I had a little tidy on the plot at the weekend in attempt to keep the weeds at bay that are beginning to take hold of the plot. As I gathered up the nettles I thought I might as well put them to use by making my own liquid nettle fertiliser.
I haven’t made my own fertiliser before, but I enjoy reading up and learning about such things so I thought it was worth a try – even if it’s going to be very smelly..which it will by the way.
Nettles are known to be packed with lots of nitrogen as their deep roots suck up lots of nutrients from the ground . This makes the liquid fertiliser great for plants with lots of green leaves plants like potatoes, and hungry feeders like rhubarb, pumpkins and squash. You can also apply the same method with comfrey leaves – but use this to feed your flowering plants and fruits.
HOW TO MAKE NETTLE FERTILISER
Using gloves carefully pick the your nettles by the stem. You want to keep all of the leaves and stem intact but no roots. The younger the nettles the better but pick as much as you can.
Once you have gathered a reasonable amount, give the leaves a good bashing or stomp on them to bruise the leaves.
Place the nettles into a deep pot, bucket or in my case a bin. Put a brick or something heavy on top of the leaves to prevent them floating around.
Cover the leaves with water (preferably rainwater). I didn’t attempt to make any accurate measurements with mine – I took a guess and filled the bin half way. You need to leave some air room at the top for the fermenting liquid to froth up.
Cover and leave for about 3-4 weeks to brew -it’s going to get smelly remember so place it somewhere out of the way!
When ready, dilute to 1 part fertiliser to 10 part water ratio to feed your plants. You can leave the nettles in the bottom and keep adding water & more nettles throughout the season or if the smell is just too bad, strain the liquid and throw the dregs onto the compost bin.