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Organic gardening and the consumption of organic produce has never been more important or on-trend.
In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint and boost your overall health, organic gardening and farming sit at the center of it all. It may sound complicated or like too much extra effort, but organic gardening is all about embracing the full life-cycle of all ingredients.
If you want to learn more about this type of gardening and how to make your own organic fertilizers, this is the blog for you.
What Is Organic Gardening?
For a number of years, chemical fertilizers have been used to supply additional nourishment to the plants we grow and eat. These key plant nutrients include nitrogen, potash, and phosphorous content.
But many chemical fertilizers still used today contain an excessive amount of these nutrients, as well as other minerals. More than what most plants actually need.
This causes a major pollution risk as the excess fertilizer is washed away by rain and irrigation into our water sources. This poses a health risk for both humans and animals.
Organic gardening seeks to nourish plants in the most natural way possible, using organic, plant-based material.
When it comes to powering plants, natural fertilizer is actually far more efficient than anything manmade. Organic fertilizer essentially ”beefs up” your soil by adding humus, structure, and various minerals back into the soil.
Essentially, it helps to nourish the soil and make it far more effective at growing.
Power Your Plants With These 6 Organic Fertilizers
Not all household or naturally-occurring ingredients are healthy for your garden, such as Epsom salt for plants. But, for the most part, making your own organic fertilizer is as easy as collecting kitchen scraps.
Here are some of the best organic fertilizers to start using:
If you’re an avid gardener, you’re probably no stranger to compost. This is one of the best natural fertilizers for any garden, and it doubles as a robust soil builder, too.
Compost is ideal for vegetable patches, flower, and perennial gardens. It’s packed with a plethora of nutrients and minerals and helps to encourage growth fairly quickly.
Compost can even be used around the base of trees, shrubs, and bushes to encourage growth. It doubles as a form of mulch to provide plants with energy. It keeps weeds at bay, helps to retain plant moisture and feeds nutrients directly into the soil — what more could you want from a fertilizer?
2. Worm Castings
This yet another incredible source of nutrition for plants. Worms create the ultimate environment within your soil which encourages plant growth, as well as healthy growing soil.
As they chew through your soil, they leave behind droppings, also known as castings. Essentially, worm castings add power to your soil and supercharge the growth of plants.
All you need to do is add a quarter-cup of casting per plant hole. This encourages a slow release of nutrients and minerals to your flowers and vegetables.
3. Spent Coffee Grounds
Don’t make the mistake of throwing out your coffee grounds each morning! Instead, empty them into a small container and use them to beautifully fertilize your garden.
Coffee grounds are one of the most effective organic fertilizers you can get. This is because coffee contains nitrogen and other important minerals that power your plants and build healthy soil.
Coffee grounds can be used to fertilize the beds of vegetables, perennial, and annual flowers. Simply work your spent coffee grounds into your planting, or spread them around the base of your plants and watch them grow.
4. Animal Manure
While animal manure from chickens, cows, rabbits, or horses is not always easy to come by, it doesn’t get more natural or full-circle than this. The manure from these animals adds amazing vitality to your soil and is a healthy go-to for plant growth.
This being said, manure must be used in the right way to reap the benefits. It can be used to work into your soil to build-up its health and vitality for the long-term benefit of your plants.
But don’t use it around the base of fresh plants. This is because manure is so packed with nutrients that it can actually overpower certain plants. However, if you let the manure age and dry out, the nutrients tend to stabilize.
You can also mix fresh manure with water to create a liquid form of fertilizer. But be sure to use in limited amounts, aimed at the root zone of plants, and not the foliage.
5. Garden Weeds
This is another form of full-circle, organic fertilizer than can be used to power your garden and build healthy soil. Garden weeds and grass clippings make an excellent form of fertilizer as they hold all the right minerals and high levels of nitrogen.
But what’s important about using garden weeds as fertilizer is that you don’t want to spread seeds and sprout new weeds throughout your garden. The solution to this is to make a garden weed tea.
You’ll need a 5-gallon bucket, fill it a 1/4 full with the weeds. Then fill the bucket up with water and allow the weeds to soak for approximately 10 days.
Once the water is brown — it should look like tea — it can be used to fertilize your garden.
6. Kitchen Scraps
Just the same as your spent coffee grounds, kitchen scraps shouldn’t go to waste. This includes things like onion peels, potato skins, vegetable cut-offs, old salad leaves, and eggshells. Instead of throwing it in the rubbish, collect your kitchen scraps for fertilizer.
You can make your own compost with these kitchen scraps which help to power your garden with naturally-occurring nutrients and minerals. This type of compost releases slowly, which means you only need to fertilize your garden once or twice a year!
Compost also traps in moisture, so it’s especially effective in the summer months for vegetable gardens. Eggshells are an important component of homemade compost. They are comprised of 93% calcium carbonate, which is just a fancy term for ”lime”, and they can do wonders for the health of your soil.
Get Your Health and Fitness Fix Here
Organic fertilizers are simple to make and can truly transform the health of your garden and the produce you eat. You can also make a profound environmental impact by reducing your use of manmade, harmful fertilizers.
If you’re looking for more on how to transform your health and fitness or home DIY hacks, be sure to explore the rest of this website for more helpful tips.