A Complete Guide to Using Natural Fertilizer in Your Garden

There is no denying that you should use natural fertilizer in your garden and farm. There are many benefits of using natural fertilizer such as: growing organic produce, protecting the environment, minimizing the crop producing etc. If you also also want to use natural fertilizer in your garden, here is a complete guide to using natural fertilizer in your garden and farm.

ALFALFA MEAL

NPK content: 3-2-2

Alfalfa as a garden fertilizer is used to increase organic matter in the soil. It is a rapid decomposer. It is also an excellent and effective soil conditioner. Alfalfa’s high amounts of carbohydrates and protein encourages beneficial soil microbes and earthworms to quickly breakdown the nutrients and make them available for use by the plants.

HOW TO MAKE IT:

    Chop alfalfa and dry

    Crush dry alfalfa

    To make an alfalfa meal tea:

     Brew by putting a cup of meal into a 5 gallon bucket of water

     Let it sit for at least 1 week

     Spray in your garden

APPLICATION:

Apply in the soil while preparing the soil for planting or during the growing stage. For every 100 square meters of land, apply 6 kg of this natural fertilizer.

BENEFITS:

    Good source of minerals such as Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Sulfur, Magnesium, Boron, Iron and Zinc

    It builds organic matter

    It feeds microorganism in your soil. Alfalfa has almost perfect balance of carbon to nitrogen (24:1).

    It stimulates growth of plant roots and enhances photosynthesis. Alfalfa contains triacontanol, a hormone which stimulates plant roots growth.

    It serves as nitrogen fixer.

    If included in your compost, it will decompose fast which can help speed-up your composting process.

    Control nematodes

    The best cover crop in your garden or farm

AQUARIUM OR FISH POND WATER

Did you know you can also use your aquarium water as natural fertilizer? The aquarium water has a lot of fish poop, traces of fish foods and good microbes. Aquarium water has a good amount of NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphprous, Potassium) as well as iron, zinc, calcium etc.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

    This is easy. Just let your fish do the work for you.

APPLICATION:

Use the water in your aquarium to feed your plants.

BENEFITS:

    Aquarium water contains beneficial bacteria as well as potassium phosphorus, nitrogen and trace nutrients that will promote lush, healthy plants.

CAUTION:

If you are using salt water in your aquarium, DON’T USE IT ON YOUR PLANT.

BANANA PEEL

Banana is rich in potassium and other minerals needed by our plants. It has 358 mg of Potassium, 27 mg of Magnesium, 22 mg of Phosphorus, and other minor minerals.

HOW TO MAKE BANANA PEEL FERTILIZER

Banana Peel Tea

    Fill a jar with water

    Add a couple of banana leaves

    Let it sit for 48 hours

    After 48 hours, discard the peel

    Use the banana tea to water your plants especially those that need potassium

Banana Peel Before Planting

    Chop banana peels into small pieces

    Bury the peels at least 5 inches

    Plant your seedlings

Banana Compost

    Add your banana peel in your compost pile

BAT MANURE

Bat manure is rich with nutrients necessry for plants. The ratio of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium is 10:3:1.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

Bat dung can be obtained from caves or any place where there are many bats.

    Steep in water the bat manure overnight and then it’s ready for to water your plants.

APPLICATION:

You can use bat manure while preparing the soil as well as feeding the plants during the growing and fruit bearing stage. You can add to the soil directly or dilute in water and water the plants. It can be used fresh or dried. Bat manure should be applied in smaller quantities than any other manure types.

BENEFITS:

    Provides a high concentration of nutrients to plants and the soil

    It has 10% Nitrogen, 3% Phosphorus, and 1 percent Potassium

BONE MEAL

We usually throw the bones of pork, beef, chicken and fish. By doing that, we are wasting a great fertilizer for our plants.  Bone meal contains phosphorus.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

    Collect the bones, clean and sterilize

    Dry them for a month if needed

    If it is already dry, crush them into a fine powder using heavy-duty mortar and pestle.

    The product is a powdered bone meal

APPLICATION:

    Add directly to the soil. For every 10 square feet, use one pound of bone meal.

    Alternatively, dilute bone meal in water and spray in your garden. The ratio is one table spoon for 5 liters water.

BENEFITS:

   Provides phosphorus and calcium.

      Cheap fertilizer

BLOOD MEAL

To enrich vegetable and flower gardens, they need more nitrogen, phosphorus, and calcium. Blood meal provides all of these for your vegetable and flower plants.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

    Get the blood from your chicken, pic, goat or even fish

    Cook the blood juices until it become dried

    Let it cool and put blend it or grind it to make a powdered blood meal

APPLICATION:

    Apply blood meal during the growing season

    Do not apply to seedlings

    Do not apply on legumes because they are nitrogen-fixers

    Sprinkle the blood meal around your plants

    For heavy users: Broadcast 10 to 30 pounds of blood meal per 1000 square foot.

BENEFITS:

    Your plant will be more attractive due to blood meal’s nitrogen content.

