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Definition of weed tea

Categorized under "General"

Definition as written by Horseshoe:

Years ago my mind was actually working good. Having realized that we all do our best to rid the gardens of weeds I spent time cogitating over the reasons why. Some are an eyesore, some choke out our favored plants, some cause us discomfort (stinging nettles, thistles), and some supposedly use more than their share of the nutrients in the ground, stealing from our crops.

Listen up folks, them thar weeds are often-times a gold mine! Many weeds send down deep roots and bring up nutrients from way below and place them closer to the surface. Other weeds are naturally high in nutrients.

I started out with about 10 types of weeds, experimenting and over the yrs I've narrowed them down to 3 or 4 preferred ones. You should give this a try:

Collect your weeds. I like the easily pulled weeds with lots of foliage - lambsquarters, chickweed and henbit, stinging nettle (wear gloves), and ragweed. (For those of you with access to comfrey it in itself makes a mighty fine tea/plant food.) I'd suggest choosing what you have most of in and around your garden. If a particular weed grows in abundance use it!

(I do not use weeds that are flowering due to the risk of not being able to strain the seeds out of the tea...Goldenrod would be a good example, very tiny seeds. If you choose to use weeds in flower I'd suggest pulling off the flowers.)

Put all your weeds in a large bucket - no need to put them in a bag as you do when making compost tea - and cover with water and tie a plastic garbage bag over the top, tight like a drum skin, and set in the sun.

Let it steep a few days to a week then strain thru an old window screen into another bucket. This mixture can be diluted 10 to 20 parts. Store any excess in milk jugs out of the sun. (I store it full strength and dilute as needed.)

Great as a plant pick-me-up and side-dressing. Can be poured around the base of plants or used as a foliar feed. Soon you'll have great respect for weeds. Try it! You'll like it!

For other organic tea recipes, see compost tea or oak leaf tea

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