Make fertilizer for the garden yourself

Homemade fertilizers do not cost anything and are sometimes a real alternative to purchased fertilizers. In any case, they are a good addition and an ideal soil improver – organic fertilizer.

If you make fertilizer for the garden yourself, there is actually only one downside: you cannot dose natural fertilizers exactly and you can only estimate their nutrient content. These fluctuate anyway depending on the starting material. But it is still worthwhile to make your own fertilizer: you get a natural fertilizer whose soil-improving properties are unbeatable, the natural fertilizers are sustainable, purely organic and after appropriate dilution with water, burns like mineral fertilizers are not to be feared.

If you want to give your plants the organic fertilizer as the sole food, you should always make sure that the plants – and this means especially the heavy feeders – do not show any deficiency symptoms. If there is an acute lack of nutrients, you can spray the plants with liquid fertilizer, which you can also make from liquid manure yourself. If that is still not enough, organic commercial fertilizers will step in.

Homemade fertilizers are particularly popular in the vegetable garden, after all they are 100 percent organic.

What homemade fertilizers are there?

  • compost
  • Coffee grounds
  • Banana peels
  • Horse manure
  • Manure, broths & teas
  • Compost water
  • Bokashi
  • urine

Homemade compost as fertilizer

Compost is the classic among natural fertilizers and rich in potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium – a real superfood for all plants in the garden. For weakly draining vegetables, frugal grasses or rock garden plants, compost is even sufficient as the sole fertilizer. If you fertilize very hungry plants with compost, you also need organic complete fertilizers from the trade, but can reduce their amount by almost half.

In addition, compost is a structurally stable permanent humus and therefore the purest wellness cure for every garden soil: compost loosens and aerates heavy clay soils and is generally food for earthworms and microorganisms of all kinds, without which nothing would run in the soil and without which the plants would grow poorly. Compost makes light sandy soils more substantial, so that they can hold water better and also no longer let the fertilizer rush unused into the groundwater.

Integrated into the soil, compost is a great starting fertilizer.

How do I fertilize with compost?

Compost is easily worked into the soil around the plants, about two to four scoops per square meter, depending on how hungry the plants are. Sufficient ornamental grasses or rock garden plants are enough for two, hungry vegetables like cabbage four shovels. The earth should ripen for at least half a year. Otherwise the salt concentration of the compost can be too high for herbaceous plants. You can mulch trees and shrubs with younger fresh compost.

How do I fertilize with coffee grounds?

It is often recommended to make banana and egg shells, ashes or coffee grounds yourself. There is basically nothing wrong with such kitchen waste fertilizers, it does no harm if you sprinkle coffee grounds around plants or incorporate them into the soil – after all, it contains a lot of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. But you would rather add banana peels, eggs or ashes from untreated wood as ingredients to the compost. A separate composting is not worthwhile.

Plants that prefer acidic soils in particular are happy with some coffee grounds as fertilizer.

Manure as natural fertilizer

With horse manure and other stable manure you can also make fertilizer yourself or it is already one from the start – but fresh it is only suitable as a fertilizer for robust plants such as fruit and berry trees and only if you distribute and undermine the manure in autumn . Horse manure – only the apples, not the straw – contains fiber as well as nutrients. An ideal source of humus. Horse manure as a fertilizer is relatively low in nutrients and its composition varies depending on the feeding of the animals, but the nutrient ratio is always relatively balanced and corresponds to an N-P-K ratio of 0.6-0.3-0.5. If you want to fertilize herbaceous plants with horse or cattle dung, you only let them work as manure compost for a year and then dig them under.

Composted horse manure turns dark brown and smells earthy. It is very suitable for green manuring and soil improvement in the vegetable garden.

Make liquid fertilizer for the garden yourself

Many plants can be used to produce liquid fertilizers or tonics, which – depending on the method of production – are then used either as liquid manure or broth, but also as tea or cold water extract. This is roughly comparable to vitamin preparations that are taken in winter to prevent colds. The basis of these extracts is always small chopped parts of the plant, which ferment for two to three weeks with liquid manure, soak for 24 hours with broths and then boil for 20 minutes and pour boiling water over teas and then steep for a quarter of an hour. For a cold water extraction, simply leave the water with the plant pieces for a few days. You can see from the way it is made that homemade liquid manure and broth are usually the most substantial.

Which plants are suitable for liquid manure etc.

