Organic Fertiliser what can I use?

Nettles, Comfrey, Seaweed or Cow Manure.

Organic Fertiliser

As more and more chemicals are going of the market gardeners are going back to using good old fashioned organic fertiliser in their gardens now.  It is very simple to make and costs very little.

You will need black bin bags, Garden Fork or grape, 2 gallon (10 litre) bucket, old pair of nylons, wheelbarrow, brown plastic bottle, label and some string.


You can use Nettles, Comfrey leaves and Seaweed. 

Gather up freshly cut nettles and fill them into a black bin bag about half full then add 2 pints of water, (rain water is best), then fill bag up to three quarters full with more nettles.  Now tie the neck of the bag with some string.  Use your garden fork to make holes around the sides of the back making sure to keep holes about quarter up from the bottom of the bag.  This will allow air to get in to help the leaves break down.  Place your bag in a south facing aspect against a wall or fence or hedge.  Now after about two months the bag should have got much smaller with the nettles breaking down inside.  Get your 10 litre bucket and stretch a pair of old nylons over the top of the bucket and secure with string.  This will act as a sieve, now pierce a hole in the bottom of your black bin bag over the top of the bucket so as the concentrate liquid runs into the bucket this will take a few minutes to get most of the brown concentrate nettle juice out you can start to squeeze the bin bag to get as much liquid out as possible.  The liquid in the bottom of your bucket is now your concentrated nettle fertiliser pour this into brown or dark coloured plastic bottle and screw lid on tight and label bottle making sure to put date when made.  Make sure you use as dark a coloured bottle as possible this helps to keep light out of the liquid as this would destroy the goodness in the liquid.  When ready to use add two tablespoons of your nettle concentrate to two gallon (10 litre) of water and water onto your plants using a fine rose spray.  Best time to do this is late afternoon when the temperatures are not too high and the sun is low in the sky so as not to burn your plants.  Use this fertiliser every 14 days during active plant growth ie from May to August.  Or you can use one tablespoon concentrate once a week. 

Comfrey you make the same way as Nettle concentrate. 

For seaweed once you gather your seaweed make sure to lay it out on a hard surface and let the rain wash the salt and sand of the seaweed before putting into bin bag or you can use a hose to wash it clean.  Make sure the water that runs of the seaweed does not run into plants as the salt will burn the roots of plants.  Once washed bag the seaweed and make as above.  When you have the concentrate ready use one tablespoon to two gallons (10 litres) of water as this is much stronger than nettles or comfrey and water onto your plants every 14 days.

Cow Manure make sure you get fresh manure from cows that has been feed on straw or hay normally young calves manure is best.  Do not use cow manure from silage fed cows it is too strong and will burn and kill your plants.

What you will need to make Organic cow fertiliser.

Hessian bag, concrete block or stone, strong twine or light rope, metal S hook, Fork or grape, Rain water barrel preferably with a lid and gloves.

Place a concrete block or large stone into a hessian bag (coal bag size) three quarter fill with fresh cow manure.  Tie a good strong rope or twine around the neck of the bag leaving enough rope to lower the bag into your water butt and tie the s hook on other end of rope.  Ideally you want the bag to be floating about one quarter the way up from the bottom of the barrel so adjust length of rope to suit the height of your barrel.  Place the barrel outside the south side of your glasshouse or near to where you will be using it the most.  Make sure the sun gets at it all day if possible. Once in position fill barrel with water again rain water is best.  Leave it for two weeks with lid on tight.  Now before ready to use take of lid and raise and lower your bag of manure a few times by pulling up your s hook which should be clipped onto the rim of your barrel.  Now it is ready to use one pint (570ml) of concentrate to two gallons (10 litres) of water and feed your plants every 14 days.  This is high in potash so is ideal for tomatoes or any fruit crop.  Make sure each time you go to use the cow manure concentrate to raise and lower the bag inside the barrel you can top the barrel up with rain water each time.  The liquid when diluted should look like weak tea after using the fertiliser for a month or so it will get weaker so add more concentrate to your water can.  Again only feed from May to August.

Feeding tomatoes using any fertiliser make sure to water it on the soil surface away from the main stem of the plant.  Tomatoes have two root systems surface roots for feeding and deep roots for taking up water.  A good idea is to plunch a  plant pot about 1 litre or 6″ size the same spacing away from main tomato stem flush to soil level.  Now then you can pour your water into the flower pot remember each tomato plant requires up to 2 gallon (10 litres) of water a day if it is really warm and sunny this way the water gets to the deep roots quickly.  You can then feed your plant on the soil surface.  Before planting tomatoes adding ashes from your fire to the soil will help add more potash at the rate of one handful to the square metre.

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