Thursday, April 19, 2012

Homemade Organic Fertilizer

I'm quite blessed working for a municipality that bans the use of chemical treatments in horticultural practices. It's so comforting not to fret and worry about handling plant material that is covered with pesticide and herbicide residue.

To add fertility, we mulch, add chicken manure and compost in thick layers. However, at home, there is more creativity involved to aiding plant health.

Deciding to go completely organic with fertilizing is not simple.  Right now I am collecting certain plants which are known to fixate nutrients. My next post will be about making a compost tea to fertilize my containers and vegetables. If I had room in my garden, I would plant them directly at the source (near the compost bin) but since I don't, I will harvest along my garden route at work and use these plants at home.

Burdock has hairy, wavy leaves.
For now, I am collecting foliage from:

  • Burdock
  • Comfrey
  • Nettles

Young Burdock leaves are grey.
Long Burdock roots. These draw up nutrients deep down in subsoil levels.

The first on my list is Burdock (you know them, those common burs everyone hates when taking hikes and having little "hitch-hikers" stick to you like velcro). In the Greater Toronto Area, you can find them almost anywhere. They love disturbed soil and soils heavily mulched.

Wear gloves, you don't want to know what stingy Nettle feels like on your skin. 

No root is necessary for using nettle. The foliage is the key ingredient. With my gloves, I just mash them and bruise the foliage nicely before adding it to the tea.

Comfrey is more difficult to find at this time of year. I hope to find a patch to harvest from soon.

Happy Earth Day Canada (April 22)!


  1. Thank you for the post, I never knew!

    1. God provides flora for many ways, eh? Check out the link to the movie/documentary of a Christian gardener: <---- there's a link along my panel for Back To Eden, Clint. I think you would enjoy it.

  2. We make Comfrey Tea and Nettle Tea for fertiliser :)
    Happy Canada Day!

  3. What do you do with the burdock to make the compost tea? Can you use the whole plant? I am excited to have something new to try this year, and this will motivate me to dig up the burdocks that keep growing up in the back yard.

    1. You can use the whole plant, but I just use the leaves. That way - if you leave the root - the leaves will return for more tea usage.


Thanks for commenting and viewing my blog! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...