Did you know it was possible to make your own liquid feed using your plain old garden weeds? Nettles, as well as being vital for attracting aphid-eating ladybirds, also make a superb nitrogen-rich fertiliser. Dandelions, those horrible triffids with roots like a baby’s arm are actually rich in potassium and, when used in the right way, can actually be good for your garden!
You can make specific nettle or dandelion feeds, or soak the two together for an all-purpose feed. For leafy plants and vegetables, you might want to give them more nitrogen whereas your flowering and fruiting plants need more phosphorus
You will need:
One plastic bucket with lid (we’re serious about the lid)
Pick or dig up your weeds and crush them in your hands, bruising the leaves. For nettles, make sure you’re wearing gloves and bear in mind that younger stems are better.
Put the weeds in the bottom of a plastic bucket. Add just enough water to cover and put the lid on.
Leave to soak for at least 4 weeks and then the fertiliser will be ready to use.
To use, add the liquid to water as you would dilute any other liquid feed, roughly about 1 part feed to 10 parts water. It’s best to use a small amount once a week or so. Any more often and you’re at risk of over-feeding.
You can keep topping up the mixture throughout the growing season, adding more weeds and more water as you use.
Once you’re done with the fertiliser, you can put the sludge and remaining liquid on the compost heap. If there are any stems that have been in the water for less than a month, separate them out and dispose of them separately.
Be warned, the brewing liquid smells truly disgusting but it’s a cheap and easy of producing an organic, liquid feed for your garden, not to mention a good way of making use of those weeds.
Other weeds and plants that are good for fertilisers: Comfrey, Dock, Mare’s tail, Seaweed