For years people have ben trying to make their gardens produce as much fruit and vegetables as possible. There was a time when people did this because the produce they could grow at home was much better than the produce you could buy at the store. While this is still a true statement, there are some that have given up on the idea of growing a healthy garden. Many have shelved the idea because the plants that do grow are weak and produce weak fruit. The simple truth here is that in most cases the fruit and vegetables are weak because the soil is weak.
If your soil is not nutrient rich then your garden is not going to produce very good crops. The bottom line is this; If you want to produce great fruit and vegetables then you have to make the soil preparation a key part of your gardening adventure. There are numerous options that await you. You could spend lots of money on commercial style fertilizers but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of trying produce organic crops? There are 2 things you need to remember about fertilizers you buy. There are going to be non-organic fertilizers and organic fertilizers.
The non-organic fertilizers are going to have 3 main ingredients. Many will call these ingredients the N-P-K. This just means Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. These are going to make up the bulk of almost every fertilizer you buy at big box stores like Home Depot or Lowes. While these elements and nutrients are great for plants they are not always the best option. You see most fertilizers like these are only going to feed the plant and not enrich the soil. While that might sound great it is always a better option to have long term feeding over short term.
Nitrogen is a nutrient that helps your plants grow large and lush. Phosphorus is a nutrient that helps your plants establish solid, healthy root systems. Potassium helps the plant produce protein. It aids in disease resistance and it also helps the plant grow.
So what are some great homemade fertilizers?
- Aquarium Water
- Blackstrap Molasses
- Coffee Grounds
- Cooking Water
- Corn Gluten Meal
- Egg Shells
- Epsom Salt
- Fireplace Ashes
- Green Tea
- Hair (Human)
Easy Homemade Fertilizer Recipes
- Simple Tea Fertilizer
Mix the following ingredients in a 5-gallon bucket:
¼ cup Epsom Salt
2 cups Urine
2 cups Wood Ash (No charcoal or lighter fluid)
Fill bucket half way with grass clippings
Fill bucket with water
Steep for 3 days (no longer). After 3 days strain mixture. Dilute tea by half with water and apply directly to soil. This tea has been used for hundreds of years and it works amazingly well.
- Fish Emulsion Fertilizer (This recipe makes 55 gallons)
Fill 55-gallon drum 1/3 full with a 2:1 mixture of water and fish waste (fish heads, guts, etc.). Allow this mixture to steep for 24 hours. After steeping fill the drum with water until full. Cover the drum and allow your mixture to ferment for 3 weeks. Pour directly on soil, applying 3 gallons per 100 square feet.
- Seaweed Fertilizer Recipe (5 Gallon Bucket Needed)
Any type of seaweed can be used here but if you are using fresh sea weed or even dry salted seaweed you need to make sure you wash the product thoroughly before making the fertilizer.
Start with 8 cups of chopped seaweed and add that to your bucket. Then fill it halfway with water. Rainwater is the best choice! Now loosely cover the bucket and let the mixture steep for three weeks. Then you can strain the mixture and store it for an additional three weeks. Finally, mix it with equal parts of water and apply directly to the soil.
There are so many options you have when it comes to homemade fertilizer. The best thing about this approach is that you are not buying expensive store fertilizers. Further, you are not harming your plants with chemicals that are not always the most environmentally friendly.
Have you ever tried using a homemade fertilizer in your home garden? Did you have great results?