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!