Greenhouse musings, and Moo Poo Tea giveaway!

Since the weather is singing a wintry tune, it’s time for greenhouse musings and a moo poo tea giveaway. First, the musings. Bill and I weren’t ready for the sudden cold snap when it came. Although we have propane heat with an electric backup, we forgot to check the propane before the “polar vortex”–what a silly phrase–came down from the north country. We ran out in the large cylinders, but did have the one attached to the grill. Before we discovered the problem, the small electric heater did keep the greenhouse at 47F degrees and the plants from freezing. Not bad when the outdoor temperature is 23F. That’s why we have backup heat.

The cuttings one week ago. After sterilizing the pots with a bleach solution, I reuse them for cuttings and seed starting.
The cuttings one week ago. After sterilizing the pots with a bleach solution, I reuse them for cuttings and seed starting.

The cuttings shown above were from about a week ago. They were tiny, but they’re already growing fast. Part of that is due to manure tea.

As I wrote before, Bill worked hard to get water in the greenhouse, and I’m very grateful. I no longer have to harken back to my forebears and haul five gallon buckets of water down from the main pump.

Greenhouse and cold frame
Greenhouse and cold frame in March 2014. We moved the cold frame over by the greenhouse so I can water it from the house inside the greenhouse. Plus, it no longer crowds the ‘Wichita Blue’ juniper, which has doubled in size in one season.

Last year, we had a lot of snow and ice, and we live on a hill so that wasn’t fun. Most of the cuttings are doing well. I always lose a few because they simply don’t take off, so cut extras and plan for loss. Later, you can take more cuttings from those started inside the greenhouse. The greenhouse has microclimates just like your garden does. I’ve started some spinach in a pot at the cool end, and I placed amaryllis pots at the warm end. I’m trying to encourage three, red gift amaryllis from Longfield Gardens to bloom by Christmas. The selections are ‘Splash‘, ‘Magnum‘ and ‘Double King.’

Some of my amaryllis at the warm end of the greenhouse. The gift hippeastrum are in the red pots. I put dark stones on top for decoration.
Some of my amaryllis at the warm end of the greenhouse. The gift hippeastrum are in the red pots. I put dark stones on top for decoration.

About the tea giveaway–Helen Weis from Unique by Design Landscaping and Containers purchased gift packages of Annie’s manure tea and I’m giving it away on the blog. Winners will receive a package containing six bags of manure tea which look like the photo below.

Six bags of manure tea for each winner.
Six bags of manure tea for each winner.

Our friend, Annie Haven, who lives in drought stricken southern California, has wonderful manure tea that she dries, bags in muslin and ships to you. She owns a cattle ranch where her producers make plenty of poo, and she can tell you exactly what they’ve eaten all year. No, persistent herbicides in her moo poo brew–no sir! Just good old-fashioned nitrogen and nutrients your plants need to keep them at their best. I use manure tea in the garden a lot especially when I’m starting things from cuttings, or when I hydrate seeds before planting. I dip fresh cuttings in a rooting hormone. I like Clonex CLO100 Rooting Compound Gel, 100ML because it adheres to the stem. Then, I plunk them into good potting soil and place finely ground chicken grit on top to keep the cuttings evenly moist while discouraging fungus gnats. I keep the cuttings well watered for a few days and then begin feeding them once a week with manure tea. Because manure tea is diluted, it makes an excellent foliar fertilizer. It won’t burn leaves.

Authentic Haven Brand manure tea known affectionately as moo poo tea.
Authentic Haven Brand manure tea known affectionately as moo poo tea.

Instead of going up to the chicken house, digging up some droppings and making your own bags, you can get dried manure lovingly packed by Annie, and stop the muss and fuss. I even listed Annie’s manure tea as a resource in my book,The 20-30 Something Garden Guide: A No-Fuss, Down and Dirty, Gardening 101 for Anyone Who Wants to Grow Stuff.

Authentic Haven Brand moo poo tea is brewin in my greenhouse right now.
Authentic Haven Brand moo poo tea is brewing in my greenhouse right now.

Moo poo tea is easy to brew too. I use three tea bags to a five gallon bucket of water. The longer the water sits, the stronger the tea. However, you can brew it in smaller amounts. Please forgive the photo above. My greenhouse is in transition with the plants and quite messy at the moment.

I reuse the tea bags two more times realizing that just like drinking tea, the brew gets weaker with each brew. After the final use, I throw the tea bags onto my compost pile where they naturally decay.

I dip my small watering can in the buckets and use it to fertilize the cuttings and other plants in the greenhouse.
I dip my small watering can in the buckets and use it to fertilize the cuttings and other plants in the greenhouse.

This year, Christmas presents for my gardening friends will feature Authentic Haven Brand manure tea. It’s great for house plants, hydrating seeds, rooting cuttings and giving your amaryllis and other indoor bulbs a dose of good growing.

