How To Make Your Own Garden Fertilizer For Free - Backyard Boss
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How To Make Your Own Garden Fertilizer For Free

If your garden looks like it needs your personal touch, DIY fertilizer is the way to go. For a beautiful and lush garden, well-fertilized soil is very important. Since gardens need to be fertilized every season, it can become financially cumbersome to get the exact amount and type of fertilizer your garden needs to survive. Not to mention, if you move to a different place, you may or may not find the fertilizer you used before you moved to that place. The availability of fertilizer, the size of your new garden, and the convenience of purchasing all play a huge role in making sure your garden’s needs are fulfilled every season.

Let’s also not forget that, over time, buying organic fertilizers can be an expensive endeavor. We might not realize it now, but making your garden fertilizer for free can set us up for life! Did you know that in 2020, on average, US farmers spent $24.4 billion on fertilizers, lime, and soil conditions? Let’s also not forget that homemade DIY fertilizers are organic and chemical-free, which means they’re great for the environment. With a DIY fertilizer, you wouldn’t need to worry about hidden ingredients and wouldn’t need to rely on external factors to help your garden.

Lastly, you can easily adjust the nutrient you know your soil’s lacking in your fertilizer after carrying out a soil test. You can either get professional help or DIY with household items.

What You Will Need to Make Your Own DIY Fertilizer

homemade fertilizer made from kitchen waste
Image credits: topthailand via Canva

There are a few different types of fertilizers that you can make at home. The most popular ones are compost tea fertilizer, coffee ground fertilizer, ash fertilizer, Epsom salt fertilizer, eggshell fertilizer, and banana peel fertilizer. Each of them requires different things, which we will list below.

Compost Tea Fertilizer

Compost contains pretty much every nutrient needed by plants. Moreover, it can suppress weeds. Not to mention that compost tea can be used as a liquid fertilizer too, and the leaves can easily take it in if sprayed with it.

  • A few handfuls of compost
  • A five-gallon bucket of water

Coffee Ground Fertilizer

Coffee grounds contain a lot of nitrogen – one of the most important nutrients for plants.

  • Used ground coffee
  • Coffee Filter
  • Watering can

Ash Fertilizer

Ash contains calcium carbonate and potassium and is an ideal substitute for lime. However, beware of the acid-loving plants in your garden and make sure that you don’t use this fertilizer in alkaline soil.

  • Wood or coal ash from a furnace or a stove

Epsom Salt Fertilizer

Epsom salt is the compound of magnesium sulfate. This makes it ideal for fruit and flowers. It is best used for tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.

  • Epsom Salts
  • Watering can

Eggshell Fertilizer

eggshells in plant
Image credit: ThamKC via Canva

Eggshells contain a lot of calcium and phosphorus, which are responsible for the strength of the cells and the growth of the roots. It’s best to use them for root vegetables.

  • Some eggshells
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Microwave

Banana Peel Fertilizer

Banana peels are an amazing source of potassium, which plays a role in reproduction and immunity to disease and pests. All you need is:

  • Banana peels
  • A blender
  • Watering can

All of these are extremely easy to prepare and are usually things that you have at home and are not difficult to find or expensive to buy. They’re eco-friendly and cause no harm to anyone!

How to Make DIY Fertilizer

homemade organic fertilizer at the garden
Image credits: moxumbic via Canva

Compost Tea Fertilizer

  1. Get some compost, wrap it up in an old shirt or rag, then tie it up.
  2. Put the “teabag” that you made into a bucket of water for a few days.
  3. Remove the bundle after the time has passed.
  4. Water the plants with the liquid

This fertilizer can be used every 14 to 30 days.

Coffee Ground Fertilizer

  1. Take out the coffee grounds and either wrap them in a rag or use the filter as one.
  2. Drop the wrapped grounds into a bucket with a gallon of water.
  3. Wait for an hour or two.
  4. Water your plants with the liquid

Pro Tip: If you do not want to wait and do all that, just use the grounds as a top dressing by piling them up close to your plants. Also, keep in mind that tomatoes, clover, and alfalfa aren’t that into coffee grounds!

Ash Fertilizer

  1. Scoop up all the ashes from a furnace or a fireplace.
  2. Put a layer that is about 2 inches thick on top of the flower bed.
  3. Work it in with your hands, a rake, or a shovel.

Pro Tip: Use 9kg of wood ash per 1,000 sq ft. of soil. Remember to spread the ashes evenly as a concentration of ash can cause a buildup of salt that can burn plants. You can sprinkle ash upon each layer of compost you add to your soil.

Epsom Salt Fertilizer

  1. Dissolve some Epsom salt in water. The best ratio is one tablespoon for each gallon of water.
  2. Water your plants with the solution.

Pro Tip: You can use Epsom salt as a solid fertilizer as well. All you have to do is sprinkle a ring around the stem of the plant. However, you need to make sure that there’s at least 4-5 inches distance between the salt and the stem because otherwise, the salt can burn the stems and roots of your plants.

Eggshell Fertilizer

  1. Rinse the shells with warm running water and remove any remaining residue.
  2. Put the shells in the microwave. Make sure you don’t put more than six in it.
  3. Microwave the shells for a minute to make sure they are dehydrated.
  4. Use the mortar and pestle to make a powder out of the now dry eggshells.
  5. Top dress with the powder around the plants or mix it with water and water them.

Pro Tip: Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants love eggshell fertilizers, and plants like broccoli, cauliflower, swiss chard, spinach and amaranthus will benefit from the calcium in eggshell fertilizers. Eggshell fertilizers can be repeated

Banana Peel Fertilizer

Banana peel on ground
Image credits: Alexas_Fotos via Pixabay
  1. Heat the banana peels in the microwave. Do it in intervals of 30-50 seconds until they have dried off.
  2. Check if they have dried properly by flexing them. If they break – they are ready. If not, do another round in the microwave.
  3. Put the dried peels in the blender and pulse them into powder.
  4. If you want a liquid fertilizer, mix the powder with water and water your plants. If you want a solid fertilizer, apply it to the soil next to your plants.

There is also another way of producing banana peel DIY fertilizer. It is a little more time-consuming but just as effective. Here’s how:

  1. Depending on how many bananas peels you have, take a bucket.
  2. Fill it up with banana peels almost to the brim.
  3. Add water to cover the banana peels. Make sure to cover all the peels with water, otherwise, the molding will ruin the process.
  4. Leave in direct sunlight for about a week.
  5. After the time has passed, you will see that the water now looks a little like tea.
  6. Add water four times the amount of the fertilizer, then water your plants.

Pro Tip: Make sure that all the stamps and stickers have been removed from the banana peels since they could be very harmful to your garden. You can give your plants “banana tea,” which is option #2, once a week.

In Summary

Hopefully, this tutorial was helpful to you, and you have gained some more inspiration about how to make your own DIY fertilizer at home. It is not only very beneficial for our environment, but it also helps us save money. DIY fertilizers are easy to make, and you wouldn’t need to rely on external sources to keep your garden happy.

Let us know what you think in the comment section below and don’t forget to share the article if you liked it!