Dre Campbell Farm
29 Organic and Homemade Fertilizers for Plants

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29 Natural and Homemade Fertilizers for Plants

Containing a moderate amount of essential nutrients plants need to grow, natural fertilizers help improve the soil. They support plant growth naturally, allowing your crops to flourish.

Below are examples of natural and homemade plant fertilizers.

1. Manure

Most manure used on a farm comes from animal feces and urine [1]. They come from animals such as cows, rabbits, chickens, sheep, and horses. These fertilizers are great sources of vital plant nutrients.

Farmers mainly use cow manure on tomato plants because it acts as a balanced organic fertilizer. Poultry manure is also great for squash, cucumbers, peppers, and leafy greens.

However, always use aged manure, as fresh manure can burn plants.

2. Earthworm Castings

A variety of essential plant nutrients you’re going to want for your garden can be found in earthworm castings. They are also mild, so you can use them on flowers, cannabis, vegetables, houseplants, seedlings, and more.

3. Kelp

Kelp meal contains a good amount of macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium). Besides, it is easy to apply. So, it’s bound to give any gardener a much-needed helping hand.

4. Organic Mulch

Mulch is any material placed on the soil surface to cover it. Organic mulch adds nutrients to the soil.

Bury sawdust, plant leaves, pine needles, or even grass clippings under a layer of topsoil and let them decompose. Organic mulches also help retain soil moisture.

5. Compost 

Compost is an excellent soil amendment for vegetable gardens. It is composed of kitchen scraps from plants, grass trimmings, coffee grounds, and other organic materials.

It is very versatile. You can use it as an organic soil conditioner for your garden. You can even make compost tea and use it as a foliar spray.

Make compost by filling a bucket with kitchen and yard scraps and mixing it up.

6. Shell Meal

Shellfish meal is made from the crushed shells of crabs, shrimp, or lobsters. It contains calcium, phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, and other nutrients that benefit your plants.

7. Bat Guano

Bat guano contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This organic fertilizer is great for seedlings as well as for feeding the lawn, houseplants, flowers, and ornamentals.

Use it at any time of the year as a top dress. Moreover, you can dilute it and make a ‘tea’ to use as a foliar spray. However, use it carefully and according to the package instructions.

8. Fish Bone Meal

Fishbone meal is made from dehydrated fish bones containing phosphorus, calcium, and a little bit of nitrogen. It’s great for flowering plants.

9. Egg Shells

Eggshells are rich in calcium carbonate [2]. This means that you can use it as a fertilizer for certain plants. They decompose slowly, but they work faster if you grind them up.

Tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers will enjoy some eggshell fertilizer.

10. Vinegar

Plants that like vinegar include rhododendrons, azaleas, hydrangeas, and gardenias.

Simply mix one cup of household vinegar with a gallon of water and use it to water these plants. Give them a dose once every three months.

A low pH can be harmful to plants that thrive in highly acidic soil. Just be sure to test your soil before altering the pH.

11. Epsom Salt

Epsom salt contains magnesium, which is an important nutrient for plant growth.

Onions, broccoli, and cabbages will all benefit from the use of Epsom salt. Besides, peppers, tomatoes, and roses will blossom and grow stronger when fertilized with Epsom salt.

Use it in a solution of 2 tablespoons dissolved in 1 gallon of water to replace depleted levels of magnesium in the soil.

12. Bone Meal

As the name implies, bone meal is finely ground bone that comes from slaughterhouses. It is an amazing source of calcium and phosphorus.

So, you can use it for bulbs, flowers, and fruiting trees. It helps establish a strong root system.

13. Rock Phosphate

Rock phosphate contains generous amounts of calcium and phosphorus. It works great on vegetables, flowers, trees, and shrubs.

14. Greensand

Greensand is a popular type of mineral from the seabed.

It is heavily rich in glauconite, which is high in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and iron. All these nutrients are good for plants.

