While it seems hostile with its stinging nature, nettle is nonetheless an ally of the organic gardener, for tomatoes in particular!
It is used for prevention and sometimes as a treatment against pests that affect tomatoes. Discover the virtues of nettle manure and the recipe for making it.
Nettle manure recipe for tomatoes
- Go in search of fresh nettles that you will easily find during a walk in the forest, in a wasteland or even at the bottom of your garden.
- You will need one kilo of fresh nettles for 10L of water, for dry nettles, count 100g for the same volume of water.
- Cut your nettles into small pieces using gloves and a pair of scissors.
- Place them in a fabric or very finely perforated bag, this will save you the complicated filtering step.
- Put the sachet in a bucket of water and cover it with 10L of rain water, preferably or non-hard water.
- Every day stir the liquid manure, small bubbles will rise to the surface. This fermentation step lasts about two weeks.
- Your liquid manure is ready as soon as it stops bubbling when you mix it.
- Then pour it into airtight containers. Please note: this is a concentrate that will need to be diluted for watering and spraying.
Use and benefits of nettle manure on tomatoes
An insecticide against aphids:
Nettle manure also acts as an insecticide by scaring away certain pests including aphids and mites. Spray the foliage (top and bottom of the leaves) with liquid manure diluted to 5% in water.
An anti fungal:
Nettle manure is used in prevention to fight against certain fungal diseases that affect tomatoes such as late blight. Indeed, it strengthens the immune system of plants by spraying the foliage. It is then diluted in 5% water.
A fertilizer for your tomatoes:
Rich in nitrogen and potassium, nettle manure is used as a tomato fertilizer every spring. It stimulates the growth of tomatoes and strengthens them, making them more resistant to disease. Use it in the vegetable garden as well as for your ornamental plants. It is enough to use it in watering twice a month, diluted to 10%.
A soaking solution:
Have you sown your tomatoes and are ready to transplant them to the vegetable garden? Do not skip the step of soaking in nettle manure! Soak your young tomato plants in liquid manure diluted at 20% before planting them.
A compost activator:
Rich in organic matter, nettle manure stimulates the decomposition of materials and helps warm the compost. Then sprinkle your compost with nettle manure without dilution and stir it.
Once fully ripe, compost is an excellent amendment for your tomatoes.
Sow nettles to protect your tomatoes
While nettles are easily found in the wild, you can also grow them at home. Indeed, then leave a small corner on which you sow your nettles. Nettle grows widely but prefers a nitrogen rich substrate and partially shaded location. It is precisely this nitrogen that it will draw from the soil to release it when you use it as fertilizer. The sowing takes place preferably in spring, or in summer.
- Start by preparing the ground by removing the weeds and raking to level.
- Then sow broadcast.
- Scratch and tamp the soil lightly.
- Water in fine rain and keep moist until emergence.
This small patch of nettle is even useful before harvest. Some auxiliary insects, such as hoverflies, like to take refuge there. Nettle is a hotbed for the aphids that settle there, which attracts ladybugs to devour them. You can then harvest the nettles little by little for the preparation of your liquid manure. Don't hesitate to save some for yourself, there are delicious nettle recipes like cakes, quiches and soups!
- Find all our advice on growing tomatoes