Growing a natural edible garden, that’s a feast for your eyes and exclusively healthy starts with the use of natural or organic fertilizers. Better yet, you won’t have to spend a fortune to get the best organic fertilizers for your edible garden. You will be surprised to learn that you can make nutrient-rich and safe organic fertilizers right in your home. The good news about homemade organic fertilizers is that they do not only provide nutrients to plants but also enrich the soil. As a result, your edible garden will be easy and pleasant to cultivate, yielding beautiful, healthy, and delicious to eat plants.
Before examining the various types of homemade fertilizers, here are the reasons why you should use organic fertilizers.
Importance of organic fertilizers
Organic fertilizers are unlike artificial fertilizers as they slowly release vital nutrients to the soil. The slow release is an advantage as they ensure a steadier and stable growth of plants.
Secondly, organic fertilizers play an important role in helping the soil to store more nutrients, giving the soil microorganisms food storage for a longer period of time. It, therefore, means that you will need to use fertilizers less often.
Lastly, organic or natural fertilizers help in maintaining the moisture in the soil as well as retaining the soil structure. This will ensure that less water is lost from the soil as well as preventing soil erosion.
Types of homemade natural or organic fertilizers
Homemade natural or organic fertilizers are fun and easy to make. Even better, you will end up saving a fortune as the fertilizers can be made from materials that are already in your home.
1. Coffee grounds
Coffee grounds that have been used contain approximately two percent nitrogen, one-third of phosphoric acid, and less than one percent of potash. Homemade fertilizers made from coffee grounds are used for plants that do well in acidic soil. Such plants include avocados, camellias, roses, azaleas, evergreens, and blueberries, and many other fruit trees. When using coffee grounds as natural fertilizers let them dry and spread them as mulch around your garden plants.
Eggshells are practical natural fertilizers as they are rich in essential nutrients. This fertilizer contains approximately 1% nitrogen, approximately half-percent of phosphoric acid, calcium, and many other trace elements. The calcium contained in eggshells play an important role in cell manufacture as well as cell growth. Roots should have some calcium at their tips in order to effectively grow. In the process of cell growth and manufacture, a lot of calcium is removed from the soil. Using egg shells as natural fertilizers will help to replenish the lost calcium in the soil. The ideal way of using eggshells as fertilizers is to crush them in a coffee grinder and sprinkle in the garden soil.
3. Corn gluten meal
Corn gluten meal is a byproduct of milling process of farm corn rich in nitrogen. It has 10% nitrogen. Better still, corn gluten meal is an excellent natural pre-emergent herbicide effective in killing weeds. When using this as natural fertilizers spread a thin layer of corn gluten meal and carefully mix with the upper layer of your garden soil. It is recommended to plant veggies as the first plants after applying corn gluten meal. The best part about this organic fertilizer is that they only work as herbicides before your plants germinate. Afterward, it decomposes releasing nitrogen and not harming your plants.
4. Blackstrap molasses
When you are looking to add many plant nutrients to the soil then blackstrap molasses are the best choice. This organic fertilizer has magnesium, copper, potassium, calcium, potash, sulfur, iron, and carbon. The most outstanding thing about this homemade fertilizer is that it feeds bacteria that are beneficial, keeping the soil as well as the plants healthy. To effectively use this as organic fertilizer, use it with alfalfa meal and Epsom salts. Dissolve it in water and sprinkle on the garden soil.
Bananas are not only rich in nutrients that are beneficial to humans but also edible plants. Bananas are rich in potassium that plays an important role in the proper growth of plants. To use bananas as natural organic fertilizers you can either bury a whole banana or the peels together with your plants in the planting hole. As the banana or the peels decompose they release potassium into the soil that is subsequently absorbed by the plants.
6. Aquarium water
After cleaning aquarium use aquarium water to water plants in your garden. Aquarium water is rich in nitrogen and ammonia that are released by fish. This natural fertilizer helps the plants to grow fast and remain green.
7. Cooking water
A number of nutrients are released into the cooking water. Do not discard this water elsewhere but in your garden. However, you should let the water cool before using it to enrich the soil so as to avoid burning your plants. Water that has been used to boil vegetables, potatoes, and pasta are particularly rich in nutrients.
8. Wood ash
Wood ash makes an excellent homemade fertilizer as it is rich in calcium carbonate and potassium. Wood ash from hardwood trees is particularly important as it rich in many nutrients. However, wood ash should not have charcoal or be used with plants that do well in acidic soil. This is because wood ash is alkaline.
9. Green tea
A weak solution made from green tea is rich in plant nutrients. The green tea solution should be used after four weeks. To make green tea solution use 2 gallons of water and one tea bag.
10. Powdered milk
Powdered milk can equally be used as a natural organic fertilizer. It is rich in calcium that is much needed by plants for growth and cell formation. Mix powdered milk with soil before using it in your garden.
Homemade natural or organic fertilizers offer a cheap and safe alternative way to add nutrients to your garden. You will be able to grow healthy plants without damaging the soil. Moreover, the plants are absolutely safe for consumption.