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In the ecologically managed hobby garden, nettle manure is very important as a mild pesticide and biological fertilizer. Prepared as a quickly powerful brew, the valuable wild plant fights widespread garden pests such as aphids. In order for the versatile natural remedy to develop its optimal effect, it depends on the professional preparation. These instructions explain in detail how to make nettle stock and nettle manure correctly.

In ecologically managed ornamental and kitchen gardens, hobby gardeners use the concentrated power of nettle manure to strengthen their crops, provide them with additional nutrients and protect them from diseases. Thanks to its valuable ingredients, the herbaceous plant makes it unnecessary to use chemical preparations. The unpleasant stinging hairs are accepted without complaint in view of the many advantages.

So that you can always fall back on the natural penetrating power of the natural product, a vat should be readily available. The effectiveness of the mixture depends crucially on the combination of ingredients and fermentation process being successful. These instructions explain in a practice-oriented manner how to make nettle stock and nettle manure yourself.

Sud, liquid manure?

What is the difference between Sud and Manure?

The time factor is the main difference in the production of broth and liquid manure from nettles. In concrete terms, this means that a broth - using boiling water - is prepared within 2 minutes and is ready to use after 24 hours. In contrast, the production of liquid manure - based on cold water - takes an average of 14 days.

In view of the considerable time difference, it is obvious that liquid manure trumps a brew considerably in terms of effectiveness. Consequently, nettle manure is only used in a diluted concentration, whereas broth is administered in its pure form.

To harvest

Harvesting nettles

The small stinging nettle (Urtica urens) and the large stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) are perfectly suited as an ingredient for the production of brews and liquid manure. The best time to harvest is between May and July, before the plants bloom. Since the seeds survive any form of preparation without damage, please ignore flowering or faded nettles. If both species thrive in the catchment area, the focus is on the smaller plant because it has a more intense effect.

Please do not forget to put on gloves so as not to come into contact with the stinging hairs. Pick the leaves from the stems to collect them in a basket provided. Part of the harvest should be dried and kept in a dark container so that you can still produce nettle stock or liquid manure in late summer if necessary.

Make broth

Instructions for nettle stock

To solve a cultivation problem in the short term, such as curing leaf chlorosis or aphid infestations, nettle broth acts as an effective substitute when fermented manure is not available. Follow this guide and you can start using it within a day.

Materials and ingredients needed:

  • 500 g fresh nettle leaves
  • 5 liters of water (ideally filtered rainwater)
  • 1 fireproof container (no metal)
  • 1 pressure cooker or kettle
  • 1 colander
  • 1 wooden spoon

Instead of fresh herbs, you can use 75 to 100 grams of dried nettle leaves without sacrificing effectiveness.


If the materials and stinging nettles are ready, the actual preparation takes place within a few minutes.

That is how it goes:

  • fill the fireproof, non-metallic container with the fresh or dried herbs
  • Boil the water in the pressure cooker or kettle
  • Pour the hot water over the nettle leaves
  • stir briefly with a spoon

Leave the brew with the lid on for 24 hours. Then pour the water-herb mixture through the kitchen sieve. Filled into a hand sprayer or a watering can, the nettle brew can be used undiluted. Resourceful hobby gardeners allow the remaining leaves to dry in order to apply them as mulch in ornamental and kitchen gardens.

Manufacture liquid manure

Given the time-consuming process of making nettle manure, we recommend stocking up in a large vat in May or June as the mixture will keep for many months. Aside from metal, the vessel can be made of a variety of materials, such as wood, plastic, earthenware, ceramic, glass, or clay. How to make the manure.

Materials and ingredients needed:

  • 1,000 g fresh nettle leaves
  • 10 liters of tap or rain water
  • 1 wooden barrel, vat or bucket
  • 1 wooden stick
  • Rabbit wire or a grating
  • rock flour or bentonite
  • Valerian, oak or chamomile leaves
  • ideally 1 small aquarium pump

If a fresh harvest is not available, you can easily use 200 grams of dried nettle leaves as a substitute.


It makes sense to set up the vat in advance at an adequate location. If you are aiming to produce a larger quantity of plant manure, it takes a great deal of effort to transport the filled container.

