Using natural organic fertilizer is nothing new. Years ago, people gardened because their backyard produce was better, cheaper and healthy than store bought.
This is a universal truth and the trick behind this is the enrichment of the garden soil with organic matter, compost and homemade natural fertilizers.
We have all heard of organic gardening. This technique involves producing vegetables and fruits in an all-natural way. Here the fertilizers used are organic matter and natural products without involving a commercial chemical fertilizer loaded with harmful chemicals.
Making Natural Organic Fertilizer
Making your own natural organic fertilizer is both easy, cheap and often uses components you already around your home. Organic material from left over food and grass clippings to organic fertilizers made from plant or animal remains.
Plant based fertilizers include, compost, cottonseed meal, soybean, kelp, seaweed, wood ash or alfalfa while the animal based contain fish emulsion, fish meal, blood meal, animal manure, bat guano, worm castings or bone meal.
Note: Always get a soil test to make sure you give your soil the organic soil amendments it needs for the plants you grow.
Fertilizers ratios are expressed in numbers of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. These are vital nutrients for strength, aerial storage, root development and plant health.
Just as humans require carbohydrates and proteins, the plants require and love the “organic NPK fertilizer” for survival. Additionally, plants use calcium, magnesium, sulphur for photosynthesis. They break down water and CO2 with the help of sunlight into hydrogen, oxygen, carbon which they turn into food. Other micronutrients required for plant growth are:
Based on these requirements, let’s some of organic fertilizers and methods of producing them. 
Compost Tea Recipe
- Fill a 5 -gallon bucket 1/3 of the way with good quality finished compost from the compost pile.
- Fill the bucket with water to a few inches from top.
- Allow the mixture to steep for 3 or 4 days.
- Stir the mixture often
- Strain the mixture with a porous fabric, and pour the remaining compost in the garden or sent back to the compost pile.
- Dilute the remaining liquid organic fertilizer to a ratio 10:1 of water to tea.
- Spray mixture over leaves with a sprayer.
Grass and Weed Fertilizer Recipe
- Fill 5-gallon bucket with 2/3 parts of fresh grass clippings.
- Top off with a few inches of water
- Allow mixture to sit for for 3 days at room temperature and stir the mixture at least once a day.
- Strain the liquid and dilute this liquid fertilizer with equal parts of water.
- Spray this rich nutrient content mixture over leaves for rapid growth.
Similar to grass fertilizers, weeds are also high in nitrogen. They easily grow below your feet and hence you need not grow them specially.
Horsetail, chickweed, Nettles, burdock, comfrey are some examples of weeds which form excellent homemade organic material to compost. The procedure of making an organic fertilizer using weeds is exactly the same as grass fertilizer.
Fish Tank Water Fertilizer Recipe
Used fish tank water contains excessive nitrogen which is favorable for plants. However, be careful of removing all new born fish from the water. Also, the contents should not come from a salt water tank.
- Apply dirty and untreated water from the fish tank on plants.
Vinegar Fertilizer Recipe
Vinegar and acetic acid works very well for plants which love acid. Use as a replacement for rose plant food or houseplant fertilizers. (Always test first)
- Mix 1-gallon water and 1 tablespoon white vinegar.
- Apply this mixture to your plants and repeat after every 3 months.
Fireplace Ash Fertilizer Recipe
Fireplace ash fertilizer is an excellent source of potassium and calcium carbonate. Use it as a replacement for lime.
The soil amendment uses fireplace ash applied to the soil by massaging or working it in or laying fertilizer on the soil bed. This fertilizer should not be use on acid loving plants when the soil is alkaline in nature.
Banana Peels and Coffee Grounds
These are two different fertilizers very easy to prepare.
Recipe #1 Banana Peels
- Banana peels contain potassium which is essential for plant growth. Roses love potassium.
- Simply throw the peels in a hole before planting or bury the peels under mulch for facilitating them to compost. This helps improve soil fertility resulting in bigger rose blooms.
Recipe #2 Coffee Grounds
- Tomatoes, blueberries and roses benefit from the nitrogen in coffee grounds.
- Liquid version of the coffee grounds or powder sprinkled on top of the ground helps the plants to grow well.
- Mix 6 cups of coffee grounds in 5 gallons of water.
- The mixture should settle down for 3 -4 days before applying to the soil.
- Composted manure of goat, chicken or horse and cattle is easily available with people who raise them.
- Use aged and composted manure for best results.
- Fill small, recyclable, permeable cloth bags with manure.
- This manure needs to steep for 3-4 days in a shaded area before it is applied to the soil before planting and the bag can be discarded or buried.
Making worm castings or worm tea is very easy. The recipe:
- Mix a handful of wriggler worms with kitchen scraps or cardboard scraps – aka compost.
- This mixture should steep for a week and then applied to your soil.
- Wash the eggshells.
- Crush them and work the crushed pieces into the soil especially near tomato or pepper plants.
- The calcium in eggs prevents rotting of roots.
- Eggshells contain calcium carbonate (93%).
- These can be used as a soil conditioner replacement for lime and work better on saving plants seeds.
Cat & Dog Food As Organic Fertilizer
Organic dog food can be recycled and used as a fertilizer. It contains proteins and micronutrients to benefit the soil.
- When you prepare the soil for planting, spread this composted pet food into the soil with water. The food decays naturally in few days.
- The food needs to be covered with a cardboard for keeping all animals including your pets from eating the food before it decomposes. For this the soil needs to be covered with cardboard and then a wet layer of mulch. The wet layer of cardboard and mulch prevents growth of weeds.
- The soil should be thoroughly watered for 3 to 4 weeks.
- Only care that needs to be taken is avoiding pet food which contains chemicals and sodium in high content (more than 3%), because this will be harmful for the plants.
Apart from these, molasses, seaweed, alfalfa plants, soybean meal, tomato fertilizers even human urine can serve as very good organic fertilizers when used for the plants which can benefit from these for a better produce and healthy produce.
John at GrowingYourGreens shares his pick of natural fertilizers that supersize plant growth in his backyard “organic farm” vegetable garden. John always has some great tips!
Best Fertilizers To SuperSize Plant Growth
Chemical fertilizers provide a “quick hit” for plants, however, with organic fertilizers you’re feeding the garden soil with a different kind of slow-release fertilizer.
Organic natural fertilizers do not always come in big 50 pound bags at the local garden center, some are hiding right inside your house.
Check out these natural fertilizer recipes via Home Grown Fun