Nettle Tea As a Natural Fertilizer

| 5/2/2014 2:29:00 PM

stinging nettle

Amy HillAmong 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 in the urinary and gastrointestinal tracts,as well as on the skin, in the joints and for allergic conditions, stinging nettles contain significant amounts of trace elements like iron, manganese and calcium. The plant also contains the major nutrients potassium and nitrogen. Nitrogen, of course, promotes new green growth, and potassium (symbol K, the third number in a fertilizer analysis such as 4-3-3) is often described as a multivitamin for a plant, promoting resiliency and overall good health.

Gardening literature from the UK suggests that nettle tea is an outstanding natural fertilizer. To make it:

harvested nettles 

– 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.