How to make your own liquid feed

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender May 7, 2012 Posted Tags: , , Comment 6 Comments

Peppers, aubergines and tomatoes are growing strong by now hopefully in your conservatory or greenhouse. And it will be time soon to put them into their final position and feed them some high nitrogen fertilizer to encourage growth. Here are a few tips on how to make your very own liquid fertilizer for free.

Stinging nettle – Urtica dioica

If you have an allotment plot or a garden you must have some stinging nettles growing somewhere and you think it is very hard to get rid of this perennial weed.  It has a fast growing yellow rhizome and as it is a perennial it is best to keep it at bay or will take over your garden. This plant is used as a medicinal pant and as a food source too. And the plants are high in nitrogen which is why it is used as a compost activator and to make liquid feed. The best time is to use nettles as a feed is before flowering because the plants are somewhat low in phosphorus, but high in nitrogen, magnesium and iron.

Comfrey – Symphytum officinale

This plant is a quite common perennial herb which is full of nitrogen, potash and phosphorus. Comfrey is very similar in appearance to borage as they are in the same family Boragonaceae. The roots grow really deep to get all the goodness from the soil what other plants cannot get to. Some tests showed that a home made comfrey liquid can contain more NPK than many of the commercially available liquid feeds. If you have a good source of comfrey it is recommended to throw them on your compost heap. To encourage flowering and the setting of the fruits it is the best to use a mix of nettle and comfrey in your liquid feed.

 Making the feed

Collect nettle and comfrey foliage and place them in a container, tub or just a small bucket. Put half a brick on top of the leaves, this will ensure that the leaves will stay under water. Fill your container with water and cover the top; and let the foliage rot down, which takes about 10 days, depends how warm the weather is of course. You will know when your feed is ready as it will be really smelly. Dilute your feed until it is a light green in colour and water your tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and any other fruits and vegetables too. For best results use this feed once a week.

If you dilute the feed even further you can spray it on your plants, this will make the plant tissue stronger and make the life of sucking insects harder.

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6 Responses to “How to make your own liquid feed”

  • Liz Jacklin:

    Thank you. I look forward to this working and saving a few pennies along the way.

  • andy:

    also use dagings from sheep in a liquid feed really good for tomatoes just drop a few bits in with the nettles

  • Stev Jones:

    I use nettle water to feed my show leeks and get great results. would recommend it

  • mandy:

    I have a comfrey plant in my garden, I grew it from seed last year and it has come back even stronger this year. It took a whole packet of seeds to get one good plant, so my question is, how much can you cut it back without hurting the plant?

  • Sylvia Robbins:

    My comfrey is huge already and taking up a prime position in a border.
    The blooms are very pretty rather like pulmonaria and echium.
    Some is used for a feed but I like to keep most for decoration.
    It disappeared over winter but is back with a vengeance.

    We’ve only got a titchy clump of nettles and we keep that for the butterflies.

  • Elaine Kelleher:

    Thanks for the article, didn’t realise that you could mix nettles with comfrey. Great idea.

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