Among other new things I'm trying out this year, I'm making a liquid fertilizer out of stinging nettles (Urtica dioica). Urtica dioica grows easily from seed and spreads easily by rhizomes, so I grow mine in a container. Often used in traditional and herbal/alternative medicines to treat a wide variety of conditions
Gardening literature from the UK suggests that nettle tea is an outstanding natural fertilizer. To make it:
– Gather stems and leaves of stinging nettles. (Use gloves. They really do hurt.)
– Crush the leaves and stems with your gloved hands or chop them with a knife, and place in a large bucket. Weight them down with a clean clay pot or saucer.
– Cover the crushed nettles with water.
– Leave them to soak for 3 to 4 weeks. Word has it that the brew gets a bit smelly, so keep a lid on the bucket and perhaps locate it away from pathways or entranceways.
– Once the liquid has steeped, dilute it at approximately 1 part tea to 10 parts water. Apply to any plants, but especially those that seem to be struggling a bit.
NOTE: Nettles can interfere with certain prescription drugs, including blood thinners and blood pressure and diabetes medications. Don't take them without consulting a doctor about potential interactions with your current diet and medications.