After winter, plants need an extra helping of nutrients. A very special fertilizer has almost been forgotten: Even our ancestors fertilized with blood and bones. Obsolete practice or forgotten miracle fertilizer? We clarify!
The idea of pouring a beaker of blood under the roses or tomatoes quickly meets with resistance. That is understandable, but it deprives yourself and your plants of a highly nutrient-rich fertilizer that is particularly well absorbed by roses, tomatoes and berries.
Blood as fertilizer
If you take a closer look at the chemical composition of blood, it becomes clear that it is an excellent fertilizer. Blood contains 12% nitrogen compounds, 80% proteins and many trace elements. This makes it an effective fertilizer, especially for strawberries, raspberries and roses.
Blood for fertilization is available as a powder under the name of blood meal, but there are also liquid fertilizers with added blood. Animal blood that is obtained from slaughter is used for production. In zoo supplies there is also pure blood to buy in liquid form or as blood meal, which is also suitable for use as fertilizer.
As a liquid fertilizer, pure blood is diluted in equal parts with water; for industrially produced fertilizers with blood, it is best to follow the recommendations on the packaging. This mixture is used to water the plants directly at the roots. Blood meal in powder form, on the other hand, has to be worked into the soil like coffee grounds. Blood is broken down particularly quickly by the soil organisms and the nutrients are made available in the soil, where they can be processed directly by the plants. In addition, as a fertilizer, the blood attracts other micro-organisms, which improves the quality of the soil in the long term.
Steak for the beefsteak tomatoes
If you can’t see blood or are afraid to water your plants with blood, you can simply bury a piece of meat at the roots of the plants every few months. Meat is also rich in nitrogen compounds and thus ensures rapid and vigorous plant growth. Kitchen waste is a particularly good option here!
Bone meal as a nitrogen supplier
Bone meal also scores with high levels of nitrogen. It consists of ground animal bones and, like blood meal, is a by-product of meat production. Bone meal is already ground in specialist shops and is incorporated into the soil like blood meal. Alternatively, horn shavings are offered in stores, which are also incorporated into the soil.
If these fertilization methods are too brutal for you, you will find support in the plant kingdom: Roses in particular are happy about banana peels, which are cut into small pieces and worked directly into the soil. Banana peels are a good alternative if you want to avoid mineral fertilizers. You can also dry the chopped shells and stock them up. So you always have a highly effective rose fertilizer at hand!
You cook a banana liquid fertilizer by boiling 100 grams of fresh, crushed banana peel with 1 liter of water and letting the mixture steep overnight. The next day, strain off the peel pieces and mix the liquid fertilizer with water. As a rule of thumb: about 1 part banana fertilizer to 5 parts water.
Important: Be sure to use organic bananas! Conventionally grown bananas are often heavily contaminated with pollutants that would migrate into the soil. Organic bananas, on the other hand, are only treated with natural ingredients.
Not for sensitive noses: nettle manure
The following household remedy doesn’t smell quite as good: Nettle manure is a tried and tested fertilizer and is easy to use even for new gardeners. Stinging nettles store a lot of silica, potassium and nitrogen compounds and release them to the soil. So that the valuable substances are better broken down by the microorganisms and are available for the plants faster, nettle manure is used.
Nettle manure – the recipe
Use 1 kg of fresh nettles for every 10 liters of water. Chop them up thoroughly and put them in a sufficiently large container, then fill up with the water and stir well. Make sure that the plants are completely covered with water!
The liquid manure is then allowed to ferment for 10 to 14 days. Cover the container so that it is permeable to air during this time. Caution: The nettle manure does not have its name for nothing! A handful of rock flour, clay or compost will soften the smell.
As soon as no more bubbles rise, the liquid manure is ready and can be used! To do this, sieve off the plant remains and dilute the nettle manure with 10 parts of water to 1 part of manure. Cucumbers and tomatoes in particular react positively to a nettle treatment!
Tip: Sprayed on the leaves in this dilution, the liquid manure mixture also drives pests out of the garden!
Whether blood or bones, nettles or bananas: These fertilization methods have been tried and tested and have a specific reason: They work and reliably ensure magnificent flowers and rich harvests. So it’s worth getting over the disgust!