Making your own organic fertilizer means you’re feeding not only the plants but the micro-organisms within the soil, especially earth worm activity. You can make either a liquid form or a dry variety that is mixed together according to the ingredients’ measurement ratio. As a food source, each fertilizer consists of three main elements: nitrogen for plant growth; phosphorous for root development and potassium – this assists as a booster to help plants withstand extreme weather conditions. Included in the mix are smaller amounts of trace elements: calcium, sulphur and manganese are just a few.
Liquid Organic Fertilizer
- You will need a hessian bag or a double thickness of cheesecloth large enough to bring the four corners together – allowing enough room to tie it into a bag shape with string or an elastic band.
- A large plastic bucket with a lid, and watering can for diluting the liquid fertilizer to a weaker strength.
Place the following ingredients in the centre of the bag or cloth square.
- 3 parts well rotted compost
- 2 part animal manure – sheep, cow or chicken (cow manure is the most popular one)
- 1 part herbs or green manures (e.g. tansy, dandelions, yarrow, borage, comfrey, peppermint, chamomile, stinging nettles, lupins,vetch)
- 1part blood and bone
- 1 part seaweed or fish meal
When it’s tied together, place the ‘teabag’ into the large bucket and fill with water. Stir 2-3 times a day by creating a vortex. This is to help keep it oxygenated. Continue this process for a week. Remove the ‘teabag’ and empty the contents onto a compost pile or into a worm farm system. If you have neither of these, dig the contents through the soil.
Fill the bucket with water and using the ratio of 1:5 dilute it in a watering can and gently water around your plants. The longer the mix is left to settle, the stronger the brew becomes so the diluting ratio will need to be higher.
Dry Mix Organic Fertilizer
These ingredients are more economical if purchased in large bags from a garden centre, agricultural or grain supplier. Use an old jug or bucket to measure the ratio quantities. It can then be kept out of direct sunlight in an old rubbish bin with a lid for safe keeping and accessibility.
- 4 parts of seed or fish meal
- 1 part of dolomite lime
- 1 part of rock phosphate
- 1½ parts of bone meal
- 1 part of kelp meal
- 1 part of alfalfa meal if available (if not, check the kitty litter ingredients in your supermarket).
Blend all the ingredients in a pile until they are well mixed and place in your storage bin. Sprinkle around plants and mix lightly into the soil but not too close to the stems or trunks in case it burns them. Water in well.
Economical Home Made Organic Fertilizer
Even if your finances are tight, it’s still possible to make your own organic fertiliser from ingredients that you have in your garden or kitchen. The trick is to think of what is beneficial in your diet; anything that is loaded with vitamins and minerals also becomes the same food source for plants. It ‘s best to chop them up finely, grind them or put them through a food processor mixed with water and bury them below the soil around your plants.
Here is an example: herb leaves, banana skins, egg shells, alfalfa/mung bean rinsing water, milk (diluted with water) or tea leaves.