Homemade Garden Fertilizers & Plant Food

Fertilizers and plant foods are a big issue when gardening, especially with small gardens where there is not much soil for plants to draw nutrients from. Then there's the issue of buying rose fertilizer, lawn fertilizer, bulb fertilizer, orchid fertilizer and many more. It becomes a serious expense which is ludicrous when considering that most of these store bought fertilizers contain the same ingredients simply in different proportions. Utilize a few things around the house to produce the same effect.

High-Nitrate Fertilizer

A simple and effective high-nitrate fertilizer involves making what some people call "manure tea". Wrap five quarts of manure in a burlap bag or sack. Cow, horse, rodent, and even rabbit manure work, but avoid reptile, human, cat, and dog manure as they can contain harmful bacteria and parasites. Steep the bag in five gallons of water for a full 24 hours until the water is a dark brown. The water contains high nitrates. Dilute one cup of this tea into a full gallon of water and spread across the garden. Also, the root-balls of plants yet to be planted can be dunked in the concentrated solution first. This type of fertilizer works well for plants that are naturally lush and green.

High Acidity Garden Fertilizer

High acidity fertilizers work well for roses, blueberries, azaleas, tomatoes, hibiscus and other sub-tropical plants. Four parts seed meal, one part rock phosphate, and one part kelp meal form the base and provide all the basic requirements for general plants. Mixing in one part coffee grounds, four parts ground eggshells, and one part fireplace ashes introduces mildly acidic contents. Sew this dry mixture into the garden soil.

All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer

An effective all-purpose liquid fertilizer that provides all the micronutrients a plant needs involves starting with a gallon of water taken from a freshwater fishtank. Fish fecal matter and algae is high in nitrogen. The seeds, leaves, flowers and roots of the comfrey plant are chopped up and thrown into the water to add potassium. A handful of chopped nettle leaves provide phosphorous. A tablespoon of epsom salts and a tablespoon of white vinegar create a minor chemical reaction in which the acidity of the vinegar is reduced and the two compounds are broken down into their component elements, including sulfur, iron, and magnesium. Once the nettle leaves and comfrey are allowed to steep for several hours, they are strained out and the liquid fertilizer can be sprayed across the garden.

Keywords: plant fertilizer recipes, homemade plant food, plant food recipes

About this Author

John Albers is a 25 year old freelance writer with dual degrees from the University of Central Florida in English literature and psychology, and a goodly amount of experience in most fields besides. He's successfully published 800 online and printed articles of a technical nature, and fictional works with Bewildering Stories and Mindflights Magazine, though he's currently working on a debut novel.