Garden

Nettle Fertilizer - Great for Leaves, Bad for Fruit and Flowers?

nettle soil fertilizer

Nettle feed is one of the easiest ways to produce a cheap yet effective fertilizer for your garden plants and vegetables. Nettles, being typically dark, green, and leafy, are extremely rich in nitrogen.

So brewing a liquid fertilizer from these prolific plants creates a rich concentrate packed with nutrition – and you guessed it – nitrogen.

To thrive and produce a good yield, most plants and vegetables require a number of nutrients. A plant will 'select' and use the nutrients it needs from the air, soil, and water.

While you can procure a great deal of nutrition from rainwater and in the air, the three key 'ingredients' required for healthy growth are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (or potash, denoted by the letter K), are generally procured from the soil.

If you want to grow healthy vegetables and flowers, your soil needs to provide the right nutrients to encourage balanced growth. Unfortunately, growing plants in the same soil year upon year will gradually deplete the soil of crucial 'growing' ingredients.

Read also: Understanding different types of soil

And, of course, poor soil will lead to plants with malnutrition. This is why it's vital to feed the soil with organic matter and fertilizers, such as manure or liquid feeds.

However, different vegetables, fruiting plants, and flowers or trees benefit from different ratios of NPK. This is why you'll often see numbers such as 10-15-10 on bags of fertilizers. This indicates the balance of NPK suited to certain flowers or plants that will promote balanced, healthy growth.

Is Nettle Fertiliser Suitable for All Vegetables?

And so this brings us to the question of nettle feed and its suitability. As already mentioned, nettle feed is a rich fertilizer and helps to promote all aspects of growth. Of course, nettles are nitrogen-rich plants, but the fertilizer acts as an excellent all-round general fertilizer too.

To be more precise, nettle feed will also benefit dark green, leafy plants such as brassicas. So generally, many plants will benefit in some way from a dose of nettle feed. But it's also a fact that different plants will thrive on different amounts of NPK, depending on their growing requirements.

For instance, flowering or fruiting plants need the right nutrients to help sustain the growth of the bloom or the fruit. They need phosphorus to promote the growth of the roots and buds and relatively larger potash volumes to encourage healthy fruit or flower production.

If you give flowering or fruiting plants too much nitrogen, the chances are that you'll encourage an abundance of leafy growth – and not much more. Not ideal for promoting flower blooms or a heavy fruit yield!