Nettle manure in the garden – insecticide and fertilizer in one
It is not for nothing that nettle manure is so popular with so many hobby gardeners. It is a natural and free plant fertilizer that can be easily made in any garden. The liquid manure is also used to strengthen the plants because it contains important nutrients such as potassium, silicic acid, iron and nitrogen. All you need for the DIY nettle manure are some young nettles and some water, ideally rainwater. Quite a few plants seem to benefit from its use. A visible improvement in colour, plant growth and aromas is soon the result.
Tip: When using nettle manure as fertilizer, remember that some plants, such as tomatoes and roses, do not like the high iron content in nettle fertilizer. This, on the other hand, is best suited for leafy plants and heavy feeders such as corn, potatoes and all types of cabbage. It is better to start with smaller amounts and then slowly increase the concentration.
Nettle – a remarkable weed with a powerful effect
You can start using the nettle fertilizer in the spring when the young nettles appear. You can continue doing this throughout the summer and even in early autumn.
- A watertight, open-topped metal or PVC container with a lid
- Some nettle tips
- Some water, ideally rainwater
- One weight – 1-2 stones, bricks will do
- garden gloves
And this is how you proceed:
- Collect the nettle tips.
Young nettles are better because they break down faster and contain less plant fiber than older plants. Of course, older nettles also work. You can then use the fibrous waste as mulch in the garden.
- If you can collect the nettles by mowing, it will help break up the plant structure and speed up the process. Don’t worry about grass, which is also collected.
- Before placing the nettles in the container, crush and shred them. You can do this by turning them in your hand while wearing heavy-duty gardening gloves, or by scattering the nettles on the ground and driving a lawnmower with a collector over them.
The good old secateurs are of course also an alternative
- Fill the container with the cut, bruised or shredded nettles.
- Add water to cover the nettles. Adding too much water will reduce the strength of the fertilizer produced.
- Cover the container to prevent rainwater from overflowing it.
- As the nettles break down, the plant fibers rise to the top, so after a few days put a weight on them to keep them submerged. It’s a good idea to use a stiff piece of netting just narrower than the container under the weight.
In this way, all important ingredients remain in the liquid manure
Nettle manure takes about three to four weeks to fully ferment. It gives off a fairly intense, earthy smell. It is best to cover the container and set it up somewhere away. During the season, more nettles and more water can be added to the container. Lift out the weight before adding more nettles. It is best to leave the old plant fibers in the container until the end of use and then add them to the compost heap.
You can also prepare the liquid manure in larger jars
And this is how you use nettle manure
As previously mentioned, nettle manure has a somewhat earthy odor. As such, using it to fertilize houseplants may not be ideal, although the scent tends to fade after application.
Nettle manure can be used as a soil or leaf fertilizer as well as a natural insecticide. However, you should dilute them before use. The ideal concentration of liquid manure is about the color of tea. This can be about 1 part manure to 10 parts water. The diluted manure can be used in a spray, but must be strained before use to remove the small fibers. These inevitably swim in the solution and can clog the spray.
Aphids in particular can be successfully combated with such liquid manure
Take advantage of the fascinating properties of this hardy plant in a sustainable way. Nettle is not only extremely healthy for us humans as a tea and soup, but also for your garden plants and vegetables.
As a liquid fertilizer, you can also pour the liquid manure directly from a can
Leafy greens benefit best from the nettle manure
Use nettle for a sustainable vegetable garden