Monday, July 27, 2009

Give your garden a boost ...

If you've ever gone out and pulled weeds from your yard or garden, then you know that they are tough. They send roots down to the center of the earth ... okay, maybe that's a little dramatic but ... it sure feels like it when I'm playing a tug-of-war with an ornery Dandelion. This quality, however, means that they are drawing nutrition from deep in the ground ... from an area that is rich in nutrients.

I usually toss weeds and other plant materials into the compost bin which will create wonderful mulch for next year's garden. But what about this year's plants ... is there a way I could use those nutrient rich "greens" to help them? Sure ... make a liquid fertilizer ... a sort of "tea". And it couldn't be easier!

  • Collect a bunch of weeds, leaves, herbs, grass clippings, etc. Each type of plant offers something different. For example, grass clippings provide nitrogen ... deep rooted comfrey donates a large amount of potash as well as magnesium, iron and calcium. So collect a variety of plant materials to ensure a well-balanced fertilizer.

  • Find a container with a lid. This can be as large as you like, depending on the amount of fertilizer you'll need. Be sure to use a lid because as the "tea" matures, it will get smelly.

  • Fill the container with the plant matter.

  • Add water.
  • Put the lid on and set the container in a warm spot.

  • Shake the container every 3-4 days. If you're using a large container, give it a stir every few days.

  • After about a month, the "tea" is ready to use.

  • Strain out the solids and dilute (one part "tea" to two parts water).

  • Feed your plants.

Doesn't that sound easy? Who knew that weeds could be such a good thing!

As always, I would love to hear from you!

13 comments :

  1. very intersting idea. Composting was the only type of food I thought was good for plants, but hey this is way easier... I'm not too sure how good it will work but I'm willing to give it a try just because it does not require so much hard work :)

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  2. That is right up my alley! I have PLENTY of weeds to put in the tea pot.

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  3. Yes it works well and there are other plants, such as Comfrey, that make a good liquid food. As for weeds, I never pull them all from the garden, but leave some of them there as they put useful minerals back into the soil. This is one of my favourite topics. :)

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  4. Not a bad idea . . . and I think I might derive a bit of perverse pleasure from feeding those darn weeds to my plants.

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  5. Hey, this is a great tip. My organic veges are gonna love it. I was just thinking that a nice fertilizer boost would crank things up but wanted to stay organic and what better way. Besides, it saves a few bucks and you spend time with your plants which is good for you and them. Thanks. BTW- did you go to Belle Chere?

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  6. Small footprints,
    This ready need a lot of efforts to maintain the garden.
    After reading this post, I now have the knowledge of making fertilizer using leaves. Thanks for sharing.
    Small footprints, I just received the adorable from the blogging friend and like to pass it to you, please take it from my blog if you are free.
    Happy gardening and have the nice day.

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  7. natural and yummy ... for the plants :))

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  8. Great idea for a smaller block. May be a bit tricky on 800 acres. We try to get the cattle to eat the weeds for us. They're a lot better at getting them out of the ground then I am. Cheers, 4cowgirls

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  9. Another fabulous gardening idea from you! I will most certainly try that in my "Monsanto sucks, Michelle Obama Rocks Organic Garden"!!

    -kate

    http://holdfastseeker.blogspot.com

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  10. Dandelion leaves are not only good for composting, they are good in salads and on pizza. Here in Brazil you can get a dried tomato and "ruccula" pizza in any pizza restaurant, very popular.

    AV

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  11. What an Idea Sir/Madam Ji. Will give it a try for sure.

    Thanks
    Raja

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