Nettle spray

Nettle spray is a fermented brew of nettle leaves and stems.

Nettle spray – a fermented brew of nettle leaves and stems. Collect 1 or 2 kilograms of young nettles and put them in a large bucket or barrel. For each kilogram of nettles, add 10 liters of water and 500 grams of sugar. After a few days, fermentation starts. The sugar speeds up the fermentation process. Stir the brew every day. The bubbles in the liquid are created by fermentation.
Nettle spray smells quite bad; so don’t place the bucket near the house. After about ten days the liquid is ready: strain and spray the liquid over plants with aphids and other sucking insects. Don’t forget the underside of the leaves either: many insects hide there. The used nettles can go on the compost pile; put some on top right away, because they smell pretty bad. The sugar in the solution enhances the fermentation process, increases the alcohol content, and the unfermented part of the sugar makes the liquid stick to the sprayed plants. It is the alcohol that kills the insects: alcohol is toxic to insects and small, young larvae (caterpillars). Spray by evening: after all, the nettle solution does not smell good. The next day, the smell subsided.
Unfermented nettle spray is used as a fertilizer due to its high nitrogen and mineral content.

Photo: CC0 Public Domain

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