    It will increase the acidity of your soil

    It serves as nitrogen fixers for your soil

COFFEE GROUNDS

Coffee grounds contains 1.45% nitrogen. They also contain magnesium, calcium, potassium, and trace minerals needed by your plants.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

    Collect the coffee grounds after you make coffee. It is ready to be uses as natural fertilizer.

APPLICATION:

    Put coffee grounds in your compost bin. It is “green” because it is rich in Nitrogen.

    You may also add it directly to the soil in your garden.

    Make a tea out of coffee (Lol). Just add 2 cups of used coffee grounds to a 5 gallons of water and let it steep overnight then spray it to your plants.

    Add a cup of coffee grounds to your wormcasting. The love coffee grounds.

BENEFITS:

    When decomposed, they release nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and other trace minerals that support plant growth.

COMPOST

Compost is a natural fertilizer obtained after the organic matter is decomposed. Good quality compost is available in granules form and contains moisture. Nutrients in compost differ according to what you decompose. Compost is very essential when you are doing organic farming.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

    You can make compost in compost bins or compost pits depending on availability or resources.

    One the bottom toss green matter (green leaves, grass clippings, etc.). Top with brown/dried matter (dried leaves, twigs, etc.), Add a thin layers of soil. If you have compost from previous compost, you can also add this to your compost, this will let the matter decompose faster. Continue to add green, brown matter and top with soil.    Do not use in organic products, chemically treated products etc.

      Turn the pile upside down every two weeks, ultil everything decomposes.

APPLICATION:

    Enrich soil with nutrients

        Can be used for every kinds of plants

           can be uses during potting mix preparation, or soil preparation or during growth stage

Can be mixed with water to make   Compost tea

Benefits

Composting will save you money on fertilizer

composting will help you manage your organic waste

Compost will improve soil condition.

Compost will make the soil lose and improve drainage

Compost promote roots and shoot growth

   Improves immunity in plants.

COMPOST TEA

Compost tea is a liquid fertilizer for flowers, vegetables and house plants.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

    Add compost in a bucket to fill it 1/3.

    Add water to the top of the bucket (rainwater or deep well water is preferred)

    Let the mixture steep for 3-4 days. Stir it now and then

    Strain the mixture through cheesecloth or other porous fabric into another bucket. Add the remaining solid to your garden or compost bin.

   Mix it in 10: 1 ratio with water.

    Use the compost tea immediately for optimal absorption into the soil around plants.

APPLICATION:

   Dilute the tea with water while using on new plants, potted plants, saplings. For grown up plants, you can directly use tea to water the plants.

       Use a s a foliar spray. Strain tea through a fine mesh cloth. Dilute it with water in a ratio of 1:10, one part tea and 10 parts water. Mix one table spoon dish washing liquid or vegetable oil before spraying in plants. The purpose of adding vegetable oil or dishwashing is to make the solution stick to the plants.

BENEFITS:

    It will increase plant growth

    It will provide nutrients to plant and soil.

    It will provide beneficial organisms

    It will help suppress diseases

    It replaces toxic garden chemicals

CORN GLUTEN MEAL

During the milling of corn, you get a powdery byproduct called Corn gluten meal. This can be uses as natural fertilizer. This is a low grade fertilizer that can also be uses as weed control.

As fertilizer, corn gluten has NPK ratio of 0.5-0.5-1.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

As mentioned above, corn gluten meal is a byproduct of the corn milling process.

APPLICATION:

    Apply by hand or using a spreader. It can be applied anytime of year. The nitrogen release slowly over 3-4 month period after application.

BENEFITS:

    Organic fertilizer feeds lawns naturally

    Helps build strong turf

    Use for pre-emergent weed control

    Safe and environmentally friendly

COTTONSEED MEAL

cottonseed meal fertilizer is a slow release fertilizer and it is a dry byproduct in the production of cotton. (NPK – 6-1-1)

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

    Removed cotton from the seed

    Extract oil from the seed

    What’s left in the seed will be processed as cottonseed meal

APPLICATION:

    When planting, use cottonseed on flowering plants but do not apply to fast growing vegetable seedlings.

    Add it to compost heap to add extra nitrogen to the compost as the process of decomposition requires extra nitrogen.

    Add 4-6 pounds of cottonseed fertilizer per 100 square feet. It will give your soil a boost it needs to delivery quality produce and plants.

BENEFITS:

    Provides nitrogen, potash and phosphorus

    Improves soil’s texture

    Helps build humus for proper growth and health

    Loosens packed soil

    Helps give substance to light and sandy soil

EGG SHELLS

The three major nutrients needed by plants are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) but calcium is also essential for our plants especially those fruit-bearing plants.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

To make the eggshells fertilizer, grind with a mixer, grinder, or mortar and pestle the eggshells. Just make sure you wash them before crushing them.

APPLICATION:

Apply the crushed eggshells by tilling into the soil. You may also mix it with other organic matter at the bottom of a hole. This will help newly plants thrive.

