Many gardeners are familiar with compost tea and the benefits it gives to plants. Few gardeners, however, consider that other tea blends might be as, if not more, useful for your garden.
For years the French have been obsessed with fermenting and brewing plant-based teas to apply to plants. It's as much a part of their culture as making wine. One of the most widely used teas comes from a common weed: nettle. Fermented nettle tea is sold across France in garden centers. Nettle tea not only provides nitrogen, iron, and many micronutrients to plants, it has been thought to stimulate a plant's immune system and help protect it against insect and disease attacks.
If you'd like to make a little home-brewed nettle tea (or tea from lavender or other herbs) to try in your garden this summer, visit the French Gardening Web site at www.frenchgardening.com
Article published on October 12, 2004.