Organic feed for vegetables

What is the best organic (I don’t use chemicals) feed for cucumber and tomatoes which are grown in the polytunnel; plus for other vegetables grown on an allotment.
Thanks
John

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Make your own ‘tea’ / liquid feed from nettles and / or comfrey… stick loads of leaves in a bucket and cover with water, let it sit for a few weeks, then use diluted… Monty Don did it on Gardeners World either last week or the week before (I loose track!)… there’ll be lots of info. on line about it. If you don’t want to be bothered with that, you can just lay comfrey leaves on top of the soil.

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Best organic feed is home-made compost mulch, plus a comfrey tea feed. If you build up the soil with nutrients by consistent compost mulching, then you shouldn’t need an additional tea feed. With forest gardening, I chop ‘n’ drop mulch with comfrey leaves, however this is for perennials and fruit trees, so not sure the nutrients would release quick enough for annuals? Advantage is, it’s way less work and doesn’t smell like rancid socks! A good nitrogen feed, for green growth, is nettles—Alison Tindale from Backyard Larder suggested making a nettle powder, as nettle tea also smells disgusting. I like the idea of whizzing up a load of dried nettle leaves and then sprinkling the powder on top, so I’m experimenting with that as well. HTH :slight_smile:

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Other than rain water I have been using Miracle Gro organic feed once a week in my watering can.

I have never dabbled in tea based watering but if anyone has any tips that would be helpful as the Internet is just overcrowded with suggestions and it does get confusing. Tea based would be good because we are big tea drinkers and so I have an abundance of used tea bags

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Tea in this context means making a concoction from nettles/ comfrey- not using tea bags! Tea bags can be put on compost, but as far as I know Clipper is only brand which doesn’t have tiny plastic particles in the bag

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I like the Green Future organic tomato feed too.

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I bought the green future tomato feed. Tomatoes appear to love as fruit growing from flowers in just two weeks. Can I also water this on polytunnel growing cucumbers, chillis, aubergine?
I have a dustbin (never used as a dustbin) half full of comfrey leaves and nettle leaves & water, with lid on for two weeks. How long do you leave it before using the water and how much of the water do you use in a 8 litre watering can? Can the water be topped up in the comfrey leaf/nettle fertiliser; or is best to start afresh again?
One final question, can comfrey/nettle fertiliser be watered on other veg and flowers around the allotment; my sweet peas are particularly slow this year.
Thanks
John

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Looking good there, John! :grin: You are obv doing something right

Cucumbers and salad leaves prefer more nitrogen than a tomato feed; I would suggest you use nettle tea on these Toms, peppers, and flowering plants love comfrey tea, so if you can take the smell, go with this for them, they’ll love it. Comfrey and nettle teas are ready in a few weeks, just dilute 1 part to 10 parts water. All good stuff and free, too.

I would start with fresh leaves for each batch and put the spent ones on the compost heap (comfrey is supossed to be a good compost activator).

Tea leaves but not bags in your compost (they have plastic sealing on them so they don’t break down- I know I keep finding them in my older compost! Rather annoying) You can a get a stainless steel filter for your cup / pot and then tip the leaves in your compost. You get better tea quality with leaf tea, too. Used tea is good too, esp if your compost heap is dry.

Thanks, really useful tips and information.

John

I see comfrey and nettle tea on Gardener’s World all the time! Except I don’t think we have either growing unless I deliberately buy seed and grow them. There’s a kelp/fish mixture the garden centres here have that I buy for my tomatoes and veg :slight_smile:

(Oh I live on West Coast Canada.)

Looking very good indeed! Welcome John!

Re tea bags on compost - clipper are the only brand (as far as I know) which don’t use plastic in their tea bags… I swapped to using them, and the bags break down fine - unlike all the so called compostable plastic bags which things come in, which don’t break down!

That’s good to know Ruth, I’ll probably switch to them because I’d rather not use any plastic in tea bags anyway, whether going to landfill or the compost heap.

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