So, here’s how we’ll do the giveaway. There will be three winners. Please comment below to enter, and if you don’t mind–this is to help Annie after all–share this post on your social media outlets. Helen and I get nothing from this giveaway other than jewels in our crown and/or good karma depending upon how you look at these things. I go for jewels myself. The giveaway runs from today through next Thursday at Noon. Winners will be chosen randomly from a random number generator, and, I’m sorry, but this giveaway is only open to continental United States residents. I don’t think anyone wants us mailing manure overseas or into Canada.

The weather outside is frightful for November, but the greenhouse is warm and inviting. The greenhouse gives me an excuse to try many different things. There will be failures because I’m stretching my gardening wings. This fall, I’m trying to grow ranunculus and freesia. From what I’ve read, they need a cool greenhouse environment because unlike bulbs, which have the flowers down inside, they don’t. They need light to set flowers. My greenhouse is set up at 50F which isn’t super warm, but it’s too warm for them. I’ve put them in the cold frame to cool their heels. I don’t know if it will work. Oklahoma weather is so changeable you’re always taking a chance, but if you don’t try, then you don’t grow.

Enter to win manure tea below, and thanks for playing!

UPDATE: Here are the winners of the ?#?moopootea? giveaway: Beth Teel, Alexander Solla and Valerie Gleason. Congratulations to all of you! I’ve emailed everyone, and once they send me their snail mail addresses, I’ll get their tea out to them. If you’re just now seeing this and want another giveaway, see my current post on amaryllis. I’m giving away a ‘Red Lion’ amaryllis and another three-pack of manure tea.



  1. Yvonne says:

    Love your greenhouse and organized your set up is!

    1. debra ponte says:

      Perplexed as to how I am to enter contest?Debra Mass Island

      1. Dee Nash says:

        Hi Debra, you just comment on the amaryllis post subscribe to my blog. The subscription form is on the left sidebar. I’ll tweet you too.

  2. I am not sure how to enter this contest, but would love to try some Moo Poo Tea!

  3. Denise W says:

    This looks like some good s*&!.

  4. Angela Ash says:

    I really like the idea of using Moo Poo tea for my plants. I used to have a worm composter but it was time consuming, attracted bugs and stunk. I would much rather brew the tea when I need it, and I like how you can reuse the bags and then composting them. I can see myself using these on a regular basis. Much easier and seems cool too.

  5. Heather Rush says:

    Moo poo for me please:) 🙂 🙂

  6. Moo Poo Tea was recommended to me by another blogger who uses it on his roses, even before I read it in your book, but I forgot about it. I would love to try it. Thanks for telling how you start cuttings — now I think I know what I have been doing wrong. This sudden onset of cold has taken all of us by surprise I think. P. x

  7. jenks says:

    Dee, Since you were here, we’ve added a greenhouse for baby crinum. All with flood benches. I’ll try some moopoo tea mixed into the water in the flood system.

  8. Cynthia C says:

    I have heard that manure tea is excellent for roses. Thank you for the giveaway.

  9. Anonymous says:


  10. Your green house, hot house, and raised beds are so wonderful…It is a design I would like to duplicate in my own garden.

  11. I cannot wait to try this!

  12. Denise S says:

    This sounds very interesting. I’d love to try it.

  13. Jenny says:

    Sounds like a good , clean and easy way to fertilize your garden organically. I’m all for that.

  14. Kathryn Earle @ The University of Tulsa says:

    I’m always interested in what other gardeners are using or doing for their gardens. To garden professionally, it helps if others are promoting their tried and true products/ideas, which allows me to cut to the chase. Thank you for sharing your how-to instructions.

  15. Linda says:

    Great giveaway Dee. The garden blogger community is so generous, as Annie has always been with so many event sponsorships. I first heard of her, and her moo poo tee thanks to samples received at a garden bloggers’ event. I use the tea in our basement ‘greenhouse’. Your garden, greenhouse, and cold frame all look beautiful in the snow. Here in Chicago it’s very cold. So far we’ve just had flurries. Sure has put a damper on our end-of-season outdoor work.

  16. What a great seed and plant how-to-do-it post, Dee. I love that you re-use and recycle as many things as you can. Your greenhouse is a true working-habitat – no pretense there! Always a pleasure to visit your blog.

  17. Valerie Gleason says:

    Have heard more and more about compost tea. I usually use John’s Recipe for my fertilizer, but will definitely try compost tea next year! And thanks for the always helpful words of garden wisdom you offer through your book and your blog!!

  18. NJ Trees says:

    Your greenhouse is beautiful!

  19. Bev Belz says:

    Heard you on “We Dig Plants”. Glad to have found and follow you. Very interested in greenhouse talk and more about how your ‘fig in a pot’ is growing! Wonderful blog. — 7B in Tennessee

  20. Thanks for doing the giveaway! I would love to try this.

  21. Jen Y says:

    I’ve wanted to try manure tea. I hope you pick me!

  22. I’ve never used moo poo tea, so certainly I need to win this so that I can!

  23. Theresa Beecham says:

    I made a compost tea from my compost pile one time. This looks way easier with the ready made tea bags.

