The Miracle of Compost Tea – Nature’s Liquid Gold. - Notice: Undefined index: lh_archive_post_status-title_label in /var/www/clients/client1/web15/web/wp-content/plugins/lh-archived-post-status/partials/option-settings.php on line 16

Often it’s the simplest things in life that give us most pleasure, a stroll in the park, time spent with friends an hour spent in the garden. So it seems only naturally that when it comes to tending to your garden plants that natures way is most effective.

Thankfully gone are the days when applying masses of toxic chemicals and poisons are the norm, as we move toward a holistic approach to garden management and plant care.  Home brews and remedies for plant ailments have in the past been labelled as dare I say old wives tales that neither cure or kill but as large chemical companies rush to rebrand their products incorporating some of the better known herbal plant and home based product remedies we are seeing an upturn in the use of natures and household cures.

I remember from years gone by old boy gardeners telling me a young whippersnapper at the time! To go pick nettles for green compost tea, I recall thinking this was an odd request but keen to learn off I’d trot armed with bin liners and shears to find the freshest non-flowering crop of nettles. Quickly realising that by regularly harvesting from the same locations on a rota system meant that I had an ample supply of fresh nettles right up until the first frosts.

These nettles would be crushed whilst still in the bin liners and carefully transferred to an old bulb net or a hessian sack tied with luminous baler twine. This precious crop was then lowered into a large tank or water butt to ferment allow the rich nitrogen-based nutrients to leach into the water, therefore creating a rich green tea or nettle soup full of life giving nutrients ideally for watering newly planted perennials and shrubs, containers and using as a foliar spray.

These days I’m not asking my trainees to gather nettles, some traditionas are best kept in the past, but that said for your own use a nettle patch in your garden is a good idea both for fresh green leaves to dig into your soil and overwinter as an instant green manure or as suggested a plant tonic for boosting garden plants.

However I have far from given up on the virtures of Compost tea in-fact progressing to a more productive method of producing 100’s of litres of Compost tea with minimum effort.

NB: If you thinking of buliding a compost heap remember to build in a drainage point as there will be leaching of nutrients into nearby soil! Now if you are able to store and collect this rich liquid humus that forms and leaches from an active compost heap, then you do indeed have yourself an unlimted supply of liquid gold.





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About Head Gardener 290 Articles
Award winning, 40 something year old professional plantsman and horticulturalist with National Trust, private parks and estate management background. My vast plant knowledge and hands on techinical experience, afforded me the opportunity to work in various horticultural landscapes, in the UK, USA & Eastern Europe. Having worked in both garden retail & the design service industry gave me the practical diversity and managerial skill set, required for running a large prestigious gardens and stately homes. I strongly believe knowledge is to be shared and have worked closely with people and staff of all ages and abilities keen to develop their passion for gardening, including groups of children, special needs and adults. I have hosted guided walks, talks and tours for those keen to learn about cultivated and wild plants, garden development, history and design. As an member of the NNCPG and National Trust, I am actively involved in the preservation of several important plant collections both in public and private gardens throughout the UK. “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, in a garden it’s paradise” Follow @IGrowHort on GardenTags. Stephen is passionate about gardening as Head Gardener with a team of ten staff he manages a prestigious Cheshire country estate of 55 acres, inc wild flower meadows, woodland, organic kitchen and formal gardens. Follow Stephen today”

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