Categories: The Eco Garden

Nettle feed – free organic fertiliser [how to guide]


You hate nettles, but love healthy vegetables and flowers. Right?

While stinging nettles do so well, your beloved garden plants require effort. Not fair!

There is a solution to this problem: Convert those nettles into free garden fertiliser.

Useful stinging nettles

They make an excellent, main ingredient for a nutritious and delicious seaweed tasting soup.

Nettle roots are firmly established in folk-medicine. There are claims that they can be used to produce a detoxing and nourishing tea.

Nettles have also been used in the past as a powerful die for fabrics.

Another use favoured by the organic gardener, is to turn this childhood bully into a nitrogen rich feed for our plants.

When brewing up an organic, do-it-yourself feed, we often turn our thoughts to comfrey. Comfrey does make an excellent feed. A nettle feed is just as beneficial around the garden and it’s main ingredient is more readily available. Nettles are extremely rich in nitrogen and other important nutrients and will aid all aspects of growth. Although such potent feeds can’t be used on seedlings and very young plants, established flowers and vegetables will certainly appreciate a weekly refuelling.

Nettle feed recipe

  1. Wearing thick gloves, gather enough nettles to fill a bucket.
  2. Using hedge clippers or large scissors, chop up your nettle plants.
  3. Pour water over the leaves until they are submerged.
  4. Drop in a brick or large stone to compress the leaves to the bottom of the bucket.
  5. After three or four weeks, your brew should be brown and it will smell terrible.
  6. Bottle up the liquid and dilute in water to use. The water should be gold in colour. 1 part feed / 10 parts water.

Place the sludge from the bottom of your bucket onto your compost heap.

As with any fertiliser; consider the wider nutritional dietary plan for your plants.

James Middleton

An obsessive gardener since 1982. Day-time job - web designer and developer and University lecturer.

Published by
James Middleton
Tags: Eco-friendly gardening

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