Not Your Afternoon Cuppa
0 comment Wednesday, July 30, 2014 |
Tea anyone?
No, you're right, you probably don't want to drink my ongoing mission to grow my garden as organically/thriftily as possible, I eyed my toms today and realised unless I wanted buy a bunch of expensive organic stuff, I would have to use other measures. Like, y'know, make my own for free.
Now the great thing about where I live is, even though I'm in one of the rougher bits, I can walk 100 yards in any direction and be in a field or small forest. And the perk of said walkabouts is I'm always finding useful stuff. Today's mission was nettle-gathering; I already did a spot of this in spring for greens and spring tonics, but this time I wanted the whole plant in all its sting-iferous glory to make nettle tea. Nettle tea can serve two purposes; diluted, it's great for fertilising plants, especially toms and strawberries, while made very neat and strong, it's a herbicide, and I could use a fair bit of that along the right-hand side of the fence at the bottom of the garden - however I am also considering the addition of a bit of barrier material with some grass or a raised bed placed over this, but it will be a next-year project - so this year, just going to have to maintain, maintain, maintain.
I tended to use this mix some time ago, always diluting it, but I really had no idea on the herbicide bit, so methinks I'll be doing that as an experiment this year; there's certainly enough nettles! However, in a bit of a twist, I'm using something in this blend which is a nod to the ironic - there's bindweed in the bucket. Seriously. I used to put bits of bindweed in a black plastic bag and leave it in the sun to rot. The resultant (rather nasty smelling) soup is actually full of nutrients which fertilise your crops. This time, I'm combining it with nettle and will use this on my toms, though as far as herbicide goes, I'll just use the nettle straight as I gather it in as there's a wall of weeds from the neighbour garden which is moving its way into mine and there's no chance in Hades I'll be able to pull them all. Worth the experiment, methinks!
But for the time being, this brew will stew, and since we're going to have what is, for England, very warm weather, I imagine this will ferment into one very smelly broth in no time.