How to make liquid feed

Comfrey is rich in potassium and calcium – just what fruiting plants need.

Comfrey is such a fabulous tonic for the garden – brim full of minerals and the answer to the gardener who doesn’t live near seaweed.

First up collect a bucket full of comfrey. Use a bucket with holes in the bottom. Feel free to add any other seasonal lush, green herbs – dandelion, stinging nettle, chamomile, lemon balm, yarrow, echinacea, borage, tansy, buckwheat … you get the idea.

How to make liquid feed Sit the bucket of comfrey in another bucket to catch the liquid Ediblebackyard NZ

Sit the holey bucket inside an un-holey bucket, like a steamer inside a pot. The bottom bucket collects the liquid as the herbs rot down and drip.

Put a weight like stones or bricks on the herbs. Unless you are in some kind of training, get your bucket in place before putting all the load on. Store it in warm shade.

Cover it to keep the bugs out. This hessian hat works really well.

And thats it!

Leave it alone to brew for about 6 weeks. You’ll be stoked to know this is completely pong-free.

It’s ready when 99% of the raw ingredients have turned to black sludge and there’s a lovely puddle of black goodness in the bottom. From this 30litre tub of herbs I get about 2 – 3 litres of feed.

Dollop the rotten herbs around some deserving, fruit-producing plants. This lot has gone under my January planted tomatoes.

How to make liquid feed Put the rotten comfrey under the tomato plants Ediblebackyard NZ

Get the best out of your concentrate by using it all up in one go, as soon as its ready. If you need to wait a bit, put a board on top and tuck it into the shade.

Dilute 1:10 or 1:20 – somewhere in that range, in a back pack sprayer or a watering can. Add a bit of extra power with EM if you’ve got it. Spray/ pour all over the soil and foliage. What a monthly tonic!


  1. Hi Kath, can you please clarify . . . does ‘warm shade’ mean somewhere undercover where it will get NO water, or in a sheltered spot but will receive some water? The image shown, appears to me to be outside under vegetation implying it will receive some water (rain, watering system, etc). Is this correct? Cheers!

  2. Sheryl Black says

    Hi Kath, great idea! Just wondering if you can use plants that have unwanted seeds on them like nettle and deadly nightshade – will the seeds rot before being put on the garden? Cheers!

    • You can really use anything – and ‘sludging’ my non technical term! is a fab way of getting rid of unwanted weeds. The only thing is I dont know the nutrient content of these guys … nettle certainly is jamming with goodness and pre flowering even more so. My aim here is to use the most nutritious stuff.

  3. EM? What’s this?