Comfrey and Nettle Fertiliser – May 3rd, 2019

About this time of year we try to make a fertiliser from comfrey and nettles. We have both these plants growing wild around the edges of the allotment so it’s easy to collect them. I used an old pillowcase to put them in and rubber gloves for picking and roughly used an equal amount of each. The pillowcase is then suspended in a barrel of water and left for the plants to rot down. The resulting liquid has a rather potent and not very nice smell but a beaker full in a watering can of water provides valuable minerals and nourishment for the allotment vegetables. At the end of the season the barrel can be cleaned out ready for next year.

It’s all too easy at this time of year to want to get the allotment planted up. We have lots of plants ready in the back garden and in our little greenhouse but there is still a good chance of frosts until the end of May. This means that plants such as courgettes and french beans could be killed overnight.

The garden centres don’t help as they are selling substantial sized plants which makes people think that it must be alright to plant them out. If you do decide to go ahead you will need to protect plants on cool evenings. I will be covering up my lettuce in the back garden tonight as a frost is forecast. Similarly my husband has been up to the allotment hoeing up the potatoes which are starting to peep through the soil. A frost would kill the leaves, though the plants will still survive. They would just receive a set back.

Soon it will be all hands to the pump getting everything in the ground in order to benefit from as long a growing season as possible.