To start with what is a feed?
A feed is a liquid fertiliser that will pep-up plant performance and replenish soils and plants that are hungry for nutrients. Nutrients are always needed by plants, on planting and especially during their active growing season. The rule of green thumb says, “A healthy plant starts with a healthy soil.”
Soils that have had plenty of organic matter added to them, from season to season, will have built up good soil structure and a natural balance of nutrients. Micro-organisms within the soil gradually release these nutrients locked up in organic matter – and this is one of the main reasons why we prefer not to use chemical feeds or fertilisers, as they force feed plants making them weak.
Make your own fabulous liquid feeds with these cheap and easy recipes…
Recipe 1: Comfrey Feed
We recommend that you start with Comfrey. Comfrey is a really outstanding plant for compost activation and feeding. Comfrey have exceptionally long roots and are able to draw up nutrients that lie deep within the ground.
Chop up Comfrey leaves (which have loads of potassium, nitrogen and other minerals like calcium) and tightly pack them into a water-tight container. Top up the container with water and allow it to steep for two to three weeks. It will smell really bad! Stir now and again and strain the liquid into bottles for storage, and whatever is left in the container (the thick sludgy stuff) can be added to your compost heap. Use your Comfrey feed diluted one part to ten parts of water.
Recipe 2: Stinging Nettle Tea
Stinging Nettle Tea is best prepared with the use of an old pair of pantyhose and gloves. Be very careful when handling the Nettle leaves as the plant is not called Stinging Nettle for nothing!
Stuff the leaves into the tights, squashing them until you have a firm tube of leaves. Tie at the top and simply dangle the ‘tea bag’ in a bucket of water. Top up the water so that the brew isn’t too strong and close with a tight fitting lid. This is to stop flies from entering and to contain any smell. If you have a barrel with a tap it will make it very easy to tap off this nutrient enhanced water.
Both of these feeds can be used by pouring it onto the soil at the roots of the plant and diluted as a foliar feed.