In my edible garden, I’m constantly taking minerals and nutrients from the soil when I harvest my crops. I need to replace these goodies so the soil can stay healthy and happy. There’s loads of natural ways we can feed our soil. Have you thought about home made fertilisers?
Here’s some simple fertilisers I make at home, minimising waste and saving money by reducing the need to purchase store-bought fertilisers. I use a variety of the methods below as part of my fertilising routine.
This is a really easy one to make. I use all kinds of weeds (and other unwanted plants) from my garden. Simply fill your container with 1 part weeds to 5 parts water. Pop the lid on and leave it for about four weeks. Use the liquid at a ratio of 1:10 for dilution.
Coffee Tea (a confusing name, I know).
Since buying a coffee machine, we have a lot of coffee grounds. They’re great for adding to your compost bin. I also soak about four cups of coffee grounds in 10L of water for about a week, making a liquid fertiliser that I apply lightly around my acid-loving plants. I tend not to use this fertiliser in the same area on a regular basis as it can lower the pH of the soil. Note: there’s differing opinions regarding the use and benefits of coffee grounds.
Banana Peel Fertiliser.
I pop about ten banana peels in about 3L of water for a few days, then use the liquid at a ratio of 1:10. The minerals (phosphorus, calcium and potassium, among others) and nutrients will leach into the water.
Kitchen Cooking Water.
When we boil vegetables, pasta and eggs in the kitchen, nutrients are released into the water. Instead of pouring these goodies down the drain, wait for the water to cool first (very important) then pour it on the garden.
Orange and Lemon Peel Fertiliser.
I dry my citrus peels then crush them into a powder. The citrus peel is high in potassium. This generally works for all kinds of peels.
I crush my egg shells into a powder then scatter them around the soil. Egg shells contain trace elements, calcium, phosphoric acid and nitrogen.
Sheep and Cow Manure Tea.
Pop the aged manure in a hessian bag and place it in a bucket. 1 part manure to 5 parts water. Secure the lid and leave for a couple of weeks. Then dilute it at a ratio of 1 : 10. This liquid will provide a great source of nitrogen. Don’t use manure from domestic animals as it can contain unwanted pathogens.
Grab a bucket and add one part compost to four parts water. Mix it up and let it sit for a day or so. Great stuff.
Molasses Soil Improver.
Add 10 tablespoons of molasses (without a sulphur preservative added) to 10L of water. Mix it and disperse it over the soil. Molasses is great for increasing the beneficial bacteria and microbes in the soil.
Soil health is so important. If you don’t already, you might want to try a couple of these methods and see whether you get great results too with your own home made fertilisers.