with manure and maceration.

Quick to prepare, easy to do!

  1. Gather your plants
  2. Chop the plants into small pieces
  3. Place your plants into a bowl
  4. Pour fresh water
  5. Wait at least 24h (stir from time to time)
  6. Filter the preparation
  7. Spray on your garden


I am not the one to weight the plants and the water to have exact proportion even if you can find a lot of advices around the web. I just collect plants and pour water on them. It works well so far so I think you don't really need to weight everything. However for those of you who really want to have exact proportion, I have found that 1kg of fresh leaves for 10 liters of water seems to be the accepted ratio.

Step 2: Decoction

Let's be Hot!

Decoction are also fairly easy to make. It actually brewing tea...

It is mainly used for harsh plants and since it is a hot process seems to extract more active principles than maceration. However it is not suitable to all plants as heat can destroy some molecules. Frankly speaking I never used this technique as I think it is really time consuming. It is also not suited for a small garden such as mine on my balcony. however some very interesting results are shown using this technique especially with horsetail.

  1. Gather your plants
  2. Chop the plants into small pieces
  3. Place your plants into a bowl
  4. Pour fresh water (optional)
  5. Wait at least 24h (stir from time to time) (optional)
  6. Cook the mixture (plants + water) into a covered pan (it will help volatile components to stay in)
  7. Let it cool down
  8. Filter the preparation
  9. Spray on your garden


Again 1kg of fresh leaves for 10 liters of water seems to be the good ratio.

Step 3: Manure

Manure is my favorite but it takes time and requires constant effort and follow-up.

It is a very active preparation which will have powerful effect on your garden.

Take care to the quality of water you use, the recipient should be big enough to stir and the temperature shouldn't be too low for the process to start...

Manure can be smelly. To avoid this, stir it often, make large quantities as the process starts more easily.

Use only one kind of plant for a manure. Mix different manures later if needed but to make it, make it one plant at a time.

Manure can be stored so large quantities are better!

  1. Cut your plant in large pieces
  2. Throw your plant into a large recipient full of fresh cold water
  3. Stir it
  4. Let macerate for 8 to 20 days depending of the temperature
  5. Manure is ready when small bubbles are not visible anymore when stiring
  6. Filter the mixture
  7. Store it away from heat and light


You can use it raw as a fertilizer, especially with nettles or mix with water (ratio from 1:5 to 1:10) to fight insects and fungi.

Step 4: Which Plant for Which Issue?

The table below try to summarize what I have found in books and on the net regarding plants and their uses. It doesn't mean to be exhaustive nor a definitive rules of thumbs. Please make your own research to use the good plants (or the available ones) for your own needs.

If it happens that I made some English mistakes, please let me know. I have written the Latin name in order to avoid translation issues.

  • Absinth (Artemisia absinthium)

Against: Insects

1:10 with water
Pure on the soil against slugs

  • Garlic (Allium sativum)

Against Fungi, Insects

Pure for fungi fighting and plant diseases.

Maceration. 1:5 with water. Add 2 spoons of olive or linen oil.
Very efficient against aphid, mite and flies.

  • Comfrey (Symphitum officinalis et x uplanticum)


1:5 with water for watering, 1:20 to spray on leaves.

  • Fern (Pteridium aquilinum or Dryopteris filix-mas)

Against Insects, but works also as repellent

Pure on aphids (I have used this on my paprika. Worked perfectly)
1:10 as preventive treatment before planting

  • Nettle (Urtica dioica)
    Fertilizer but aslo against Insects

    1:5 with wter for watering or spraying. Contains a lot of good micronutrients

    1:10 against aphids, mite…
  • Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

against Fungi

1:5 with water. Works good on almost all fungis and fungal diseases. Rich in silica

  • Rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum)

against insects

Spray 3 times against aphids, slugs,…

All pics of this step are from Wikicommons.

Please let me know if you have more plants / usages to add to this table.

Gardening Contest 2017

Participated in the
Gardening Contest 2017