I very quick post on organic gardening plant food.
I was really thrilled to receive some nettles from an organic garden to use to make nettle plant food,after a while festering soaked in water ,I diluted them to make feed for my seedlings and the shrubs I had planted in winter,all seemed well and I have to admit to feeling very pleased with myself,I had made organic ,environmentally friendly plant food for all my little plants,,that night a few looked a bit unhappy ,but I figured I must have damaged them carrying them in and out of the garden or by using the watering can rather than the little seed watering can,the next day the rest seemed fine I water a few that were dry and put them outside,suddenly late afternoon a few more had started to wilt ,figured they needed watering so gave them a drink ,came back from walking the dogs and started to bring the plants in for the night (still hardening them off )plant after plant was clearly dying ,,wilted leaves ,stems flopped over sideways ,I had already lost around 30/40 plants,I got help from a more experienced gardener who recognised the effects of weedkiller ,I never use weed killers,I was assuming I had over watered or under watered or killed them off not using the seed watering can or put them in too much sun .
we hosed them down for ages and then brought them inside ,most looked pretty sodden and miserable but the next morning around two thirds had perked up ,I had lost another third and I lost around another dozen during that day and half a dozen today ,but the rest seem fine.
I have dug up and moved the plants that got the biggest dose of the killer plant food and all the shrubs seem fine .
What seems to have happened is that the field next to the organic garden was sprayed with weed killer of some kind which either via the soil or leaves has seeped into the nettles ,not in big enough quantities to kill them but certainly enough that once concentrated in the syrupy nettle “tea ” was enough to kill small plants .
I just wanted to share my experience so that other gardeners can learn from my mistake,also as its clearly not in large enough concentrations to have any effect on big plants ,I thought despite the heartbreak its just as well I lost the seedlings as otherwise I would have been pouring contaminated feed onto the garden all summer.
I will also think twice about growing vegetable crops against dividing hedges or fences in any future gardens that we live in