Make your own fertilizers?

 

Yes, you can make your own fertilizers. The ultimate avid gardener recipe would be the recipe to make super good, organic fertilizers for your own use.

For some people, home gardening is an expensive pursuit. But at one time people gardened because homegrown produce was far better and cheaper than anything from the store. Any of the farmers of years ago knew, just like we know today, that to have healthy plants, you need healthy soil. An interesting Web site for “down home gardening” is backwoodshome.com.

One of the easiest and best low-cost methods for making your own fertilizer is to make seaweed fertilizer. Seaweed is a rich source of potassium so mixed with fish emulsion that it makes a great “pick me up” for garden plants. Follow the lead of gardeners from the Pacific Coast. Collect seaweed from our local beaches then place it all into a big 55-gallon drum. Fill the drum with water and cover it. In about two months, the seaweed will be fully decomposed. This liquid is then used as a concentrate. Dilute it with water and spray onto plants. It is a little smelly (fishy, ocean smell) for a couple of days, but your plants will love you!

Earthworm casting is another easy fertilizer to make. Rather than buy the castings, you could make an earthworm compost pit using kitchen scraps, grass clippings, leaves, etc. As it is processed by the earthworms, you soon have a rich, black garden amendment. Add compost in volumes of about 10 percent at a time.

Rabbit droppings are readily available, if you have rabbits or friends with rabbits. It is one of the best readily available fertilizers around. These droppings have the highest nitrogen content of any of the commonly available barnyard manures. These droppings are small, compact and nearly odorless. One organic gardener described them as “miniature, time released fertilizer capsules.

Save egg shells. They contain 93 percent calcium carbonate and 1 percent nitrogen. Save the eggshells in a pan in the oven or a container somewhere. Crush them by hand and powder them in the blender if you like. They are great to place around the base of fruit trees, in roses and in vegetable gardens. Snails don’t like their sharp edges, either.

Coffee grounds are useful in the garden. They contain about 2 percent nitrogen, phosphoric acid, potash and trace elements. Plants which like acid food such as blueberries, evergreens, azaleas, roses, camellias, avocados and some fruit trees will love dried coffee grounds sprinkled at their base.

Follow the tricks of the gardeners and farmers of years ago and enjoy even healthier plants!

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