In principle, all weeds that grow in the garden can be blown off. In our experience everyone has a certain effect as a fertilizer, but is not very effective.

Homemade horsetail manure or broths are mainly used to strengthen the plants.

On the other hand, proven tonics are horsetail, onions, yarrow and comfrey, which is also a useful source of potassium as a fertilizer:

– Field horsetail strengthens the plant cells and makes them more resistant to fungi.

– Onion yeast is also said to prevent fungi and confuse the carrot fly, since the intense smell for them overlaps that of the carrot.

– In addition to fungi, a cold water extract from yarrow should also deter sucking pests such as lice.

– As you know, tomato shoots smell – well, strictly. The scent is said to deter cabbage whites who want to lay their eggs on various cabbage crops.

– Even with stable manure you can fertilize liquid if you give it off – after a week or so you have a liquid complete fertilizer, which you apply as usual with liquid manure diluted with water.

– And of course nettles, which are a very effective nitrogen fertilizer as liquid manure.

Make fertilizer from nettles yourself

What a can of spinach is for Popeye is a load of nettle for the plants! You can easily make nettle yeast yourself, it contains a lot of nitrogen and plenty of minerals. Here’s how: You take a good kilo of fresh nettle shoots that shouldn’t be blooming yet. Let the leaves ferment in a mason bucket or an old laundry tub with ten liters of water. Place the bucket in a sunny location, which shouldn’t be right next to the terrace, as the foaming broth stinks. To alleviate the smell a little, add two tablespoons of stone flour to the jar that binds the scents. After a week or two, the broth stops foaming and becomes clear and dark.

Like all liquid manure, nettle liquid manure is applied diluted, otherwise sensitive roots could be damaged. You can water the plants with the 1:10 diluted liquid manure or spray them even further diluted as a fast-acting leaf fertilizer. The liquid manure is only a fertilizer, it does not work against aphids. The same goes for comfrey.

Nettles are very rich in nitrogen and minerals and are therefore particularly suitable for the production of liquid manure and broths.

Make your own compost water as fertilizer

Compost water also has a good effect as a fertilizer – in principle a cold water extract from the compost heap. Compost water also prevents fungal attack. How to make it: Put one or two scoops of ripe compost in a 10 liter bucket, fill it with water and let it stand for two days. This is enough to remove the quickly available nutrient salts from the compost. And voilà – you have a weakly concentrated liquid fertilizer for immediate use, which in contrast to normal compost works immediately. But only immediately, because unlike compost, compost water is not suitable for basic care.

Homemade compost water is also a good organic fertilizer.

Everything in the bucket: How to make fertilizer in the apartment yourself

You can also make fertilizer yourself in the apartment: with a worm box or a Bokashi bucket. So you either have a box in the apartment in which domestic earthworms use kitchen waste to make compost. Easy care and almost odorless. Or you can put up a Bokashi bucket. It looks like a trash can, but has a tap. Instead of earthworms, so-called Effective Microorganisms (EM) work in it that ferment the content in an air-tight manner – similar to the production of sauerkraut. In contrast to the bio bin, a Bokashi bucket does not cause any smell and can therefore even be in the kitchen. The tap is for dewatering the liquids produced during fermentation. Just hold a glass under it, you can pour the liquid immediately onto the house plants as fertilizer. After two to three weeks the fermentation (a bucket previously filled to the brim) is complete. The resulting mass is put on the garden compost, it cannot serve as fertilizer when raw. That is the only downside. In contrast to the worm box – the finished compost delivers – the Bokashi processes all kitchen waste, whether raw or cooked, including meat and fish.

In a Bokashi bucket, you can easily create high-quality compost and fertilizer with the help of effective microorganisms

Stale sparkling mineral water as fertilizer

Old mineral water is a supplier of trace elements, potassium or magnesium for indoor plants. Every now and then a shot does no harm, but the pH is usually high and therefore not suitable for regular use. The water should not contain too much chloride. Otherwise, this can make the potting soil of houseplants more salty when used regularly. This is not a problem with container plants, since salts are washed out of the pot by the rainwater.

Make urine fertilizer yourself?

Sounds disgusting, but is not so far-fetched: urine and the urea contained in it contains almost 50 percent nitrogen and also other main nutrients and trace elements. A rich bite for all plants, which should only be applied diluted due to the high salt concentration. That can be done – if there was not still a possible risk of contamination from medication or germs in urine. Therefore, urine is not an option as a regular do-it-yourself fertilizer.

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