Weed tea fertilizer |Trisha Shirey |Central Texas Gardener

There’s an old saying that one year of
seeding means seven years of weedings and that can be true. Some weeds are
useful and edible but they can rob your plants of nutrients, space and water if
allowed to grow unchecked in your garden. Cleavers or bed straw and Beggar’s lice have seeds that are covered with velcro like hairs that are spread by
animals when they’re stuck in their hair so pet owners will want to control these on
their property. Cleavers are also dangerous for pets to
ingest since they can block their intestines. Weeds can be blown by the
wind like Sow Thistle and Dandelion but most seeds are deposited near the mother
plant. Weeds are extremely successful because they produce seeds abundantly.
Here are some examples of seed production. One lambs quarter plant can
produce over 72,000 seeds in a year that can remain viable for over 40 years. A
single pigweed plant can produce over 117,000 seeds.
Dandelions produce 15,000 seeds which can last up to six years. evening primrose is pretty but it’s
prolific at 118,000 seeds for one plant. Purslane can
produce almost two million seeds but that’s ok because it’s both delicious
and nutritious. Now weeds can tell you something about your soil. Purslane,
pigweed and Henbit tend to grow in well-balanced healthy soils so remind
yourself of that as you weed them. Dandelion, Sow Thistle and Thistles have
deep tap roots and they tend to grow in hard compacted soils where their roots
can penetrate the hardened soil and break it up and make the minerals deep
in the soil available to the plants on the surface as they die back. Poorly
draining soils may harbor nut grass, bindweed, horsetail, sheep sorrel and dock.
Mullein, sandburs and clover are common in soils that are deficient in nitrogen. Now
fast growing weeds are a rich source of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and
hormones and trace minerals take advantage of the many nutrients in weeds
by making a weed tea. Gather the plants, chop them coarsely and then put them
into a mesh bag. Add this to a five gallon bucket of rain water and stir it daily, you’ll dilute the tea with four
parts water and use it as a nutrient rich feeding around plants that need a
boost. You can add leaf trimmings from Chard, Kale, Comfrey, Equisetum, Sorrel or
other greens for even more benefits and add coffee grounds to it too. Use the tea
completely in three to five days as it can get a bit smelly. Cover the bucket
with screen material to prevent mosquito breeding. So if your yard is full of
weeds that are starting to bloom and you’re too busy to pull them at least chop
the tops off to prevent seed production. Use a hoe or even a weed eater or mower to
prevent a massive crops of seeds. Several inches of mulch in an ornamental garden
can provide as a physical barrier to block seed germination. I haven’t found weed
fabric to be very effective and tough to control bermuda and nutgrass seem to
really thrive with it so control those weeds, use them in tea and you’ll have a
better garden for years to come. For Backyard Basics I’m Trisha Shirey,
thanks for watching.

2 thoughts on “Weed tea fertilizer |Trisha Shirey |Central Texas Gardener

  1. It's not only good for the plants but the soil as well! The wild lettuce plants produce a milky latex that does something to the water it can turn bone dry, hard packed, nutrient deficient soil into organic filled healthy soil with all kinds of beneficial microbials in no time flat. I mean take all your weeds heck even drive and get some where they thrive, and I mean the milk producing weeds they look like lettuce. And don't let the latex dry, chop them in sections from the top down so the plant will produce the milk. I never take the roots they are hard to get out and they may have some kind of defense mechanism in them to stunt other plants I don't know. But I get all the foliage and stems collect a bunch! Be quick about getting them in water, use a big pot and simmer do not boil. It doesn't take long maybe an hour and the water color will change from clear to brown like tea. Use this on your garden for a major boost in plant health or on defficient soil. Plants absorb nutrients through water, all your doing is getting all the water soluble nutrients from the plant that other plants can easily soak up and use. It's simple really and the milk producing weeds make a noticeable effect on the soil, like the latex binds to soil particles and doesn't get washed away when watered it's amazing! We should grow these weeds commercially they are easy enough to grow and will grow nearly anywhere on hard packed soil! And as she said they break up the soil and when they die add nutrients to the top layers that other plants can use. But people think they are ugly pull them up and throw all that nutrients into the garbage to go get buried at the dump where nothing can grow, it's ridiculous really. God made these amazingly Hardy plants to fix souls that are lacking in organic matter as they can grow on bare ground that's been bare for years. And if you let them take over for a few years they will fix the soil, it's amazing!!

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