Converting weeds into liquid fertiliser

The recent rain has been a wonderful boost to our gardens, but what about the weeds? Not a problem - convert your weeds into fertiliser.

You have been pulling weeds from your ornamental garden beds, digging weeds out of the lawn and finally liberated your vegetables from the competition. So how do you get rid of this mountain of weeds? Yes, you can place them in the compost, making sure that it’s not too dry, or too wet, enabling microbial activity to eventually break it down. This takes time and effort, as a compost need regular turning.

There is another option: recycle and turn your weeds into liquid fertiliser. Numerous weed species contain important minerals that have been mined from the soil. You can recycle these minerals into your garden by placing them in water.

Find an onion bag or shade-cloth, and fill it with an assortment of weeds and place in a drum of water. An old copper tub or plastic drum with a tap is ideal for this purpose. Fill drum with water making sure the weed-bag is covered. I suggest using a lid to cover the container, preventing mosquitoes from depositing eggs.

Let it steep for a week. You can add additional chicken, horse, goat or cow manure if you like. Dilute 1:4. Pour on top of soil. Once half the tonic has been used, top it up again with water. You can do this 3-4 times before a fresh batch of weeds is required.

This is suitable as a tonic/quick fix for vegetables, potted colour and ornamental plants. It’s gentle and gives good results, however your plants can not perform and grow with this alone, they will need additional fertiliser as well.

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Eva Erhardt
Qualified Horticulturist

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