Nettle fertiliser

Most of us who live in Europe have encountered stinging nettles and see them somewhat a nuisance. But this recipe is a great way of getting rid of some of them and using them as a cheap, fantastic source of fertiliser. Nettles – typically dark, green and leafy, are extremely rich in nitrogen and so this fertiliser is a strong source of nitrogen.

To make a nettle fertilizer you need to harvest stinging nettles when they are at their growing peak, just before they reach full bloom for us that is around June (remember to protect yourself with gloves and a long-sleeved shirt!).   Use the leaves but not the roots or seeds.

Steep the nettles in water – in a container with a lid. This is an important step as this rich tea smells….alot. Let the nettles rest for 10-14 days until they decompose (the hotter the weather, the less time you need), and your fertilizer is ready. I have read a number of recipes that let it rest for up to a month but 2-3 weeks is fine. I stir the tea every day to incorporate some oxygen but do this in an area where the smell will create lses impact.   Strain the brownish-green liquid, bottle it, and use twice a week in a 1:10 water dilution..

There are other things that will appreciate stinging nettle tea: fruit trees and bushes, roses, annuals and perennial flowering plants.

** It is NOT meant to supplement such plants as onions, root vegetables, beans and peas, carrots. (Otherwise you may end up with some amazing leafes but little to no carrot etc.

You can subsitute nettles for comfrey, ground eldar amongst others. 

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