My list of a few favorite garden hacks that will save you time and money
Organic fertilizer is great for your plants. Using organic fertilizer can help ensure a healthy environment for you and your plants. Unfortunately it can be expensive. The solution is to use one or all of these DIY organic fertilizers from ordinary things
There are lots of thing that you use in your everyday life that will make great organic fertilizer
Tea Bags as fertilizers
So many people love to start their day with a nice cp of tea. So tea bags would be a great DIY fertilizers. But what do you do with the tea bags?
Will there are a few ways that your old tea bags can benefit the garden.
Tea has a great balance of micro nutrients that can benefit most plants.
Most important is that tea contains Tannic Acid which has been shown to immobilize some metals like aluminum that find their way into soil and water. This will play a major part on keeping the roots safe from these metals.
The PH of tea is low, in the 5.4 – 5.6 range. This will help balance your soil if it is a bit higher then the 7.0 range that most plants like.
Learn more at “compost tea for organic gardens”
To use as organic fertilizer
Sprinkle used tea leaves around the soil of your plant, staying a couple of inches from the base. Do this once a month or on your regular fertilizing schedule.
Put your used tea bags into your compost bin. They will add great micro nutrients.
Please note that some tea bags contain a small amount of plastic, check with the brand you like to find out if they do. Even if they use plastic you can still empty the contains of the tea bag into the compost pile the discard the bag.
For more in-depth information about tea bags please read “The amazing tea bag”
Cats hate tea! so sprinkling tea around your plants can help keep gas from invading your planters or garden.
DIY organic fertilizers from ordinary things: coffee grinds
I love coffee! I use an empty coffee can to store my used grounds. It usually takes me less than a week to fill the can up. When the can is full I dump it into my compost bin. This maybe the easiest of the DIY organic fertilizers for ordinary things.
Coffee is considered a “green” in your compost bin because it is high in nitrogen, almost 2%. Just like tea, coffee contains lots of needed micro nutrients like magnesium, calcium and potassium.
Brewed coffee grounds are typical PH neutral so they will not effect the PH in your soil. Un brewed coffee is acidic, so only use un brewed coffee on acid loving plants.
To use as fertilizers
You can add coffee sprinkled directly around your plants. Beware that too much or too thick a layer directly on the soil can slow any water getting to your plants. So for direct applying, over mulch or other dryer materials works best.
Add coffee to your compost pile. Worms love coffee! So in addition to the nutrients that you are adding, you are making your worms very happy!
Worms love coffee but pest like snails and slugs don’t, so coffee can act as a natural pest control
Egg shells as an organic fertilizers
Eggs shells are a wonderful addition to any organic garden. These shells are certainly an ordinary thing that makes a great organic fertilizer. But you have to use egg shell right or you will miss out on all that nutrition.
The shell are typically very high in calcium carbonate, about 95%, with a lot of phosphorus and magnesium, about 3% of each. Shells also contain trace elements like iron and copper.
The problem can come into play when you discover that the egg shell doesn’t break down in the garden or the compost bin as fast as most other things. Because of this, adding egg shells whole or crushed to your compost bin or garden does not do allow the release of all that good stuff. You have to release the nutrients from the shell in another way.
The only easy way to get the nutrients from the shell to your garden is dry and gird them up. This is not easiest of the DIY organic fertilizers for ordinary things but it is great for your plants. It is also the best way not to waste the nutrients in egg shells.
How to use ground up egg shells as fertilizers
It is easy to make egg shell powder.
- Rinse the shells with water
- place them in a baking pan or cookie sheet
- place them in a oven at no higher than 300 degrees. *180 degrees of just a few seconds will kill any salmonella.
- when they are dried take them out to cool
- grid them in a coffee grinder or food processor
The egg shell powered will store well in a mason jar or add it directly to your compost pile or garden.
Bonus…or maybe not…
Lots of people believe that you can put crushed up egg shells around your plants for two benefits :
1. release nutrients …we now know that’s not true.
2. the sharp shell pieces will stop slugs and snail from getting to your plants…there is a lot of great research that disproves that theory too. So the bottom line is egg shell are a great fertilizer but only if you take a little time to make them plant friendly
DIY organic fertilizers from ordinary Bananas
Bananas are another ordinary thing that can make a great organic fertilizer.
The banana peel contains a lot of potassium, a vital nutrient to promote health stems, flowers and fruit. They also contain a lot of calcium which is important to help prevent end rot in tomatoes.
To use as an organic fertilizers
you can just throw your peels into your compost pile
you can put the peels into a container of water for about a week. Then use the water to as part of your normal watering process
My favorite….put the peels in the blender with enough water to cover then liquify them. Use the liquid banana peels as a quick boost to your flowering fruits and vegetables.
Ordinary Aquarium Water as an Organic fertilizers
Using aquarium water is one of the best and easiest ways to keep your plants happy. This is an easy DIY organic fertilizers for ordinary things if you have a fish tank.
I love aquaponics. You don’t need a whole aquaponic system to enjoy the benefits of the science. You just need a fish tank….and fish!
Fish poop water has most of the nutrients that any plant needs to be happy. The water is very high in nitrogen so your green leafy plants will like it best. This high level of nitrogen is the reason why you often see algae growing on tank walls.
To use fish water
simply water your plants with the old fish water when you change you tank water.
add a cup or so of fish water to your plant water every week
or hand you plants over the top of the tank allowing the roots to be submerged
It is just that easy!
I have written a lot about how to use aquaponics at home. Please read “How to grow the Best plants with fish”
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