Making Natural Weed Water for Your Garden

Making Natural Weed Water for Your Garden

How to Make and Use Weed Water for Your Garden

Weed water is an eco-friendly, nutrient-rich solution made from common garden weeds. It provides plants with essential nutrients and improves soil health without the need for chemical fertilizers.

Making weed water is simple, but does take some time and you can experiment with your own recipes.  The table below will provide you with some insight on which weeds are most beneficial for various needs in your garden as well.

Common Weeds and Their Benefits

Weed Key Nutrients Provided Additional Benefits
Nettle Nitrogen, iron, magnesium, calcium Stimulates plant growth, improves soil fertility
Dandelion Potassium, calcium, iron, copper Promotes strong root development, deters pests
Comfrey Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium Accelerates composting, boosts flowering plants
Chickweed Potassium, magnesium, zinc Enhances seed germination, promotes leaf growth
Yarrow Potassium, phosphorus, calcium Increases disease resistance, improves soil structure
Lamb’s Quarters Nitrogen, calcium, potassium Boosts overall plant health, enhances soil quality
Borage Potassium, calcium, magnesium Improves flowering, attracts pollinators
Plantain Calcium, magnesium, iron Enhances seed germination, boosts soil aeration
Mullein Potassium, calcium, magnesium Improves soil structure, supports root development
Thistle Nitrogen, potassium, magnesium Enhances growth of root vegetables, improves soil aeration
Horsetail Silica, potassium, magnesium Strengthens plant cell walls, improves resistance to pests
Cleavers Nitrogen, potassium, calcium Enhances soil fertility, boosts overall plant health
Shepherd’s Purse Calcium, potassium, magnesium Improves soil structure, boosts seedling growth
Purslane Omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium Enhances plant growth, improves soil moisture retention
Sorrel Potassium, phosphorus, calcium Improves root development, enhances soil acidity balance
Ragweed Nitrogen, potassium, magnesium Boosts plant growth, improves soil texture
Goldenrod Potassium, calcium, magnesium Enhances flowering, supports pollinator activity
Field Bindweed Nitrogen, potassium, calcium Improves soil fertility, enhances plant growth
Clover Nitrogen, calcium, magnesium Fixes nitrogen in soil, enhances overall plant health
Milk Thistle Potassium, calcium, magnesium Improves soil structure, supports plant growth

Benefits of Weed Water

  1. Nutrient-Rich: Weeds like dandelions, nettles, and comfrey are packed with nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous.
  2. Cost-Effective: Utilizes garden waste, reducing the need for commercial fertilizers.
  3. Eco-Friendly: Promotes sustainable gardening practices by recycling garden waste into a beneficial product.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Weed Water

Materials Needed

  • Fresh weeds (avoid using weeds with seeds)
  • Large container (bucket or barrel)
  • Water
  • Stirring stick
  • Optional: gloves (for handling prickly or stinging weeds)


  1. Collect Weeds:
    • Gather a variety of weeds from your garden. Aim for nutrient-rich weeds like nettles, dandelions, and comfrey.
    • Avoid weeds with seeds to prevent them from spreading when you use the weed water.
  2. Prepare the Container:
    • Place the weeds in a large container. A bucket or barrel works well for this purpose.
    • Chop or break the weeds into smaller pieces to speed up the decomposition process.
  3. Add Water:
    • Fill the container with water, covering the weeds completely.
    • Use a ratio of roughly 1 part weeds to 10 parts water.
  4. Fermentation Process:
    • Let the mixture steep for 2-4 weeks. During this time, the weeds will break down and release their nutrients into the water.
    • Stir the mixture every few days to speed up the decomposition and ensure even nutrient distribution.
  5. Strain the Mixture:
    • After 2-4 weeks, strain the liquid to remove the plant debris.
    • The resulting liquid is your nutrient-rich weed water.
  6. Dilute for Use:
    • Weed water can be quite strong, so dilute it before using. Mix one part weed water with ten parts fresh water.
    • This ensures that the nutrient concentration is appropriate for your plants.

Using Weed Water in Your Garden

  1. Watering Plants:
    • Use the diluted weed water to water your plants as you would with regular water.
    • Apply it directly to the soil around the base of plants to ensure the roots absorb the nutrients.
  2. Foliar Spray:
    • Weed water can also be used as a foliar spray. Fill a spray bottle with the diluted solution and mist the leaves of your plants.
    • This method allows the plants to absorb nutrients directly through their leaves.
  3. Frequency of Use:
    • Apply weed water every 2-4 weeks during the growing season.
    • Monitor your plants’ response and adjust the frequency if necessary.

Additional Tips

  • Safety First: Wear gloves when handling prickly or stinging weeds like nettles.
  • Avoid Overuse: Too much weed water can overwhelm plants with nutrients. Always dilute and use in moderation.
  • Compost the Leftovers: The strained plant material can be added to your compost pile to continue the nutrient cycle.

Using weed water is a sustainable and effective way to nourish your garden. By repurposing garden weeds, you not only reduce waste but also provide your plants with a natural, nutrient-rich boost.

References and Further Reading.

The Spruce: How to Make and Use Weed Tea Fertilizer
Gardening Know How: How To Make Nettle Fertilizer Tea
Permaculture News: DIY Weed Tea for Organic Plant Fertilizer
Organic Authority: Homemade Weed Tea: Natural Plant Fertilizer
Gardeners World: How to Make Liquid Fertilizer from Weeds

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