Foraged plant fertiliser

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punkrockcaveman

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Jan 28, 2017
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Has anyone used any foraged plants to make homegrown liquid fertiliser?

I've recently been turning up the heat on my foraging education, particularly plant species and this week I happened across a plant called common comfrey, Symphytum oofficinale, this beast:

20210620_202209.jpg20210620_202214.jpg

Now just to clear it is only the white flowered version that is edible, apparently the other colours contain alkaloids.

So in parallel to finding this plant for the first time, I am currently reading vegetable growing month by month by John Harrison, where he mentions using common comfrey as a liquid plant fertiliser. Apparently you can use any of the colour variants. So I've been out and foraged a bunch of the leaves in an attempt to make some concentrate. Anyone tried it, or tried with any other plants?
 
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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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I grow the yellow one in the garden. It's a good additive to hand/skin creams, it's good as a leaf poltice around aching joints, and it makes good fertiliser.
It's one of those plants that dies back and disappears, so mind where it grows and you'll find the roots later :)
 
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Has anyone used any foraged plants to make homegrown liquid fertiliser?

I've recently been turning up the heat on my foraging education, particularly plant species and this week I happened across a plant called common comfrey, Symphytum oofficinale, this beast:

View attachment 67168View attachment 67169

Now just to clear it is only the white flowered version that is edible, apparently the other colours contain alkaloids.

So in parallel to finding this plant for the first time, I am currently reading vegetable growing month by month by John Harrison, where he mentions using common comfrey as a liquid plant fertiliser. Apparently you can use any of the colour variants. So I've been out and foraged a bunch of the leaves in an attempt to make some concentrate. Anyone tried it, or tried with any other plants?
We have used comfrey & nettles to make liquid fertilizer prc, also good in the compost, & comfrey can be used in composting toilets & ash can toilets.
Keith.
 
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Lean'n'mean

Nomad
Nov 18, 2020
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France
Yep I've used nettles too in a rather smelly concoction. It fortifies as well as feeds. I also pass some fresh nettles under the mower & bury a few handfuls under tomato plants (before planting of course). I don't know if it does any real good but it doesn't do any harm.
 
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punkrockcaveman

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Jan 28, 2017
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My comfrey still setup hasn't produced any fertiliser yet :( with all the rain about I might just throw them in a bucket of water for the same effect
 

Erbswurst

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Mar 5, 2018
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Berlin
The lady who sold us our garden used such a nettle tea. It seems to work well. But it also works well without that smelling stuff. We stopped that pretty soon.

We have in Fulda a Benedictine abbey that is one of the leading institutions of the organic food movement.

I remember that there was or is a similar one in the UK. Surely worth to search for that. The Germans wrote books about such herbal teas for plants and similar tips, which are outstanding interesting.

Unfortunately I totally forgot that when I was in Fulda last time and when I came along there accidentally it was already very late in the evening. Next time I will count in some time there.
 

punkrockcaveman

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Jan 28, 2017
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20210718_105712.jpg20210718_105723.jpg

My very DIY fertiliser still has just started to produce some concentrate, the top part was rammed full with ripped up comfrey leaves (probably a carrier bag full), I can't quite believe how much it has shrunk down!
 

Kadushu

Full Member
Jul 29, 2014
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Kent
I've used grass clippings, kitchen scraps, random weeds, tender hedge clippings... If it rots it'll make fertiliser. It will work in an open container but the stink tends to encourage you towards a closed container ;-)
 
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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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Brandling worms. Trust me on this, brandling worms make absolutely brilliant worm worked compost and if you set it up right, the liquid feed that flows below is brilliant fertiliser.
Fishing shops often sell the worms I'm told. They're excellent even in just a big pile of garden clippings, etc.,

My comfrey has gone down, and is just back to dry stems and leaves under the raspberries. It's lovely to see it come up every year, but I know where it hides if I want the roots.

Nettles are easily brewed up into a 'tea' and when cooled that makes an excellent fertilizer without the smelly rotting. The boiled leaves just end up in the compost for the worms who devour them.
 
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Jul 18, 2021
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73
England
Has anyone used any foraged plants to make homegrown liquid fertiliser?

I've recently been turning up the heat on my foraging education, particularly plant species and this week I happened across a plant called common comfrey, Symphytum oofficinale, this beast:

View attachment 67168View attachment 67169

Now just to clear it is only the white flowered version that is edible, apparently the other colours contain alkaloids.

So in parallel to finding this plant for the first time, I am currently reading vegetable growing month by month by John Harrison, where he mentions using common comfrey as a liquid plant fertiliser. Apparently you can use any of the colour variants. So I've been out and foraged a bunch of the leaves in an attempt to make some concentrate. Anyone tried it, or tried with any other plants?
Just about any vegetable matter is good for composting, but when I want a liquid concentrate as a plant food I swear by good old stinging nettles. If you have the space for one, a large drum with at tap fitted is perfect. Just fill it with nettles and top up with water, then sit back and wait for it to rot down. Not the most beautiful of smells, but great results.
 
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DocG

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Dec 20, 2013
793
82
Moray
The version of Comfrey "tea" I have used successfully for several years = stuff a 2 litre milk bottle with leaves, top up with water until full, screw on top, place in warm/hot area (I use a corner of a greenhouse) for a month or so until it turns brown, then dilute up to 1:10 and water on. The mushy leaves can also be used or added to compost. Yes, it can smell a bit but it does seem to be of benefit to growing things.
 

punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
999
823
yorks
20210918_132304.jpg

Think it's nearly finished, much darker colour to it now too, should do a great job next year.

I'll fire up a nettle one soon methinks.
 

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