Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Liquid feeds from your garden

I find that a regular dose of weak liquid feed helps tiny seedlings grow into strong plants.  I also use liquid feed for my citrus in large pots, for ailing plants, occasionally for fruiting plants like tomatoes and in my hothouse. But which one to choose!

Worm juice

Simply made by watering the worm farm, collecting the liquid, diluting it to a very weak tea look and watering the foliage and soil of young seedlings. My worm juice making device is a terracotta water filter from the tip shop. It lives on an upturned oil tin, in my hothouse. The worms are fed in the top section, with weeds and trimmings from the hothouse. I water it from time to time and this collects in the bottom. I then use the tap to drain some into a small watering can, and water my seedlings in the hot house. No fuss. No carrying of heavy buckets. The job takes 2 minutes.

Bad weeds

Onion grass, weeds carrying seeds, couch / twitch – pack densely into a barrel. Fill with water. You can also hang a kg or so of old manure in it (in old pantry hose or hessian) and add some wood ash and comfrey leaves if you want to. Cover well. Wait 2 weeks or more. Sure, it will smell when you take the lid off. Just before rain is forecast (so it washes the smell away) dip into it and dilute 1:10 in a watering can. Use this on established plants, shrubs and trees. Great for citrus, but don’t be tempted to make it stronger. Rather, use a weaker solution, more often.

Seaweed

Put some kelp or other seaweed in a bucket, fill with water and cover with a lid or something. I use a hessian bag. Keep it in the garden, near your vegetables. Dilute 1:10 and water transplanted seedlings, young fruit trees and anything in pots.

Stinging Nettles

A tonic for any plants looking a bit unwell. The silicon in nettles strengthens the cell walls and helps return vitality (also wonderful for people!) The amount you put in a bucket is determined by how much you have. The more concentrated you make it, the more you dilute it. I stick to about 1:10 for all these liquid feeds. Don’t be tempted into thinking more is better!

Comfrey

An undervalued resource in gardens. Make as for stinging nettle tea and use weekly on all your summer fruiting vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers etc.

When I don’t have anything much at hand, I use Seasol or Marrawah Gold in place of the seaweed and Charlie Carp in place of the weed and manure brew. Charlie Carp makes use of the feral carp from the Murray River and this is a practice I applaud.

1 comment:

africanaussie said...

Kate, I dont know if you saw how I make this comfrey concentrate - it is great in that it does not take much room, and you can keep adding to the top, and the best thing is there is no smell!
http://africanaussie.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/comfrey-wonder-plant-and-tutorial-to.html