Cost-saving gardening practice acts as ‘natural pest repellent’ while increasing ‘number of blooms’

Cost-saving gardening practice acts as ‘natural pest repellent’ while increasing ‘number of blooms’

Royal Horticultural Society gardening video

Royal Horticultural Society
Solen Le Net

By Solen Le Net

Published: 29/02/2024

- 19:42

Repurposing weeds as fertiliser is a highly regarded gardening practice

Using weeds as plant feed may go against the grain of public perception, but the pesky plants have been known to boost soil fertility in certain situations.

“Nettles and comfrey can potentially spur new growth in plants when used appropriately", according to Georgina O’Grady, Managing Director at Evergreen Direct.

The invasive plants have deep root systems that tap into the deep layers of the soil. This is where all the nutrients are.

Because these run rampant in gardens, gardeners believe they could prove a cost-effective alternative to commercial fertiliser.


​Nutrient-dense plants like Comfrey could give other plants a growth boost


“Comfrey, for example, is known for its high potassium content, which is important for flowering and fruiting,” explained Jason Wilkinson, founder of Qwickhose.

“They can release these nutrients as they decompose, enriching the soil."

He continued: “The nutrients present in certain weeds can enhance the overall health and vigour of plants."

In addition, this may "potentially lead to an increased number of blooms".

Organic matter improves soil structure, water retention, and microbial activity, creating a more favourable environment for plant growth.

“Utilising weeds as fertilisers can [therefore] be a cost-effective and sustainable practice for gardeners,” Josh added.

“Instead of purchasing commercial fertilisers, gardeners can make use of readily available weeds, reducing expenses and environmental impact."

A frequently overlooked benefit of using weeds in gardening practices is their protective effects against pests.

Rodent in garden

Rodents dislike certain weeds


“Some weeds release compounds that can act as natural pest repellents or deterrents,” explained Josh.

“This can contribute to a healthier garden by minimising the need for chemical and pest control.”

Gardeners should be selective with the weeds they use for gardening purposes, avoiding those that are invasive.

Without thorough care, they risk destroying the ecosystem of their garden, as certain weeds compete with other foliage for nutrients.

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