How To Make Stinging Nettle Fertilizer

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A post all about how to make stinging nettle fertilizer and which plants will thank you for it!

Stinging nettles may be considered a weed but they are incredibly beneficial plants.

Stinging Nettles are not only a habitat for wildlife but this nitrogen rich plant also makes an amazing fertilizer and compost activator (It’s good to eat too!)

Stinging nettle is a “dynamic accumulator”, as are comfrey, yarrow, borage, dandelion and chickweed. Dynamic accumulators take up nutrients and minerals from the earth and store them in more bioavailable forms in high concentration in their leaves.

This is why dynamic accumulators make amazing homemade fertilizers and mulch and are brilliant additions to your compost heap.

Stinging Nettle Manure or Stinging Nettle Tea?

I wrote a post last week about a lovely stinging nettle syrup we make and I wanted to share another use for stinging nettles.

Stinging Nettles can be used to make an easy natural fertilizer that will help your plants to thrive.

Stinging nettle tea is really useful this time of year with so many plants being hungry for nutrients so we usually have a bucket of it on the go all summer.

Stinging Nettle fertilizer tea

So, first things first, depending on how much time you have there are 2 methods to make this fertilizer with Stinging Nettles:

  1. Stinging Nettle Tea can be made quickly using hot water to brew the nettle leaves.
  2. Stinging Nettle Manure takes around 2 weeks to create a strong smelling fertilizer that will bubble as it ferments.

Stinging Nettle Manure will be more potent and will smell more as it ferments and bubbles but it will be more nutrient rich.

What nutrients does Stinging Nettle Fertilizer contain?

Stinging Nettles are as good for us humans as they are for plants!

Stinging Nettle’s are rich in nitrogen, chlorophyll, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper, zinc and calcium. They contain essential amino acids, proteins, flavinoids and vitamins A, B1, B5, C, D, E, and K.

What Plants Like Stinging Nettle Tea?

Many garden plants will benefit from Stinging Nettle Tea, particularly leafy vegetables because they require nitrogen to fuel leaf growth.

Tomatoes and roses aren’t quite so keen due to the high iron levels this natural fertilizer contains. Try a banana peel natural fertilizer instead.

How to collect Stinging Nettles?

Make sure you wear boots, trousers, long sleeves and gloves to pick your nettles.

It’s best to avoid picking near a road or any areas that might have been sprayed as weedkiller residues will be bad news for your crops.

Snap the plant or if you prefer you can skip the stem with scissors.

Place your collected nettles in a bucket.

Nettles are a great habitat for many insects including butterflies so make sure you leave plenty and if possible have a designated “wild area” in your plot.

Stinging Nettle Fertilzer Recipe

How to make Stinging Nettle Tea?

Once you’ve collected your nettles then you can use them as they are or snip them into shorter pieces and place in a cotton bag or old pillow case (this will make straining easier).

To make Stinging Nettle Tea

  1. Fill a pan half full with stinging nettles, carefully pour over boiling water to the top of nettles and cover with a lid.
  2. Leave to sit for water 20 minutes to an hour.
  3. Strain the nettle leaves and stems out carefully (add to your compost heap).
  4. Before using the stinging nettle fertilizer you’ll need to dilute 1 part stinging nettle tea to 10 parts rain water.

Dilute stinging nettle fertilizer

How To Make Stinging Nettle Manure?

Stinging Nettle ‘Manure’ probably gets its name from the aroma it creates while fermenting so be prepared to cover it and make it away from the house.

To make Stinging Nettle Manure…

  1. Fill a bucket with nettles and weight down with a stone.
  2. Cover the nettles with rain water if possible as it’s better than chlorinated tap water for plants.
  3. Leave a few inches at the top as the bubbles may need space!
  4. Cover with a lid and stir gently every few days.
  5. It will take a few weeks to stop bubbling and is ready to use (although I have been known to use it sooner!)
  6. Strain out the nettles and dilute one part fertilizer to 10 parts water for watering plants or 1:20 for direct leaf application.
  7. Either top up your bucket with more water to brew another batch of fertilizer or add nettles to compost heap.

How to use stinging nettle tea and manure?

What is nettle fertilzer good for?

Nettle fertiliser is useful for many heavy feeding plants, particularly leafy brassicas.

Dilute the stinging nettle fertilizer and use to water plants every 1 to 3 weeks. If you fertilize too often you’ll risk scorching the leaves.

It’s best to start with low concentrations and to increase from there is necessary.

How long can you keep nettle fertiliser?

Stinging Nettle fertilizer will last around 6 months. Plenty of time to get you through the main growing season from Spring to early Autumn.

If you need a large amount then you can make it in a water butt and use and top up ad required.

It’s easier to store undiluted and water-down as required.

how to make stinging nettle fertilizer

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