Does home­made fer­tiliser keep?

Amateur Gardening - - Ask Anne! -

Q I made loads of seaweed/com­frey and net­tle plant food this year and I’ve still got five big bot­tles left. Will it be OK to use them next year? James Coul­ing, Portsmouth, Hants

A Home­made feeds are a great way of feed­ing plants, and are rich in nu­tri­ents. Com­frey is rich in potas­sium and also con­tains ni­tro­gen and Vi­ta­min B12, which gives plants a boost.

Net­tles have a high ni­tro­gen con­tent, so are great for feed­ing leafy greens. You can also mix them with com­frey to cre­ate a bal­anced liq­uid feed.

Store them some­where cool and dry and they should keep for up to a year, af­ter which they may lose po­tency. They won’t harm plants, but will be less ef­fec­tive – you can al­ways pour them on to the com­post heap so noth­ing is wasted!

If you want to make com­frey tea, use the va­ri­ety ‘Bock­ing 14’, a ster­ile, Rus­sian va­ri­ety that won’t self-seed ev­ery­where, un­like the pro­lific com­mon com­frey (Sym­phy­tum of­fic­i­nale).

Net­tles and com­frey both make good fer­tiliser – and are great for bees and but­ter­flies

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