I started weeding last week by just doing a small section at a time and when I came across this patch of needles I put some wire around them to remind myself not to brush against them. Here they are growing in amongst some of the hundreds of bulbs which we must have in the front garden. I have no idea how I am going to make this into a succulent garden when so many bulbs come up at this time of the year.
Anyway, with Isabell's instructions in my head I pulled out all the stinging nettles I could find as I needed to loosely fill a bucket with stems.
As it turned out I didn't have quite a bucket full but I couldn't find any more as I had used so many when making the soap recently.
Then the stems just had to be covered with water.
It took a while to find a lid to fit but when you are married to a hoarder you just know that there is going to be one somewhere...and there was ;-)
Then all that was left to do was put the lid on and mark the date as the fertiliser has to be left to stand for 1-3 weeks to ferment and breakdown and that depends on the weather conditions. It will get quite smelly and, according to Isabell, a bit like a pigsty. It becomes a liquid plant manure and a nitrogen-rich fertiliser.
Using the nettle liquid will promote plant growth and vigour and protect plants from disease and pests as it strengthens the plant cell strucure. Nettle's high silica content becomes a boost to plant health. The liquid can be sloshed around plants or used diluted as a foliar fertiliser on young seedlings (it may burn if applied too strong). Strained and diluted this mixture is sprayed on plants for powdery mildew, and is suitable for cucumbers and zucchinis. In fact, it is advisable to spray weekly as a preventative measure ( 'How Can I Use Herbs in My Daily Life?').
So there you are, an easy to make fertiliser for the garden. In Isabell's book there are also instructions on how to make Nettle Plant Tonic and Nettle Spray as well as heaps of other information on the benefits of this plant. Her book is really worth having as a reference book and I highly recommend it.
While I was pulling out the nettle I turned around and noticed that the Cliveas are starting to look lovely after the recent rain. Normally they put on a stunning show but aren't looking too wonderful this year in certain areas...
...but these particular ones which are the darker orange ones are looking quite beautiful. That reminds me...we bought a cream one at the Carnival of Flowers last year...where on earth has it gone to? I just asked the CEO and the answer was 'I have no idea...must be in a pot somewhere'. LOL!