Natural Gardening: Homemade Fertilizer Recipe


Throughout the course of writing this blog, I have occasionally mentioned our family’s love for nettles. Whether in a pasta dinner, tea (for illnesses or pregnancy), or even shampoo, these “weeds” are packed full of wonderful nutrients!

Nettles are often easily found growing in the wild (or even in a neglected corner of your yard?), but can also be purchased in tea bags or dried in bulk.

Another one of our favorite uses for nettles is in our gardening, as a homemade “fertilizer” tea! This French Gardening site offers a detailed explanation. (We have done a similar, but less intensive method than described.) We’ve just prepared a tea from dried nettles, and let it sit outside for days, before diluting and pouring onto the garden. Our plants flourished! (The photos in this post are from our current garden; last year, while living in an apartment, we had a container garden on our balcony.)

After reading Steve Solomon’s book “Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food In Hard Times last year, we purposed not to use commercial fertilizers on our plants. (Mr. Solomon was the founder of Territorial Seed Company, which is a great source for heirloom seeds, as well as an inspiring seasonal catalog!)

Nettle Tea Fertilizer
1 oz dried Nettles
1 cup Boiling Water
Add dried nettles to hot water (using a tea ball, if desired), and let steep at least 20 min – 1 hour. Let sit in a warm place for about a week. (You can use immediately, if you really want to give it a try.) Add tea to a watering can of water, and pour around your plants as a fertilizer! (We add the leftover nettle “pulp” to our compost.)

So, instead of buying that big bag of chemicals this year, give this easy organic gardening recipe a try!

(Note: Nettle tea can possibly be a bit too rich in iron for tomatoes. Use sparingly, if at all, in their area of the garden.)

It works for me! Visit We are THAT Family for more Works for me Wednesday ideas during this week’s Summer Recipes edition.

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