Our news items will be a little different during lock down.
Here we have an article from Carol Seery on making your own liquid fertilisers made from plants. You can even make them from weeds…..
Next time you are weeding the garden throw all the weeds into a bucket. When it is about half full, fill it with water. Ideally use rainwater or water from a water butt.
Put a lid on to keep waterborne flies out and the smell down – it should not be too bad as not leaving for too long . Stir daily or if using manageable sized buckets you can pour it from one bucket into another to mix things up and keep it aerated. Let it soak for 3 days to 2 weeks. Strain and use the liquid right away as a fertilizer or foliar feeding. Best to use diluted just in case. Throw waste on to compost heap or dig into ground
Weeds are full of nutrients they have absorbed from your soil so good to return them to your garden plants.
Some plants make extra nourishing liquid fertilizers are:
- Stinging nettle is high in nitrogen, calcium, iron, vitamins A, B, & C, phosphorus, potassium, boron, iron, zinc, selenium, and magnesium. A natural insect repellant, when sprayed on leaves it can help plants resist insect and fungal attacks.
- Horsetail/ mares tail is a deeply rooted weed that draws up minerals including potassium, silica, and iron from far below the soil.
- Willow is rich in growth hormones, making it especially good for getting young transplants off to a good start.
- Comfrey is rich in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, B,& C, and trace minerals.
- Dandelions can be put to good use making a tea that is full of vitamins A & C along with calcium and potassium.
Grass works well too. Fresh grass clippings are high in nitrogen and potassium. Gather up clippings next time you mow the lawn, fill a bucket 2/3 full of them, add water and steep 3 days, stirring daily, this can be added not diluted to established plants . This is especially good for lawns but DON’T collect if you have applied weed killer recently.
Liquid fertilisers are fast-acting. Apply them no more than every two weeks usually or when your plants need a boost. They are especially effective on newly transplanted ones and those in blossom or setting fruit.