We have a small patch of stinging nettles near the greenhouse. Since it was beyond the stage generally recommended for eating, I decided to try making the nettle tea fertilizer I’ve read about.
I put the stalks and all in a five gallon bucket and covered with water. I let it set for a couple weeks, stirring occasionally. After the 2 weeks and when the sting is replaced by the stink, it’s ready.
I used an old part of a homemade pond filter – the bottom half of a bucket with holes drilled in it – to strain the weeds out. P.U.
Now, it still needs to be stirred from time to time. I kept forgetting to do it as frequently as I should have but it turned out fine anyway. When stirring, be sure to incorporate a lot of air into it by stirring vigorously.
I used a 1:10-ish mixture with water every couple weeks on plants in the garden. I think it really helped them do well. I know it didn’t hurt, at least. I didn’t leave any un-nettle-ized plants as a control group so I couldn’t say for sure. It may be a little soon to tell for sure but I haven’t seen any rot spots on the tomatoes so far this season. Maybe that’s because of the stinking nettle or maybe I’ve finally hit on some resistant varieties. Or like I said above, maybe it’s too soon and it’s coming.
When I ran out of my first batch there weren’t enough grown back to make a second one, so that was the end of the experiment. I do believe it’s worth another try next year, and I’ll try to keep enough growing to make a second batch , or make a bigger batch in the first place. Also it can be made with other plants but I wanted to do some research to see what not to use and I just kept forgetting to do that. So I guess this experiment is…to be continued…
PS According to this site, Stinging Nettles have a NPK of 5.6 – 0.7 – 3.7. They don’t specify if it’s the leaves straight-up or the tea. Maybe it doesn’t matter.