Chop Wood Carry Water Plant Seeds is a blog about Self-Sufficient Homesteading. How can we live by creating a sustainable bio-diverse world, instead of by consuming and destroying the only one we have? What kind of teaching have you got if you exclude nature?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Making organic liquid fertilizer from Comfrey and Nettles

Comfrey and Nettles are very rich in nutrients and can be found all over the fields. They are organic gardener's best friends indeed. Making such liquid feed for your garden is not difficult. I know about 3 methods and these are:
1. the most common one is to simply gather many Comfrey and Nettle leaves and bang them into a bucket with water and cover it. Place it in a shade and wait for it to turn very smelly. This is the anaerobic way and can produce many unwanted bacteria. Once ready mix it with water (10 parts water 1 part of smelly solution) and water the roots never the leaves.

2. the other method is to fill a bucket with Comfrey and Nettle leaves, fill it with water and add an air stone which is connected to the air pump (as used in aquariums). This gentle bubbling will introduce much Oxygen into the water creating an aerobic environment which results in aerobic non-smelly liquid fertiliser rich with protozoa, algae, aerobic bacteria and even fungi. All these are much more beneficial to the plants than the anaerobic solution. Such solution can be even sprayed on the plant leaves as pest protection. Plant leaves have many spores which parasites can live in. When this solution is sprayed onto the leaves it fills the spores leaving no space for parasitic life forms. This solution can be used as is without watering it down.

3. the last method is the one I use because it needs no water, no el-driven air pumps and it doesn't smell bad. I've found this method in the book called "Organic Gardening - The Natural No-dig Way" and is made like this:
Fill a bucket to the top with Comfrey and Nettle leaves (or just Comfrey) and push them down to press them. Once you collect enough leaves which are pressed into the bucket cover it and place it somewhere in the shade. Make sure no rain can get into it since this method is also aerobic and water would only create anaerobic smelly solution. I placed mine into the garage which is open during the hot days but without direct sun exposure. The leaves will turn into a black liquid after 2 month which doesn't smell. I will then mix it with water to feed plant roots. 10 parts water to 1 part liquid fertiliser.
Bucket filled with fresh Comfrey and Nettle leaves

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