This is how the preparation works properly:

  • Place the septic tank in a sunny, warm spot in the back garden
  • Chop the nettle leaves and pile them up in the container
  • fill up with water so that a 5-8 cm edge is exposed
  • stir the mixture vigorously with the wooden stick
  • to prevent animals from falling in, cover the vat with a grating or chicken wire

The container must not be sealed airtight. In order for the fermentation process to take place, liquid and air must be able to interact with each other. Within 2 to 3 days, the formation of foam signals the successful progress of fermentation. At the same time, an unpleasant odor develops, due to which a location at a sufficient distance from the house and terrace is strongly recommended.

treatment during fermentation

In the sunny, warm location, the desired decomposition of the nettles takes an average of 14 days. During this phase, it is important to stir the manure once or twice a day. In this way you keep the conversion process going, which takes place by legions of microorganisms.

A large proportion of these invisible assistants depend on the supply of oxygen and are mainly found on the surface of the broth. With the right stirring technology, you effectively support the work of the microorganisms.

That is how it goes:

  • move the wooden stick along the inner edge
  • as soon as a funnel forms in the middle, pull out the stirrer

The stick must not slow down the rotating herbal liquid manure. The microorganisms would be pushed downwards, where they would die due to a lack of oxygen. This shortcoming slows down the fermentation process and at the same time promotes the formation of the intense manure stench.

Prevent bad smell

Professional stirring technology alone is not enough to avoid the intense smell of liquid manure. With the help of the following precautions, you can also influence the fact that the air in the vicinity is not polluted.

  • add some rock flour or bentonite (clay mineral powder) before each stirring of the herbal broth
  • additionally stir in the leaves of chamomile, oak or valerian
  • ideally mount an aquarium pump at the bottom of the tank

The higher the oxygen content in the fermenting liquid, the less the stench develops. By installing an aquarium pump at the bottom of the tank, you solve the problem in a way that is as simple as it is ingenious. To keep floating nettles from clogging the unit, place the leaves in a sack made of air- and water-permeable material, like an old curtain.

Completion and Storage

A nettle manure is ready when the brown liquid no longer foams. If the plant parts were not in a net, pour the mixture through a sieve or remove nettles with a slotted spoon. In order to counteract unwanted secondary fermentation of the manure, a shady, cool location is now an advantage.


Tips for use

As part of the preparation as a decoction or liquid manure, the water absorbs the valuable ingredients of nettle leaves in order to make them available to the plants in the garden as a natural fertilizer, tonic or ecological fungicide and insecticide. In the following overview we have summarized common uses for you.

nettle brew

pest control

In combination with boiling water, stinging nettle stock has already mobilized those defenses after 24 hours that counteract sucking and stinging pests. If your plants are infested with aphids, spider mites or thrips, the brew already contains a high concentration of dissolved nettle toxins.

Applied undiluted to the upper and lower sides of the infected leaves, the control will not be long in coming. One application can be sufficient in the early stages of infestation. Otherwise, spray the nettle decoction repeatedly at intervals of 2 days.

foliar fertilization

If yellow and brown leaf discoloration occurs on your cultivated plants, with the green leaf veins protruding, the diagnosis is usually leaf chlorosis. An excess of lime in the substrate fixes important nutrients that can no longer get into the plant pathways to be transported from there to the leaves. Foliar fertilization with nettle stock counteracts this deficiency as an immediate measure.

Apply the solution to the leaves with a squirt bottle in the morning hours. At the same time, the actual cause of the excess lime in the soil should be analyzed and eliminated. Typically, this problem occurs when plants with a preference for an acidic pH are watered with hard tap water.

nettle manure

natural fertilizer

Nettle manure produced according to these instructions contains a concentrated load of valuable nutrients such as nitrogen, sodium, potassium as well as trace elements and vitamins. Your ornamental and crop plants will benefit from this without the need for chemical additives. In view of the high concentration, plant manure may only be used in a diluted ratio of 1:10 for the watering can and 1:50 for the pressure sprayer.

It is also important to note that you do not apply the solution in direct sunlight or on dry soil. Please adjust the dosage according to whether you are a weak, medium or heavy consumer. Although you have a natural fertilizer in your hands with stinging nettle manure, overdoses can still occur with the corresponding disadvantages.

With a few exceptions, cultivated plants gratefully accept a shower of the rich plant manure. Nettle manure is only unsuitable for salads, peas, cabbage and vegetables for raw consumption. Only apply the natural fertilizer to flowers and flowering shrubs until buds form, as the high nitrogen content has a negative effect on the abundance of flowers.

Acceleration of the compost rotting

It takes a lot of patience before a self-made compost pile provides the hoped-for solid organic fertilizer. Nettle manure has proven to be useful for driving the rotting forward. As an exception, it is used undiluted in this case.

If you shower the compost heap with the plant manure from time to time, the decomposition progresses more quickly because the busy microorganisms are revitalized. Especially if you want to create an acidic compost with leaves, nettle manure acts as an effective accelerator.

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