  24. This sounds wonderful! wish I had a greenhouse but will check out the Moo Poo Tea. 🙂

  25. Phillip says:

    This sounds wonderful!

  26. Nicky says:

    I’m a big fan of Annie Havens moopootea as well!

    P.S. I would love to spend a day in your garden! Love your cold frame and greenhouse ????

  27. Jean says:

    I really need to get hold of more moo-poo so count me in. I can’t believe you all have had so much snow, brr!!

  28. Martie Brown says:

    Love your greenhouse. I do have one horse and looking for another one so my “supply”
    is down. Would love some tea.

    1. Anonymous says:

      I love your blog. The tea sounds great. Would love to give it a try. Happy gardening!

      1. Dee Nash says:

        Anonymous, could you write back with a name and email? That way I can find you if you win.

  29. That would be so wonderful to have a slightly heated greenhouse! We have a sunroom, which kind of fulfills the same conditions, but it’s also a carpeted room, so the plants are limited. Love your snowy photos! I’ve been thinking about you folks in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas. You had quite the shift in temperatures this week! At least those of us here in the Great Lakes have been slowly working our way toward winter, so it wasn’t quite as shocking.

  30. Leilani Schumacher says:

    Thank you for the information of manure tea – what a great idea of your friend Ann!

  31. Beth Teel says:

    I have always wanted to try this manure tea so this will be on my list to Santa! My elves will say, “really Mom?” Just to think how healthy my coleus will be is so worth it.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Made some compost tea once with compost from my own pile. Those moo poo tea bags look a lot easier!

  33. Annie Earley says:

    Definitely want you to get jewels in your crown! At least we are getting some sunshine every day so my solar heating is working good.

  34. Linda F says:

    I enjoy your blog. I’ve heard of moo poo tea and would love to give it a try. Winter has arrived early and way too suddenly!

  35. Sophia Morren says:

    The Moo Tea and the Horse Manure Tea sound wonderful. I’d love to try the Moo Tea in my stressed Oklahoma garden :). Thanks for letting us know about this great product!

  36. ginnytalbert says:

    Oh, Dee, I do so envy your greenhouse. Mine’s on the agenda for next growing season, didn’t get it built (with old windows) this fall, durn! Thanks for telling us how you use/make the manure tea. I like the idea of using more than once.

  37. Sally Christiansen says:

    I would love to try the tea and am trying to get a greenhouse built. Yours is beautiful.

  38. Tammy says:

    I would love to try this! And please let me know how you set up your greenhouse. We want to build one, but are a little overwhelmed!

  39. Lita Sollisch says:

    Annie’s Moo Poo Tea should do wonders for my amaryllis. Here’s hoping.

  40. Carol says:

    My house plants would love to give the tea a try.

  41. Linda B says:

    Would love to be a winner. Starting a new vegetable garden in the spring. This is just what my plants will need.

  42. Susan Staudt says:

    I would live to try some Moo Poo Tea! Any product with a name that cool is on my wish list!

  43. sandy lawrence says:

    Thanks so much for sponsoring the moo poo tea giveaway. I’ve lost my decomposed goat ranch poo/straw compost source, so I would love some tea! Thanks also for sharing greenhouse info for those of us who long for one.

  44. Nell Jean says:

    I love peeking into greenhouses to see what’s growing, rooting, blooming.

    Since we have no cows for the past several years, I’m missing having handy manure. Annie’s ‘Tea’ will fill the need. Thank you, Helen and Dee, for this fun giveaway.

  45. Lydia Plunk says:

    I am grateful to live close to Annie’s climate zone. My plants are grateful, not just for that, but they now have a tea jar of one of the special “flavors” Annie makes for them stationed on the potting bench by the back door. She’s a great woman with a great product.

  46. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Greenhouse envy!

  47. gardenannie says:

    I have visited Annie’s site and the moo poo tea looks very interesting. Now, that I too have a greenhouse I would love to try it.

  48. This will be my first year with a cold frame.. and an impromptu one at that. Working with foliar feeding is a new thing for me.

  49. I would love some Moo-Poo tea bags – great for my homegrown veggies – but please keep that snow to yourself. 😉 Thanks!

    1. Jennie Brooks says:

      I love Annie and her moo poo goodness. Thank you, Dee and Helen.

  50. The weather is absolutely crazy. How wonderful to have a greenhouse to retreat to. It would cost a lot more to keep one heated here–but people do it!

  51. Ann Harrison says:

    I’d love to try the moo poo tea! Love reading all about your gardening adventures.

  52. Vickie says:

    Thanks for showing us exactly how to use manure tea, Dee! That’s so helpful! Since I have neither cattle nor chickens this is an excellent way to feed my green darlings what they crave!

  53. shawna88 says:

    I adore your greenhouse – so beautiful!

  54. Love your greenhouse setup. I just don’t have the room to do that so it is nice that you share your experiences.

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