Here are my reasons for making it myself -
- It's really, really easy.
- It takes hardly any time.
- It doesn't cost a cent!
- It's good for the environment.
- It makes my garden grow.
I make up my fertiliser as a comfrey tea, weed tea or sometimes with manure. If you want to give it a try, follow the steps below.
- grab a bucket (I use an old nappy bucket)
- throw in lots of your material of choice
- fill the bucket with water
- leave for two weeks
That's it! You don't need to be fussy or precise to get a good brew. Yesterday, I decided I would use comfrey leaves in the bucket. However much of my comfrey is very young. I've recently planted it under most of my fruit trees so the roots can draw up nutrients from deep in the ground. I found I didn't have enough leaves (but I sure will next year!) so I topped the leaves with grass that was growing on my garden paths. A touch of accidental weeding. Don't you just love it when two jobs are achieved in the same task!
If I use manure I just put a layer at the bottom of the bucket but with plant material I nearly fill the bucket. You can also place manure in a stocking if you want a clearer liquid but I don't bother. At the end of the two weeks, the mix becomes very stinky. This is good. The bacteria that is breaking it down and causing the smell is the same bacteria that your garden is going to benefit from.
When the fertiliser is ready to use, I put about a litre in my ten litre watering can and fill it with water to dilute. Then I gently pour it over my plants. I always make sure the soil is already moist so the plants aren't forced to absorb more fertiliser than they need.
When my bucket is nearly empty, I just tip the sludge in the bottom onto my compost heap and start again. I like to have two buckets on the go most of the time so that I don't need to wait for the next brew to reach maturity. I keep them next to a tap so that I can easily fill my watering can. I've also attached an empty yoghurt container to the bucket so that I can scoop out the amount I need without searching for a vessel.
So there you have it! A fertiliser that is free, creates no waste, uses no fossil fuels being transported to the garden beds and takes minutes to make. Happy gardening!