I've chopped up some nettles and put them in buckets of water. How long until the 'soup' is ready for my toms? Or am I wasting my time?
It usually takes 3 weeks to a month. You'll tell when it's ready by the stench. It's high in nitrogen so not the best fertiliser for toms.
You need to dilute the finished product too. 10:1.
You really need a feed with potash fishy to encourage flower and fruit, some tomato feeds have seaweed extract, I think that is very good.
You can make a similar feed for tomatoes using comfrey, in exactly the same way you do with nettles. It has a lot of potash in it. As does bonfire ash, especially if you've been burning young wood, like raspberry canes.
Smells just as bad as the nettle mix, though, if not worse. The comfrey tea, that i, not the ash.
On Beechgrove last year the home made comfrey feed used in their tomato trials did better than the commercial products - bit of a shock for old Jim - so he's doing it again to make sure it wasn't a fluke. Comfrey feed is good for all fruiting and flowering plants. Nettle feed is good for leafy plants like cabbages and hostas.
I make nettle tea every year and believe that it does my brassicas the world of good and suspect that it may even deter some pests from laying their eggs on the plants but I was under the impression that it was best to use the fresh nettles of spring with the most nitrogen content, if you use nettles this time of year and aren't careful you may include seeds into the mixture.
Thanks for the advice folks, I'll stick with the Tomorite then and keep nettles for something else. A feed for newly planted perennials maybe?
I don't feed newly planted perennials , Fishy, Tom food will push them on before they are ready, it's to encourage flowers, young perennials need all their energy to grow roots first.
you could buy a cheaper tomato feed, Doff has seaweed extract added and is half the price, I use it all the time.