Nothing beats an organically made plant fertilizer. In my opinion, when you use something natural to feed your plants they respond better. They are stronger and produce more blooms along with fruit. While I am sure you have heard about manure tea and compost tea, coltsfoot fertilizer tea may be a new one for you.
The part of making this plant fertilizer tea is the fact that coltsfoot in many areas is invasive. In doing so, this is a great use for an invasive species.
Making Coltsfoot Fertilizer Tea
Before we move on to the tea making process, I would like to discuss coltsfoot. This plant is unique in the aspects that it flowers first and then sends out leaves. The unique growing habit of this plant is why it is referred to as “son before the father,” which alludes to the flowers or offspring appearing before the leaves.
Now that we have the biology of coltsfoot out of the way, let’s talk about how to use this plant as a fertilizer. There are two techniques to this process. The first one is what I would like to call coltsfoot compost while the second is coltsfoot tea. The fertilizer I call coltsfoot compost is simple and only requires one to harvest the leaves in June and July. Once they are harvested, place them around the plant you want to fertilize. At this point, it is all up to Mother Nature. As the decomposition process occurs, it will release high levels of nitrogen and potassium. These are the two plant macronutrients that this fertilizer is known for.
While the described technique works, it does take time. If you are looking for a quicker way to feed your plants, make a fertilizer tea. To begin this process, starts off with harvesting the leaves. After the leaves have been picked, chop them up and place them in a bucket. Place a weight on the leaves and add water. Do not add too much. You just want enough to cover the leaves. Next, place a cover on the bucket and allow to steep for at least a week. During the week, stir the leaves once a day.
After the steeping time has passed, filter out the leaves and use your coltsfoot fertilizer immediately or store in a closable container.
When it comes to feeding your plants coltsfoot fertilizer, do feed them full strength. The best approach is to make up 2 separate formulas. One would be for young or non-established plants and the other for established. The formula you need for the first formulation is 1 part of the coltsfoot fertilizer tea to 9 parts water. This should be used in the beginning of the season. Continue with this fertilizer tea once a month until the plants are established.
The second formulation is 1 part coltsfoot fertilizer tea to 6 parts water. Feed once a month with this formulation during the growing season up to August, which should be your last feeding.