Learn how to make your own fertilizer

Homemade Fertilizer Recipes

Learn how to make your own fertilizer, and keep your garden green without spending a lot of green. Here are several great homemade fertilizer recipes to try:

Epsom Salt Fertilizer

epsomsalt.jpg
Epsom Salt. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Use in Place of:

Houseplant food
Vegetable fertilizer
Rose plant food

What You Need:

  • 1 Tablespoon Epsom Salt
  • 1 gallon water
  • A watering can

What You Do:

1. Combine the Epsom salt and water.
2. Use the solution to water your plants.
3. Repeat once a month.

Why This Works:

Epsom salt is made up of magnesium and sulfate – both vital plant nutrients. Some magnesium-loving plants to try it on: houseplants, roses, peppers, tomatoes and potatoes.

Coffee Ground Fertilizer

coffeegrounds.jpg
Coffee Grounds. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Use in Place of:

Rose plant food

What You Need:

  • Used coffee grounds
  • A cookie Sheet
  • Newspaper

What You Do:

1. Line a cookie sheet with newspaper.
2. Then, spread your used coffee grounds out on the sheet, and allow them to dry completely.
3. Sprinkle the grounds around the base of your acid-loving plants. Azaleas, roses, rhododendrons and blueberries are just some of the plants that will benefit from this treatment.

Note: Be careful not to over do it with the grounds. Even acid-loving plants can get too much acid.

Why This Works:

Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, magnesium, and potassium – all important plant nutrients. They are also acidic, and help to maintain the acidity of the soil.

Tip: Starbucks gives away big bags of grounds for free.

Egg Shell Fertilizer

eggshells.jpg
Egg Shells. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Use in Place of:

Lime

What You Need:

  • Egg Shells
  • A blender

What You Do:

1. Save your eggs shells, and allow them to air dry.
2. Then, place the dried shells in the blender, and pulse until they're powdery-fine.
3. Sprinkle in your garden.

Why This Works:

Eggs shells are made up almost entirely of calcium carbonate – the main ingredient in agricultural lime.

Vinegar Fertilizer

vinegar.jpg
Vinegar. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Use in Place of:

Houseplant fertilizer
Rose plant food

What You Need:

  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 gallon water
  • A watering can

What You Do:

1. Combine the white vinegar and water.
2. Use the solution to water your plants.
3. Repeat every three months.

Why This Works:

The acetic acid in vinegar works to increase the acidity of the soil – just the thing for acid-loving plants.

Fish Tank Water Fertilizer

fishtank.jpg
Fish Tank. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Use in Place of:

Any fertilizer

What You Need:

  • Used fish tank water

What You Do:

1. Save the dirty water from your fish tank.
2. Then, use it to water your plants.

Why This Works:

Used fish tank water is full of nitrogen and other nutrients that plants need to thrive.

Fireplace Ash Fertilizer

woodash.jpg
Wood Ash. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Use in Place of:

Garden fertilizer
Lime

What You Need:

  • Fireplace ash

What You Do:

1. Sprinkle your fireplace ash over your garden beds, and work into the soil.

Note: Fireplace ash should not be used if your soil is alkaline, or be used around acid-loving plants.

Why This Works:

Fireplace ash is rich in potassium and calcium carbonate.

Compost

Compost
Compost. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

 Use in Place of:

Any fertilizer

What You Need:

  • Kitchen and garden scraps

What You Do:

​1. Save your fruit and vegetable scraps, newspapers, grass clippings and other compostable materials.

2. Add a bit of water from time to time, and turn your pile to speed up the composting process.

3. When everything has broken down into a dark, rich soil, spread it in your garden, and enjoy the results.

Why This Works:

Compost is loaded with nutrients and microorganisms that are good for your garden.

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