This step by step guide with pictures shows how to make weed tea fertilizer at home. This is a great way to save money on buying liquid fertilizer, is completely organic for the garden and makes use of green garden waste.
Weed tea is a simple process of drowning weeds in water so they die off. As they decompose the nutrients will be released into the water giving you a concentrated liquid fertilizer which can then be used on your garden.
Weeds to Use in Weed Tea
- Grass cuttings are the best to use as long as they don’t have seed heads in the grass.
- Disease free green cuttings from shrubs and bushes.
- Any green leafy weeds which don’t have seeds.
Weeds to Avoid Using in Weed Tea
- Avoid using any weed which has seeds as the seeds will remain in the weed tea and could be spread throughout your garden. Some weeds such as stinging nettles have seeds on their leaves.
- Also avoid using any plant which look diseased. The leaves may be yellowing, have blotches or are discoloured in some way. Powdery mildew will look white to grey with a powdery appearance.
Weed Tea Fertilizer
It is best to use an old plastic bucket and pot as metal may rust and discolour. The weeds will need to sit in water for up to six weeks.
Tools and Materials Needed
- Bucket – This 10 Qt Brute Heavy Duty Bucket from Rubbermaid is great quality, value and is top rated on Amazon. (Paid link)
- Large Plastic Pot (which fits in the bucket and has drainage holes in the bottom) – This pack of 10 high impact plastic flower pots with a 6 inch diameter are the perfect size for this project. They are highly rated and great value. (Paid link)
- Brick or Rock
Time needed: 42 days and 10 minutes.
How to make weed tea fertilizer at home.
- Pick the Weeds
First fill the pot with weeds then place in the bucket.
- Submerge with Water
Fill the bucket with water so the water covers the weeds.
- Keep the Weeds Under Water
Place the brick or rock on top of the weeds to keep them completely under the water. You may need to readjust the rock after a few days as some weeds try to poke up above the water.
- Leave to Decompose then Remove the Weeds
Leave for 5 to 6 weeks until the weeds have completely died. Lift the pot up then press down on the rock to squeeze out any nutrients. Place the dead weeds in the compost.
- Apply the Weed Tea fertilizer to the Garden
The remaining weed tea in the bucket is concentrated. Measure out 1 part weed tea to 9 parts water then apply to the garden.
Weed tea does smell and the standing water may attract mosquitoes. It is best to place the bucket away from the house and place flyscreen or a cloth over the top of the bucket if mosquitoes are a problem in your area.
When making weed tea during the summer months you may find the water will evaporate too quickly before the weeds have died off. Simply keep an eye on the water level then top up with more water if necessary.
This top rated stainless steel countertop compost bin is great for storing scraps for a week without them smelling out your home. They can then be added to your compost pile at the end of the week, saving you time. (Paid link)
For more information on growing your own food see this Vegetable Gardening guide or to get more out of your home including craft and DIY projects, food preservation and gardening tips try this Homesteading guide.
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