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Soils and Fertilizers

15 Simple and Inexpensive Homemade Fertilizers

There is one basic role that applies when it comes to using fertilizers – “less is more”. If you apply too much fertilizer or a concentration that is too strong, you could do much more harm than good. You can harm plant roots and soon you will see the tell-tale symptoms of fertilizer burn – brown curled leaf edges and leaves that wither and fall from the stem.

We have prepared a list of 15 homemade fertilizers that are inexpensive and helpful! So, take a look at the list bellow.

Easy Household Fertilizers

There are quite a few common items found in your kitchen, or elsewhere around the house, that can be used as plant fertilizer.

• Aquarium Water

Water the plants with the aquarium water that you took right out of the tank when you cleaned it. Freshwater only, do not use water from a salt water tank. The fish waste makes a great plant fertilizer!

• Banana

Bananas are not only beneficial for us people, but for plants too. When you plant roses, bury a banana in the hole alongside the rose. As the rose is growing, bury bananas or banana peels into the top layer of the soil. You will provide the needed potassium for a proper plant growth.

• Blackstrap Molasses

– Blackstrap molasses is an excellent source of many different nutrients that plants use. This includes carbon, iron, sulfur, potash, calcium, manganese, potassium, copper and magnesium. What makes this an excellent type of fertilizer is that it feeds beneficial bacteria, which keep the soil and plants healthy. To use blackstrap molasses as a fertilizer, mix it with another all-purpose fertilizer. A good combination to use is one cup each of epsom salts and alfalfa meal. Dissolve this combination in four gallons of water and top it off with one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses. Or simply mix blackstrap molasses in with compost tea. Do this only after the compost tea has steeped.

• Coffee Ground

Used coffee grounds contain about 2 percent nitrogen, about a third of a percent of phosphoric acid, and varying amounts of potash (generally less than one percent). Coffee grounds are particularly useful on those plants that like things a bit more acidic such as blueberries, evergreens, azaleas, roses, camellias, avocados, and many fruit trees. Scatter the grounds around your plants when the coffee grounds are dry!

• Cooking Water

– Many different nutrients are released into the water that food is cooked in. Water that is used to boil potatoes, vegetables, eggs, and even pasta can be used as a fertilizer. Just remember to let the water cool before applying it to your soil.

• Corn Gluten Meal

Corn gluten meal it is used not only as an organic preemergent herbicide, but also as a fertilizer that is 10 percent nitrogen. Just spread a thin layer of corn gluten meal and scratch it into the top inch of soil. Plant veggie starts inside the treated area for optimum nitrogen benefit and do not worry about accidentally harming your plants. .

• Egg Shells

You have probably heard that eggshells are very beneficial for the plants as they contain 1% nitrogen, a half-procent phosphoric acid and other elements that make them a fertilizer. Calcium is a necessary plant nutrient that plays a significant part in cell manufacture and growth. Simply crush the egg shells, powder them in an old coffee griner, and sprinkle them around the soil in your garden.

• Epsom Salt

1 tablespoon of Epsom salt can be combined with 1 gallon of water and put into a sprayer. Apply once a month, directly to the foliage for a quick dose of magnesium and sulfur.

• Fireplace or Fire Pit Ash

You can sprinkle ashes onto your soil to supply potassium and calcium carbonate. The best is hard wood, but make sure you don’t use charcoal or lighter fluid since you can harm the plants. In areas where you are trying to maintain acid-loving plants ash is not recommended.

• Gelatin

Geltain is a great nitrogen source. So, dissolve 1 package of gelatin in one cup of hot water and add three cups of cold water. Pour this directly on the soil around your plants once per month.

• Green Tea

A weak solution of green tea can be used to water plants every four weeks. Use one teabag to two gallons of water.

• Hair

Hair is a good source of nitrogen and it does double duty as a deer repellent. A good source for this hair is not only your hairbrush but also the local barbershop or beauty salon. However, you can also use dog hair, horse hair, and cat hair that will work just as well.

• Horse Feed

What makes horse feed irresistible to horses is also what makes it an excellent fertilizer. The magic ingredient is molasses. To use horse feed as a fertilizer just sprinkle it on top of the soil. Alternatively, you can dissolve it in water alone or combined with another organic fertilizer, and apply as a soil drench.

• Matches

Matches are a great source of magnesium. To use this as a fertilizer, simply place the whole match in the hole with the plant, or soak the matches in water.

• Powdered Milk

Powdered milk is not only good for human consumption but also for plants. This source of calcium needs to be mixed in to the soil prior to planting.

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