How to Make a Fertilizer Blend

Overview

Plants in your garden can grow larger and healthier with fertilizer. Fertilizer can also help to reduce pests and disease by making sure your soil is healthy. Many commercial fertilizers are expensive, or can contain ingredients you may not want to add to your garden. You can control the types of ingredients used on your garden, cut costs and make sure you have a healthy garden by making your own fertilizer blend. There are a few basic ingredients you can add to your blend to ensure there is a good balance of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in your fertilizer.

Step 1

Fill your 5-gallon bucket half full of either alfalfa or cottonseed meal. The seed meal will add nitrogen to your fertilizer blend.

Step 2

Make about 1 gallon of lime mixture by adding 2/3 of calcite lime to 1/3 dolomite lime to your milk jug. Blend the mixture together well. The lime will help to balance out the acidity of your mixture, which rises when seed meal is added. The dolomite will provide magnesium to your fertilizer, and calcite lime will add calcium.

Step 3

Add equal parts of your lime mixture, rock phosphate, and kelp to the remaining space in the 5-gallon bucket. Blend your mixture together well with the backside of a shovel or broom. The kelp will add potassium and other micro-nutrients to your fertilizer. The rock phosphate will slowly release phosphate into your soil for many years after application.

Step 4

Apply your fertilizer blend before starting your garden in the spring. Add six quarts of fertilizer evenly to each 100 square feet of garden area. Layer ½ inch of compost over the fertilizer. Decrease the amount of fertilizer used by two quarts if your plants need less nutrients.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon bucket
  • 1-gallon milk jug
  • Seed meal such as cottonseed or alfalfa
  • Dolomite lime
  • Calcite lime
  • Rock phosphate
  • Kelp
  • Shovel or broom handle

References

  • Love to Know Organic: Organic Fertilizer Recipe
  • Creative Homemaking: Mix Your Own Special Blends
  • The Westside Gardener: Recipe for a Complete Organice Fertilizer
Keywords: homemade plant food, homemade fertilizer, organic gardening

About this Author

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for more than 15 years. Coe has worked on environmental health and safety issues in communities across Ohio and Michigan. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University. She has also received training and experience as a nurse aide.