My 2 Ingredient Biological Liquid Feed

liquid feeding the vegetable garden with a biological brew

Liquid feed is awesome tonic support for the food garden, and this 2 ingredient biological brew is next level… why? Because its alive my friends! I love this brew because its a one size fits all – citrus, vegies, roses, berries, deciduous fruit trees – even compost piles!

The best fertility is life. A broad range of beneficial organisms boosts immunity, strengthens cells, outcompetes disease causing organisms, improves soil structure and overall, strengthens your whole garden.

Did you know that beneficial bacteria and fungi bring to each plant, the exact minerals they need, at any given moment. Even altering the Ph to suit. Extraordinary!

The miracle of all this life, is that where beneficial organisms proliferate, there is literally no room left for disease causing pathogens.

The ingredients

Choose one biological ingredient + one packed lunch ingredient from the list below. The packed lunch is food for the biology, until it establishes itself.

Biological ingredient. Either use EM Garden 1 or your own vibrant, homemade activated compost tea. One or the other – you don’t need both.

Packed lunch ingredient. Choose one of these: fresh worm liquid or liquid seaweed or liquid fish or molasses. Molasses is an awesome feed! Go for gold and add 2 packed lunches – molasses + one other from the list. Use one tablespoon per watering can, dissolved first in hot water.

Mix your brew

  • Half fill your watering can or back pack sprayer with non chlorinated water. A filter that sits on your tap is easy to get.
  • Add in one biological ingredient and one packed lunch ingredient at the recommended dilution rate. Use homemade liquid feed at a ratio that barely colours the brew, like a weak cup of tea. If you need something more concrete start with 1:10, ie 1ml feed to 10ml water or 1 capful feed to 10 capfuls water.
  • Top up the water, swirling the hose end around as you go, stirring it up nicely.

How + when to use

How to make liquid feed Put the rotten comfrey under the tomato plants Ediblebackyard NZ

Make up a brew and wander your gardens, innoculating every plant/ tree (foliage, leaves, bark, soil – the lot!) and your composts too. The best time is in the evening.

At most use once a week. This suits new gardens, gardens transitioning from artificial fertiliser to natural ways, or plants experiencing pest/ disease.

Once a month is a good general go to. Or, if everything is growing swimmingly – go for once a season. You’ll naturally use less, as the garden establishes and balances out.

Early spring as new growths appear, is a prime time. These days, in my well established garden, I roll out my biological feed as and when the garden tells me – pouring, whoever needs it – an enlivening drink.

  • Saturate soil pre planting, especially if using bought compost or your garden is new
  • Pour a watering can of biological brew over newly made compost or use to enliven sluggish composts
  • Use weekly to get winter crops growing strongly before the soil cools and growth slows right down.

When soil temps dip below 10°C, biology, like every other living thing, slows right down. So save your time and pennies – stow your watering can and take a break until things warm up again.

Less is more

Its very tempting to buy into bigger is better thinking. Be ever careful of the word “more” – it tips your soils out of whack, sends natural processes into a spin and wastes your money. That’s why we have a garden giggle and call it the more-on effect.

More dilute + more frequent is more potent by far. Make little and often your garden mantra, and all will be well.


  1. This sounds like a great reviver. Thanks Kath. Keen to try and do t need to buy anything. Yay.

  2. Hey Kath,

    Thanks for the amazing info. Would a weed or comfrey tea work for the packed lunch?


  3. When you say “dilute as per instructions’, do mean dilute first and then add to the water in your watering can? IF so how much of the pre diluted mixture do you add? Thanks!

    • Dilute each ingredient as per the instructions on the products bottle – that means add the concentrate at the recommended rate on the bottle, to the watering can then fill with water.

  4. Hi Kath, Thank you for sharing here what you do in the garden. I just moved to Manakau and I am starting my veggie garden with the no-dig method learning from Charles Dowding that I met through your website he is the first on your guru’s list thank you very much for that.
    I would like to ask you if you can recommend to me where I can buy an organic compost around Levin to Otaki since it would have to be delivered. I thank you in advance for any info.

    • Hi Natalia, its best if you do your own research here. I recommend you ring the supplier and ask them if they test each batch and if their inputs are organic. I recommend getting on the hunt for organic matter in your neighbourhood and making as much of your own compost as you can so that in future you can mix your living, safe homemade stuff with any bought compost you bring in. Hope this helps, Kath

  5. Alice Odean says

    Hi Kath
    Can both the ingredients be mixed together, or spray one on first then the other.
    Thank you for all the great info and help that you send us. Greatly appreciated.
    Look forward to your reply.

  6. Alice Odean says

    Thank you, Kath.

  7. Hi Kath
    Just wondering in the juice from bokashi bins can be used a biological ingredient or as a “packed” lunch?
    Thank you in advance

  8. Hi Kath – great info, thank you. If using molasses does it need to be unsulphured? I’ve had trouble finding it except in really small amounts.



    • Oh yes – steer way clear of products treated with sulphur dioxide. Dodgy for our bodies and the environ at large. Use organic, food grade molasses. EMNZ sell it if that helps 🙂