Making Green Fertilizer, Or How To Love Weeds

The end of spring and the beginning of summer have one important feature for gardeners - plants during this period grow intensively and build up wilts, future crops, while they consume huge amounts of water and nutrients. So what do they need? That's right, they need help! Especially in regions with poor and sandy soils, where there is little nutrient and water goes like sand through the fingers. Plants during this period need regular watering and feeding, otherwise good crops will not grow. About the green fertilizer for plants, which literally "rolls" underfoot (take it - I do not want), and we'll talk in this article.

Making Green Fertilizer, or How to Love Weeds
Cooking Green Fertilizer, or How to Love Weeds

Read about how to properly water your garden and garden in the article 10 major mistakes when watering your garden.

What you can feed plants in early summer

For an understanding of the big picture: there are basic dates for fertilizing, usually in fall or early spring, that allow plants to get off to a good start in the new season. And there are under-fertilizers (light "snacks") that allow evenly, until midsummer, to supply the growing plant organism with everything it needs.

Why until midsummer, you may ask. Because all fertilizers, in one way or another, contain large amounts of nitrogen needed for growth. But prolonged growth is fraught with poor preparation for winter and fading young shoots of the plant. So all fertilizers use only until mid-summer and no later.

Course, you should understand that this rule applies to perennial crops that will winter in the open ground, and annuals (flowers and vegetables), which live only until the cold, you can help all season.

The fastest version - make liquid fertilizers, then all the useful substances get easily to the roots and are quickly absorbed by them. The effect is noticeable after a few days.

You can go to the garden store to buy "Nitroammophoska", or better a more modern fertilizer with trace elements, dilute it in water and water the beds and stems. Chemistry? Yes, but now is not about that.

You can use a water infusion of chicken manure or manure, if you champion the "right" farming. Do you have a farm with livestock? Then this is your way. For most gardeners and dacha owners, however, these options are unacceptable, given the cost of buying, transporting and manual labor to refine a pile of purchased manure.

But there is one material, which is abundant on any plot and which is quite suitable for making effective organic fertilizer - the so-called grass fermenter. I do not know about you, but I like the name, it is somehow optimistic.

The basis of grass fermentation serve weeds, with which many people are struggling in their plots, and, as a rule, without success. Once you start making and using a weed fermenter, you will find that you are woefully short of weeds and need to seek "help" from your neighbors.

It is true that not all weeds will do. For example, the usefulness of shepherd's purse with its skinny and stiff stems will be little, it is better to take something fleshy, juicy. Nettles are considered to be the best choice.

I will not try to compare the usefulness of this or that herb, this is a matter for experts. My opinion is the following: the greens of weeds are the accumulated useful substances taken from the ground, and in any weed there are many of them. Our task: to return these substances to the ground - to the roots of cultivated plants.

Making Green Fertilizer, or How to Love Weeds
Weed greens are accumulated beneficial substances taken from the ground, and in any weed there are many of them. © Igor Bilevich

How to make a weed fermenter from weeds

But let's move on to the recipe itself. So, you've picked a mountain of weeds (or mowed them). It is desirable to shred them a little, so the process will go faster, but if you are not a fussy gardener, you can not shred. All this mass is put in a large spacious container. The most popular variant is a used enameled bathtub, but fuel barrels can also compete with it.

But do not try to fill the container completely, leave space to the edges, about 1/3. Now fill with water so that it completely covers the "greens". Stir and cover. Do not close hermetically, the mass will gradually begin to ferment and release gas, and it needs to have an outlet. So a piece of plastic sheeting pressed around the edges with planks will do.

How long do I wait? Depends on the ambient temperature, but about 2 weeks. What's worth looking out for? During fermentation foam rises, and if you did not leave a gap from the top edge, the valuable liquid can "run away".

Tank with a herbal fermenter better placed in the shade, so that the hot summer sun it did not overheat, there too, as in any brew, has its optimum temperature and, most importantly, its evenness. You can add to speed up the process Em preparations, a shovel of manure, someone adds baker's yeast, and someone beer.

This, in my opinion, too much, we need free fertilizer, right? A little soil with soil microorganisms, and this is all present on the stubs of weeds mercilessly uprooted, works quite well. You can stir the fermenter occasionally with a shovel.

When, after about two weeks, the foam has settled, your free and, most importantly, organic fertilizer is ready. But do not use this concentrate directly, it is diluted with water, about 1:2 to 1:4. Semi-decomposed mass from the container can be dumped into a compost heap or used as mulch. But, do not take out all of it. Leave some at the bottom, this will serve as a great starter for subsequent batches of herbal fermentation (like making homemade yogurt). You liked it, didn't you? Will you make more?

There is an opinion that there is a deficit of phosphorus in the fermenter and it is advised to add additional ash or superphosphate to it. Around the chemical reactions in such a mixture are protracted debate.

In my opinion, you need the optimal (correct) combination of organic and mineral fertilizers, it will help to avoid imbalances in nutrition. After all, we do not have our own laboratories on the site, where we could accurately determine the presence of one or another substance in the fertilizer mixture. So, again, I combine. Fertilized with fermenter, a week later I sprinkle ash. I think this way you can not go wrong.

Making Green Fertilizer, or How to Love Weeds
Maybe herbal fermentation sometimes stir with a shovel. © Igor Bilevich

Norms of introducing the green fertilizer for different cultures

How to use and what norms of introducing the grass fermenter

- For young tree seedlings and adult bushes of berry cultures approximately: 5-10 l of working solution for one plant.

- For vegetable crops and garden strawberries : 10 L per 1 sq.m of bed.

- Age fruit-tree : from 50 to 100 liters of fertilizer. But if you use it regularly, it will give a good result. And what is regular use? The solution is fermented and ready, I used, immediately loaded a new portion, wait 2 weeks and fertilize again. So, once every two weeks and it turns out.

As with the application of any fertilizer, plants  the day before should be abundantly watered.

Can be used herbal fermentation and for foliar feeding on the leaves. But, as it is a homemade fertilizer, you can not exactly advise the proportion. I can say that, like all foliar feedings, herbal ferment should be strongly diluted with water and before using it, try it on a small area of the crown. In this way you should choose the right concentration of the solution, to have both effect and not to burn the leaves, especially in spring, when they are still tender.

That's how you can make fertilizer from "nothing". It certainly will not completely replace the fertile soil on the bed, but will help your pets to increase the desired mass of fruits and the volume of the crown.

Good summer to you and ... more weeds!

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