Common Homemade Organic Fertilizers
- 1. Kitchen Composts. This is one of the most commonly used fertilizers and soil amendments in vegetable gardens nowadays. It’s easy to make (usually from items already found in the kitchen and around the yard) and can add beneficial microorganisms which significantly improve soil health. Ingredients that make great compost mix include air and water to help sustain bacteria responsible for decomposing organic matter, dry “brown” materials like straws, dead leaves, and other dried yard materials which are rich in carbon, and wet “green” materials like grass clippings and other fresh garden matter which are rich in nitrogen.
- 2. Vermi-composting. This refers to the farming of worms as a means to collect their castings to be used as top dressing or fertilizers. While earthworms are known to be important for healthy soil since they help in soil aeration by wiggling around it, their best quality is actually their poo or castings which offers valuable nutrients to the soil and contains beneficial microorganisms essential for breaking down organic matter into a form that plant roots can absorb.
- 3. Compost teas. Compost teas are generally made from steeping compost. The liquid left from the steeping process is often strained then utilized to water plants which can provide them a booster drink loaded with vital nutrients and minerals.
- 4. Fish and seaweed emulsions. Fish and kelp fertilizers are another great means to quickly enrich the soil with nutrients to provide your vegetables a good feeding. These organic fertilizers typically come in a liquid form and are mixed with water. They are used in watering plants to allow the nutrients to be taken in through their leaves.
- 5. Herbivore manures. Manures from grass-fed animals like rabbits, cows, and horses make excellent fertilizers. These are often mixed with straws or hays and then set out to compost for at least nine months before being used. Avoid applying fresh manures to the garden as it will not only cause a stink but may burn the plants too!