Homemade Herbal Liquid Feed

Reader Contribution by Kath Irvine

Liquid feed is the weekly tonic your hard working food garden needs, like a Berocca for your plants! It’s super easy to make and homemade is just as good if not better than bought because it’s fresh + plastic bottle free. Make a fresh batch each month for regular supply.

Get Setup

You need 2 buckets – one bucket with holes in the bottom that will neatly sit inside another bucket that has no holes, like a steamer in a pot, so liquid can drip through from the top bucket to the bottom one.

Choose a spot in the semi shade — a bit of gentle morning or afternoon sun is good and somewhere very little rain penetrates. I tuck my liquid feed buckets under a dense evergreen Michelia Figo tree.

You also need a weight to sit on top of the buckets – stones or bricks are perfect for this.

Fill the Bucket

Fill your top bucket with herbs. I use comfrey for the bulk of my mixture. It’s rich in potassium, just what fruiting plants need. You can use a mixture of whatever nutrient dense herbs you have – dandelion, stinging nettle, chamomile, lemon balm, yarrow, echinacea, borage, tansy — as long as the plants are lush, green and spray free.

Pack the bucket to the brim and place it inside the bottom bucket.

Put stones or bricks on the herbs.

Cover it to keep the bugs out but let some air in. This hessian hat works really well.

And that’s it!

Brew + Use   

Leave it alone to brew for about 6 weeks. You’ll be stoked to know this is completely pong-free.

It’s ready when 99% of the raw ingredients have turned to black sludge and there’s a lovely puddle of black goodness in the bottom. From this 30 litre tub of herbs I get about 2 to 3 litres of concentrate.

Recycle the rotten herbs as mulch under some deserving, fruit-producing plants or add them to your compost heap.

Get the best out of your concentrate by using it all up in one go, as soon as it’s ready. If you need to wait a bit, store it in the shade.

Dilute 1:10 or 1:20 — somewhere in that range, in a back pack sprayer or a watering can. Spray/ pour all over the soil and foliage weekly and watch your garden flourish!

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