15. Alfalfa Meal

Alfalfa meal is normally a major part of livestock diets. However, grinding it up results in a fertilizer mixture containing the three key macronutrients (NPK).

It also contains other nutrients.

16. Cottonseed Meal

Cottonseed meal contains nitrogen, phosphorus, potash, and other plant food elements. It is great for conditioning the soil and improving its structure.

17. Soybean Meal

As a slow-release fertilizer, soybean meal releases a good amount of nitrogen and potassium into the soil as it breaks down.

18. Feather Meal

Feather meal is another slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. For best results, apply it to the soil well in advance. It works great on tomatoes and corn.

19. Seabird Guano

This is a unique fertilizer gathered from islands that are home to seabirds. Seabird guano is good for most indoor and outdoor flowering plants.

Strawberries, melons, and other plants with large blooms love it.

20. Seaweed

Seaweed fertilizer contains potassium, zinc, iron, and small amounts of other nutrients. It is a great crop fertilizer.

Flowering plants that like seaweed fertilizer include geraniums, camellias, roses, and gardenias.

21. Grass Clippings

You can get grass clippings for free as long as you own a lawnmower and use it. However, avoid cuttings from herbicide-treated lawns.

Grass clippings contain some nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.

To use grass clippings as fertilizer, place the clippings in a bucket of water and allow them to steep for a few days. Afterward, strain and use the solution to water your plants.

22. Ag Lime

Agricultural lime adds calcium and magnesium to the soil. It also improves soil pH and neutralizes the acidity of the soil.

Plants that benefit from lime include peas, spinach, parsnips, onions, and apple trees. Be sure to test your soil before using it.

23. Wood Ash

Ashes from the fire pit can be used as a great organic soil amendment.

Plants that benefit from wood ashes include lettuce, parsnips, garlic, chives, carrots, and asparagus. It also helps keep away pests like slugs, snails, and ants.

24. Coffee Grounds

Used coffee grounds help improve soil fertility and entice earthworms. It contains several nutrients needed for plant health.

It also works great in compost and can be added to it to make nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

Sprinkle your used coffee grounds around the base of acid-loving plants. For best results, mix it with crushed eggshells.

25. Green Tea

Green tea leaves act as manure. It benefits the overall health of a plant when added to the soil. Just sprinkle it on top of the soil around your plants.

Alternatively, make a DIY liquid fertilizer by soaking a few used green tea bags in water for 24 hours. Afterward, use it to water your plant beds and houseplants.

Plants that like tea leaves include berry bushes, ferns, African violets, jade plants, and hydrangeas.

26. Molasses 

People have been using molasses in gardening practices for years. However, different molasses types have different nutrient contents.

Blackstrap molasses has the most sulfur, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium and gives plants a power boost when applied.

To make homemade plant fertilizer using molasses, combine 3 tablespoons of dry molasses with 1 gallon of warm water. Use it to spray on plant leaves or pour around plant roots.

Unsulphured blackstrap molasses can also be added to fertilizer mixes.

27. Urine 

You read that right! It’s been proven that urine from a healthy person can be used as a highly clean and beneficial agricultural fertilizer [3].

Urine is about 95% water and contains nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. These nutrients are extremely beneficial to growing plants.

If you’re a little squeamish, it’s okay; there are plenty of other healthy plant fertilizer options on this list.

28. Gypsum

Gypsum is an excellent source of calcium and sulfur. Both of these are important elements for improving crop yield and plant growth. It also helps prevent erosion.

29. Azomite

Azomite is a natural mineral substance that you can use as a soil amendment to improve plant growth and yields. It is mined from volcanic deposits at a source in Utah, USA.

Takeaway

As most of these are slow-release, the timing of when you use them is not as important as it is with inorganic fertilizers.

As with all the foods we eat, organic is best. Therefore, nourish your plants as you would your body.

Sasha Brown

Sasha Brown is a blogger and lover of all things natural.

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