Try Organic Liquid Fertilizers

A plant-based fertilizer formula


| April/May 1998


Ever since I started gardening, I’ve been improving and maintaining my soil to increase my yields of vigorous herb plants with large, abundant leaves and high levels of essential oils. Long before the term “recycling” became a catchword, I was returning plant nutrients to the soil in the form of homemade compost and cover crops that I tilled under. Over the years, I’ve developed an organic liquid fertilizer that not only makes herbs grow faster and stronger, but is actually made from herbs.

Something I learned from my parents and have always done is to lay fresh-cut leaves and stems that I’ve weeded or pruned around the base of my plants and wait for rain, microorganisms, and time to release their nutrients to the soil. One winter day, while sipping a restorative cup of herbal tea, the idea came to me that my plants might also prefer their tonic in liquid form, a sort of vegetarian manure tea based on a mixture of dried herbs.

I discovered that the practice of using herbs as fertilizer dates back hundreds of years: as far back as the ninth century in the case of comfrey, for example, and to the eleventh for raspberry and dandelion. That’s really not surprising. Like all other green plants, herbs surrender their nutrients to the soil when they decompose.

The fertilizer formula I came up with contains twelve herbs, listed below, which together contribute nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and the ten other mineral elements essential for plant growth along with numerous other beneficial substances. Many have traditionally been used as fertilizers. Two of these herbs, tansy and mint, have a reputation for attracting great numbers of earthworms, which themselves are prodigious fertilizer manufacturers. Most of these herbs are vigorous growers, so if you have them in your garden, you probably have plenty to spare for making fertilizer.

• Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
• Nettle (Urtica dioica)
• Mint (Mentha spp.)
• Hop (Humulus lupulus)
• Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
• Leaves and fruit of raspberry (Rubus idaeus)
• Dandelion (Taraxacum spp.)
• Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
• Purple coneflower (Echinacea ­purpurea)
• Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis)
• Sage (Salvia officinalis)
• Garlic (Allium sativum)

The results

I’ve tested my herbal fertilizer for three years, giving one group of plants fertilizer, compost, and water while giving another group of similar plants just compost and water. Large- and small-scale growers also have used it, in greenhouses as well as outdoors. We’ve all been pleased with the results.





mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on natural health, organic gardening, real food and more!

LEARN MORE



Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265