A. Natural, and
B. Usually cheaper than something manufactured and sold for a specific purpose, and
C. Works just as well (if not better) as B.
Sometimes I’ll splurge on, say, potting soil with the fertilizer already in it if it’s on sale and I’m running low on compost, but otherwise, it’s natural all the way baby! 🙂
Here are 5 natural garden fertilizers you can find in your kitchen (or at least somewhere around the house).
1. Epsom Salt
Okay, maybe you are more likely to find this in your bathroom than your kitchen, but it’s too good to leave off the list. Epsom salt is made up of sulfate and magnesium, both of which are plant nutrients. Try it on these magnesium-loving plants: roses, peppers, tomatoes and potatoes. When planting, mix 1/2 cup of Epsom salt in the bottom of the hole, plant and water well. To use on established plants, mix one tablespoon Epsom salt with one gallon of water and water your plants with the mix. Repeat once a month.
2. Coffee Grounds
Now you can get your caffeine fix and fertilize your garden too! Coffee grounds have nitrogen, magnesium, and potassium, which are important plant nutrients, and are also acidic, which helps maintain the acidity of the soil. Sprinkle dried grounds around the base of your acid-loving plants. Azaleas, roses, rhododendrons, tomatoes, and blueberries will all benefit from coffee grounds. If you’re not a coffee drinker, leftover tea grounds make a good substitute.
3. Egg Shells
Wondering what to do with all those leftover egg shells after Easter? Eggs shells are made up of calcium carbonate, which is the main ingredient in lime. When planting, crush 2-3 eggshells and mix into the bottom of the hole, plant and water well. To use on established plants, crush well or put in a mixer and blend until powdery. Sprinkle around the base of the plants and water.
Ah, vinegar- so many uses, so little time! Vinegar contains acetic acid in vinegar works to increase the acidity of the soil, which is obviously a good thing for acid-loving plants! Use on azaleas, roses, rhododendrons, tomatoes, and blueberries. Mix one tablespoon vinegar with one gallon of water and water your plants with the mix. Repeat once every three months.
5. Table Scraps
Composting table scraps is a great way to put less waste in the trash, reducing both your garbage bill and what goes into your local landfill. You can compost just about anything edible except for meat, dairy, and oils- they attract vermin, maggots, and will make your compost stink to high heaven! Here’s a good resource of various methods for composting table scraps: Home Composting Made Easy.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and have a wonderful growing season! 🙂