How To: Make your own organic liquid plant food – Fermented Plant Juice (FPJ)

Gardeners have been making their own organic liquid plant food for years. Pretty much everybody knows that if you put Comfrey or Nettles in to a bucket with some water and seal the lid you’ll get an apocalyptic, plot wars inducing, foul smelling liquid that’s more nutritious than farmyard manure (FYM) and comes in an organic liquid form to-boot. Excellent!
Well, it is excellent except for the stench, time involved and the fact we’re rather limited with our traditional ingredients!!

If only there was a better way to make an organic liquid plant food?!

Well now there is!* If you ferment your ingredients with a little Lactobacillus (LAB) and sugar you can break down the plant material in to a biologically active, nutritious liquid plant food and the best thing is we’re no longer tied to just Comfrey and Nettles! Carrots? Seaweed? Cucumber? Cabbage? Whatever scraps or left overs you have can be fermented down and turned in to a natural ‘organic’ liquid plant food.

What you’ll need:-
Fruit/Veg/Plant material etc
Sugar/Molasses
Lactobacillus (LAB)
Container with good lid
Water (if needed)
Scales (Optional)
Blender (Optional)

Method :-
Weigh or guess the amount of plant material you have, if you have access to a blender blitz this up, otherwise just chop and mash up your plant material as best you can.
Mix your mash with the same weight of Sugar or Molasses – (Unrefined sugar is best – it has less of the good stuff taken out!), if your material is a little dry (like dry seaweed for example) you can add some water to re-hydrate it. Here I add the Lactobacillus using about 30ml for each kilo of mixture (some don’t bother with the LAB here, but I do as it keeps the smell down in my opinion)
You’re pretty much done now, cap your container loosely. You don’t want air getting in, but you don’t want it exploding either!
After 7-14 days your Fermented Plant Juice will be ready, you may see mold/fungus on the top, so long as it’s white and healthy looking that’s fine – Discard if Black or angry looking. It should have some odour, but not unpleasant – Sweet/vinegary/slightly alcoholic is fine, if it smells bad, again, discard it.
Strain your FPJ and extract as much liquid as possible, you can compost the solids or feed to your worms etc.
Bottle up your FPJ and label it properly it should keep for 6-12 months.

Use:-
Make up an RTU spray by mixing 15-30ml with 1 litre of water and apply as a foliar feed.
If feeding the soil you can make it stronger.

If you’re curious as to the NPK value of your concoction you can use the Fermented Plat Juice calculator to work out a rough estimate!

Other input ideas – Banana, Beetroot, cabbage, carrot, lettuce……….

*if you’re new to this – If you follow the Korean Natural Farming method you’ve been doing it for centuries ;o)