Directions

  1. Coarsely chop some silica-rich plants, willow, and green matter, and fill the drum or buckets % to 16 full ol plant material,
  2. Fill the drum or buckets with rainwater or chlorine-free water. It's important to use water that hasn't been chlorinated, because chlorine may kill the microbes that break down the plant matter.
  3. Let the mixture stand in the sun for several days (preferably not too close to the house—this is a pretty fragrant fertilizer!).
  4. Pour or drain the liquid off the top into a separate container.
  5. To use, mix ! quart of the fertilizer liquid in 5 gallons of water. Spray on plant leaves as a foliar fertilizer, or use as a soil drench

Stinging nettle

Field horsetail

If you can't beat em, feed with em. That could be the motto of Neil Strickland of Raymond, Mississippi. Neil fertilizes his entire vegetable garden and 3-acre orchard exclusively with a homemade weed tea. Just like cover crops, weeds contain traces of the "big three" nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. "And fast-growing weeds have many growth hormones and trace minerals," Neil says. He uses whatever is on hand for his brew, including horsetail (Etfuisetum arvertse), chickweed, comfrey, nettles, and even willow branches and grass clippings. "If you can use only one plant, make it willow branches,' he says, "because they contain many growth hormones that are especially beneficial for transplants."

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