In an earlier post I wrote about how to prepare and use Panchagavya. Panchagavya is an excellent pest repellent, foliar spray and fertilizer for your plants. In our garden we use it mostly as a foliar spray and pest repellent. That is because the recipe of Panchagavya calls for a wait period of 18 days, but it can be stored for 2 months time. Hence it is convenient to make one batch of Panchagavya every two months and use small quantities as a pest repellent. For fertilizing the plants we use two other cow dung based solutions. Namely Amrut Jal and Jeevamrut. In this post I’ll be guiding you on how to prepare and use Amrut Jal.
Amrut Jal has been popularized by Prof Sripad A Dabholkar as a part of what is known as NatuEco Farming Technique. But most gardeners I talk to are blissfully unaware of this magic potion. I hope this post will reach out to as many Organic Terrace Gardeners and farmers as possible, so that everyone can reap benefits of this humble yet powerful gift of nature.
How does Amrut Jal work?
I first came to know about Amrut Jal from Urban Leaves blog and decided to try it in our garden. First we tried it on a flower plant that had dried up and had stopped flowering. Guess what! In about fifteen days the plant had started bearing flowers and in about a month’s time it was covered with them. And since then Amrut Jal has been a regular feature in our garden.
So how does it work?
Fresh cow dung not only contains nutrients for plants, it also contains millions of soil friendly microbes. When they are fed well, they multiply. And when you feed the soil with these microbes soil comes alive. They not only improve the structure of the soil, they also start to break down the available nutrients into a form, that can be easily taken in by plants. The process of making Amrut Jal is basically a process of increasing the number of already available microbial life in fresh cow dung of the Indian breed cow.
Amrut Jal Recipe
- Fresh cow dung of Indian breed cow – 1 kg
- Urine of Indian breed cow (Older the better) – 1 liter
- Organic Black Jaggery – 50 gms (can be substituted with 2 glasses of sugarcane juice or six over ripe bananas)
- Water – 10 liters
- In a plastic or wooden bucket mix the jaggery with some water or urine to liquefy it. The jaggery serves as the food, which the microbes will eat and multiply.
- Mix in the cow dung and urine. Use a wooden stick to do the mixing. Alternatively plastic can be used. But do not use any metal to do the mixing. Cow dung contains different type of beneficial microbes. Cow urine contains microbes which help in photosynthesis. It also makes the food more palatable for the microbes.
- While doing the mixing stir slowly in one direction. If you stir too violently then you’ll be killing the microbes.
- Add in the water, cover the container with a piece of cloth or any other loose cover and leave it to ferment. Make sure that the cover is not air tight. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight and rain.
- Stir the solution 12 times in both clockwise and anticlockwise direction using wooden stick three times a day. This helps in distributing the microbes uniformly in the solution. Why 12 times? Well answer to that I really don’t know. But since the recipe calls for it lets stick to it.
- From the second day onward you’ll see that the fermentation process has started. On the fourth day the microbial activity reaches its peak. And that is when Amrut Jal is used.
- On the forth day for every liter of the fermented solution add ten liters of water and Amrut Jal is ready to be used.
Usage of Amrut Jal
Amrut Jal is best used on the fourth day for watering the plants. However we also use it on 3rd and 5th days. We use it in almost all gardening activities. They are
- Watering the plants using Amrut Jal on a weekly basis keeps the soil alive and rich in nutrients.
- Spraying filtered Amrut jal once a week or once a fortnight helps in lowering the chance of pest infestation. It is also an excellent foliar spray.
- Seed treatment using Amrut jal by soaking for 24 hours before sowing them helps in better germination rate and stronger plant.
- Root treatment of saplings for 30 minutes before planting them helps develop a stronger and more disease resistant plant.
- Dried leaves or dried sugarcane bagasse is soaked in Amrut Jal and then used as mulch for plants.