People used to cultivate home produce because it was far superior and less expensive than store-bought produce. To be honest, it still is, or it can be. Chemicals in plant fertilisers purchased at the local garden centre may damage your plants and are not eco-friendly. Furthermore, fertiliser can be costly, which is most likely why the idea that home gardens are costly persists. This isn’t always the case. You don’t need to pay a fortune because the trick is to remember that people used to make their own compost and fertilisers, and you can too. That way, you are sure to be growing organic produce since you know that there have been no harmful chemicals used in your garden.
There are numerous ways you can reward your plants with a boost of nutrients by improving the condition of your soil. You can easily make different kinds of homemade fertiliser for your organic garden for free while reducing your waste.
Grass and Leaves
Save the grass clippings for your garden. These clippings can either be used as nitrogen-rich mulch or made into fertiliser tea. Half fill a five-litre bucket with water and add the clippings. Leave this to steep for five days. Use it diluted: one cup of tea to ten cups of water.
Leaves attract earthworms, retain moisture, aid to lighten heavy soils and are high in trace minerals. You can utilise leaves in two ways: you can either mix them into your soil or you can use them as a mulch to enrich your plants while also keeping weeds at bay.
Coffee Grounds (for Acid-Loving Plants)
Many plants flourish in acidic soil, including blueberries, hydrangeas, rhododendrons, roses, magnolias, and tomatoes. You can either top dress by dusting the used grounds over the soil’s surface, work the grounds into the soil, or you can create “coffee” to pour over your gardens. To make garden coffee, soak up to six cups of leftover coffee grounds for up to a week, then use it to water acid-loving plants.
Simply rinse your used eggshells and smash them for use in your garden. The shells are calcium-rich which aids cellular growth in your plants. You can sprinkle or bury them in the ground. Alternatively, 20 eggshells and a litre of water can be used to generate a spray. Boil the shells for a few minutes in water, then set aside overnight. Strain the shells and pour the water into a spray bottle to reward your soil with added nutrients.
Simply put banana peels in the soil near the roots of your plants and let them break down underground. This will offer the plant much-needed potassium for healthy growth.
Organic gardening is easy if you learn how to make compost. Enclosed bins or open compost piles may be suitable if you live in a location with ample outdoor space. Compost tumblers or a worm composter are good solutions if you live in an urban area. Kitchen scraps are ideal for composting. Chop big pieces into smaller chunks for quicker composting.
Many farmers are more than happy to get rid of the mounds of manure created by their animals. Because raw manure is highly acidic and may contain more nutrients than your plants require, too much of it might cause your plants to burn. Composted manure is the safest option. You can use more of it to boost your soil’s water retention without putting your plants at risk because it is less nutrient-dense and acidic.
Fish emulsion is a DIY homemade fertiliser made from fish waste (such as fish pieces and intestines) and water. This organic all-purpose fertiliser has been around for thousands of years and works well, but it takes weeks to create and the mixture must decay before it can be used. So, make sure you are ready for the smell! If you have a freshwater aquarium, it’s also an effective way to get rid of fish waste and water.
Kitchen Ingredients Fertilisers
Simply add a tablespoon of white vinegar (only white vinegar, as apple cider vinegar lacks the same nutrient characteristics) with a litre of water to make vinegar fertiliser. For optimal results, irrigate your plants with this solution once every three months.
To feed your indoor and outdoor plants with a good source of magnesium and sulphur, simply dissolve a tablespoon of Epsom salt in a litre of water.
There are so many options for other household waste products that can be put to good use in your garden. Fireplace or BBQ ash provides calcium carbonate and potassium to plants. Organic gardening is as popular as ever, and the methods you use will have a significant impact on your health as well as the sustainability of the earth. You can easily choose to use a variety of all-natural fertilisers in your garden or with your potting soil. DIY fertilisers are best!