Liquid fertilizers can be a really effective way of giving plants an immediate boost. This can be useful in situations such as fruiting plants going to flower. In this instance, with a liquid fertilizer, gardeners can make sure crops are getting an extra dose of nutrients right when they need it. Or, for example, when fresh garden beds are made and they need a fertility jumpstart, liquid fertilizers get right to work.
The amazing thing about this is that we can make our own liquid fertilizers out of household waste. There’s no need to put chemicals on our crops, and there is no need to go out and drop a bomb on USDA-certified organic products. All we need to do is get a little more in tune with our household waste, and, from nitrogen to micronutrients, all that we need for a healthy, productive garden is already there.
Coffee is a popular morning time beverage, and making it at home saves us money, both in terms of the beverage itself and giving our plants a bit of nitrogen. Coffee is really rich in nutrients. And, while the beverage is highly acidic, after the first brew, which we drink, that acidity level is mostly gone. The grounds can be used to make a second, weaker pot to use as a liquid fertilizer for plants.
It’s easy and cheap enough to switch to organic bananas, and it’s definitely worth it for the garden. Bananas are loaded with minerals, and while most of the time we think of this for the fruit, the skins are doubly loaded. Banana peels can be soaked in water for a couple of days and used to make an infused water to give to the plants. This is particularly good for those plants in need of potassium.
When there is a fireplace in the house, we inevitably will have to clean it. For those who use real firewood, rather than the chemically compressed stuff from supermarkets, the wood ash is great for the garden. While many gardeners simply sprinkle it over the soil, the ash can be put into a mesh bag and steeped in water for a couple of days to make a good liquid fertilizer. This is especially good for flowering tomato plants.
For those into composting (and kudos to you), a clever way to get double duty out of the compost bucket is to harvest its compost-y juice before adding it to the compost bin. Most of us have an intermediary compost container in the house that we fill before taking it out to the bin. Before going, get some of the somewhat-fermented liquid from the compost container, water it down, and put it on the plants. Of course, this one requires being careful about what goes in the compost — salty, oily foods aren’t going to work here.
A tea can also be made from the finished compost itself by putting some in a mesh bag and soaking it in a bucket of water for a couple of days.
Freshly cut grass is high in nitrogen, so it can be used to make a nitrogen-rich liquid fertilizer for the garden. Just collect a good bunch of cut grass and stick it in a bucket of water for a few days. Strain away the grass and dilute the mixture a little with equal parts of fresh water (harvested rainwater would be best). This will give things a boost of nitrogen and phosphorus.
Fish Tank Water
For those who have fish tanks, the poopy water from them is a great source of nutrients for garden plants. Next time an aquarium cleaning is taking place, put the water aside to be diluted and used as a liquid fertilizer. When attempting this, it’s important to be aware of any chemicals that have been added to the tank water. If it’s been treated with non-organic stuff, it might be better not to use it on the garden.
Using a combination of these simple, homemade liquid fertilizers is a great way to save money and make our gardens burst. We can naturally cycle nutrients instead of throwing them away. The garden will benefit from it, and we’ll in turn benefit from our gardens.
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