This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Making Fertiliser & Seed Spurts

I often drink nettle tea... but this year I've decided to make nettle fertiliser. I've read articles about it over the years and I have a good supply of nettles so thought I'd give it a go.
The instructions are: (1) Shear off some fresh nettle or comfrey growth. (2) Pack it into a net bag and tie at the top. (3) Suspend the bag in a bucket of water for several weeks, occasionally squeezing the bag. (4) Before applying in the garden dilute with water. I weighted the nettles down with a rock, covered the bucket with a lid and will leave it to 'cook' for a few weeks. 
We had really warm weather this week (70F on Sunday), maybe a record for this time of year. I was surprised at the seed growth. Notice the two pots at the far right. Photo taken 9th April.
Two days later, 11th April the Dwarf Bean Purple Queen (far right) have almost grown out of no where. I had to do a double take; I could have sworn those beans weren't there yesterday!  The cucumber and cabbage are also coming up nicely. Variety: Dwarf Bean Purple Queen. Mr Fothergill's Seeds, 100 seeds, £2.35.

This year I spotted yellow courgette seeds so have decided to try these. The seeds have come up quite quickly. Sown 3 April.
Left: Sweet Pea Tall Mixed Climber, Mr Fothergill's Seeds, £1.69; photo taken 4 April. Right: Same sweet pea, photo taken 10th April - quite a bit of growth for a week!

Any bloggers make their own fertiliser from nettles or comfrey?


  1. How wonderful spring must be after such a bleak winter. At least I am able to grow things in winter...all the brassicas, peas, broad beans, onions, leeks, carrots etc. I am interested in how the nettle fertilizer works out. Yu have prompted me to cut back my comfrey and have a go at making some myself.

  2. I had forgotten about the nettle tea and we have lots of nettles growing around the plots at the moment!Will make a brew soon,thanks for the reminder.
    I don't need to make comfrey tea as one of our plotters has a bin full of the stuff and is asking us to take it. He adds water at a 15 to 1 ratio.

  3. I make the same type of fertiliser, but with Comfrey leaves. It smells evil, but the plants like it.
    My seedlings have also put on a lot of growth these last few days because we have had lots of sunshine and until today it has been warm too. The only thing dragging its heels is the row of Imperial Green Longpod Broad Beans. Only one or two of them have germinated so far.

  4. Looks like you are in the swing, getting a head start. The nettle tea looks quite interesting. No nettle here, though.

  5. Kellie, I see what's happened. You've taken all of our normally mild spring weather! 70? I'm terribly jealous.
    I'm intrigued by this fertilizer..I have no nettles, but I do have this random comfrey plant in the back yard. I may have just found a use for it! Brilliant! Cheers, Jenni