Just like us, plants also need nourishment. Fertilizer provides specific nutrients to the plants to grow strong and healthy. They needs nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous and micronutrients like calcium, magnesium and sulfur. Bedsides this few other micro nutrients like iron, copper, boron, chlorine, manganese and zinc are required in trace amount. Chemical fertilizers, though works quickly, come with a drawback. They basically do not add any nutrient to the soil. They are bit pricy and are not environment friendly also. So in the long run they can hinder plant growth. Making your own organic fertilizer is easy and virtually free of cost. You can enrich your soil by making compost at home from lawn clippings, leftover foods, animal manure and fish emulsion etc.
Here Are 5 DIY Fertilizer Recipes For A Healthy Garden
1. Egg Shells
Most of eat a lot of eggs. So, next time you eat eggs, don’t toss away the shells. Eggshells contain calcium and potassium and a very small amount of magnesium, phosphorous and sodium. Wash them first, then crush and add them directly to the soil. You can also sprinkle a handful of egg shells on the potting mix to get healthy vegetables and fruits. Calcium helps to strengthen cellular structure of the plant. Throwing some large shell pieces can also help to deter slugs.
Seaweed, an all-purpose organic fertilizer, contains a compound called mannitol that increases plant’s capability to absorb nutrients from the soil. Both dried and fresh seaweeds are good for amendment of the soil. They contain trace elements which becomes food source for soil microbes. Dry salted seaweed should be washed thoroughly before using. For making Seaweed fertilizer, chop 8 cups of seaweed, place them in a bucket and add 5 gallons of water. Loosely cover the bucket and allow it to sit for 2-3 weeks. Apply it to drench the soil and plants. 2 cups is enough for small plants. For medium and large plants, use 4 to 6 cups. Seaweed can be used in combination with other fertilizers as well.
3. Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds are an excellent source of nitrogen that all plants need. Because of high acidity, many think that coffee ground can harm the plants as fertilizer. But being neutral with pH between 6.5 and 6.8, coffee grounds are good fertilizers for all plants, particularly acid loving plants like blueberries, tomatoes and roses. Either sprinkle on the top of the soil before watering the plants or make a liquid version by adding 6 cups of coffee grounds in 5 gallons of water. Allow it to sit for 3-4 days and drench the soil around your plants.
4. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt can be another good option for fertilizing your plant. Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate which is needed for chlorophyll production, seed germination, fruit and flower production and aids plant growth. Magnesium helps to strengthen cell walls and Improve quality of soil and nutrients like sulfur, nitrogen and phosphorous. Mix 1tbsp of Epsom salt in 1 gallon water and apply the water to the plants to increase flower and fruit production like tomatoes, potatoes, roses etc.
5. Wood Ash
Wood ashes from fireplace or brush pile can be used as fertilizer to enrich the soil because wood ashes contain essential nutrients like calcium and potassium which plants need to thrive. Wood ashes also raise the pH level of the soil that is acidic and helps plants grow. Add small amounts of wood Ash to the compost. After mixing, they will readily blend with other nutrients. Alternatively, spread directly on the soil in your vegetable garden. Use 50-75 gm. per each sq. m of land. Avoid using in excess to avoid alkalinity.