1 large bucket
1kg freshly cut nettles (prefer tender leaves, no roots, and avoid the seeds)
10 L water.
Chop or crush the freshly cut nettles, they need to be bruised or in small bits to give out their best, and place them in the bucket. Pour 10 liters of rain water on top, cover the bucket with something that will prevent too many bugs from getting into it, but that let air pass through or your bucket may explode during the fermentation process.
Ideally you want the temperature to be between 15 and 25 degrees C, the best being 20. In our Corfu climate, at this time of the year, it should take about 2 weeks. The more you aerate it, the faster it will be ready, so try to stir it once a day. Use a long pole so you don’t have to get too close to the bucket. The smell is quite awful, but IMO it’s not worse than some of the chemicals we are subjected to. Make sure you don’t spill some on your clothes, or they are good for the dumpster…
You will see it bubble, almost foaming. Normally, when it’s ready, it will stop making bubbles. You then need to filter it, it’s a bit of a lengthy process, cause if you have too many bits in there, it will continue to ferment and your bottles may explode, plus it won’t be as good for your garden. Normally, when it’s ready, it smells a little, it’s not exactly pleasant but nothing compared to it during the fermentation process.
I filter mine with a sieve first, and a thin cloth, the second time. Then I bottle it up and keep it in a dark, cool place. You now have a nitrogen rich fertilizer. Use it within 6 months.
1- 10% concentration. Great for tomatoes, cucumbers, leeks, courgettes, beets, fruit trees, roses, perennials, etc. but stops once the first fruits appear or you will end up with too much leafage. Water around the plants with it.
2- 5% concentration : insecticide and fungicide (repels aphids, acarids, prevents mildew, brown rot.) Can also be used for foliar feeding. Spray very early in the morning – you don’t want to spray it at night or it may cause mold, but before the sun is too high or it may burn your plants. Best time is sunrise.
3- Pure : compost activator, weed and seed killer
Once ready to use, the smell is not as bad, but still, some people can’t stomach it. Return To The Gardens Of Corfu Main Page