BENEFITS:

    It will provide calcium to your plant

    It will reduce acidity of your soil

    Will help aerate your soil

EPSOM SALT

Epsom salt gets it name from a English towm where it was first discovered. Since its doscovery it has been used for various purpose including as a fertilizer. Epsom salt is not a salt but hydrated magnesium sulfate.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

You need to buy them.

APPLICATION:

You can add Epsom salt directly to the soil or make a solution of Epsom salt and water and either spray in the foliage or water the soil.

BENEFITS:

    It will provide magnesium and sulfur to your plant

    It will strengthen the cell walls of your plant

    It will improve your plants’ update of minerals and nutrients

    It will give sweeter and tastier fruits

FEATHER MEAL

Feather meal contains 13% nitrogen and a by-product of the poultry processing industry. This is not a good liquid fertilizer because it is not water-soluble. (NPK – 13-0-0)

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

It is a by-product of the poultry processing

APPLICATION:

    For compost: Add in your compost to speed up decomposition

    Light application: 7 pounds per 1000 sq. feet or ¼ cup per plant

BENEFITS:

    Decomposition activator for compost

    Increase green leaf growth

    Improves soil structure

FISH EMULSION

Fish emulsion is a good natural fertilizer for vegetables as well as flowers. Using fresh fish that still have all their parts intact are even better than the commercial fish emulsion. (NPK – 5-2-2)

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

    Fill bucket of about 2/3 of fish scraps and brown organic matter in equal parts

    Fill the water with water to cover all the material

    Cover with a lid and keep it out of the sun

    You may add molasses to get more nutrients

    Every 3-4 days stir the solution until it is ready to apply.

APPLICATION:

Dilute the emulsion with water.

    1 cup of emulsion to a gallon of water.

    You can use it to water your plants or use it as a foliage spray

BENEFITS:

    Higher crop yields

    Provides quick nitrogen boost to the soil

   Makes your foliage green.

GELATIN

Did you know that gelatin can be used as a fertilizer, but use the unflavored gelatin. Unflavored gelatin is a good source of nitrogen and it has been proven effective in promoting plant growth.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

    Measure ¼ cup water

    Sprinkle 1 unflavored gelatin over water

    Allow to soften for 1-2 minutes

    Add 1 cup water to gelatin mixture

    Stir until gelatin is dissolved

    Add more water to make it 1 liter

    The fertilizer is ready to use.

APPLICATION:

Use the mixture for watering your plants once a month.

BENEFITS:

    Promotes healthy plant growth

    Inexpensive source of nitrogen

    Unlikely to result in excessive nitrogen build-up

GRASS CLIPPINGS TEA

Just like compost tea, you can also make grass clipping tea. Compost tea or grass clipping tea is liquid fertilizer for your plants that you can use to water the plants for better growth or spray on the leaves, flowers and fruits. Nutrient contents of grass clipping tea varies depending on what type of grass clippings you use. In any case it is rich in Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, iron, etc.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

To brew grass clipping tea:

  Toss grass clippings in a container and fill the container with water. Let it sit for 3-4 days. Strain and add to the plants soil or spray in the foliage. Green grass clippings is rich with amino acids, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, etc.

If you are using grass clipping tea for young plants, dilute in water by mixing 100 ml in 900 ml water.

APPLICATION:

Water the plants roots or spray on the shoots.

BENEFITS:

  Helps in the growth of root system as well as shoot system.

TEA

Just like used coffee grounds, you can also use used tea to fertilize your plants. You can either toss used tea in the compost bins, or collect in a jar and use while making the potting mix or add as a feed during the growing stage. Instead of lose tea, if you use tea bags, you can also use those used tea bags provided the bags are made up of decomposable material. You can either use the whole tea bad or tear the tea bag before using for your plants.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

    Used tea leaves or tea bags

APPLICATION:

    Rinse the used tea leaves or tea bag for any traces of sugar.

Collect tea/tea bags in a container

Add to the soil

BENEFITS:

   Provides nourishment to your plants

    Improves moisture retention in the soil

    Controls weed

    Increases oxygen levels for microbes and nematodes.

GREEN MANURE

Green manure is a practice among many farmers and gardeners. It has numerous benefits for the home gardeners as well.

HOW TO MAKE  IT AND APPLICATION:

Green manure is basically by products of green harvest that is cut into pieces and directly applied in the soil or spread in the soil to dry and then plowed. The green manure crops are grass mixtures and legume plants, such as alfalfa, peas, peanut, etc..

BENEFITS:

    It will provide additional nutrients and organic matter to the soil

    It releases nitrogen

    These green manure are nitrogen-fixers

    Prevent leaching

    Prevent soil erosion

    Prevent weed growth

HAIR

Hair can be used to fertilize your plants. Next time you go to a parlor or barber shop, ask your hairdresser/barber to give back your hair to you and use it on your plants.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

    Get your hair from the barber shop or parlor

APPLICATION:

    Add directly to your soil or add it in your compost pile

BENEFITS:

    It will help retain soil moisture and keep your plants hydrated

    Nitrogen will be released slowly

    It is free

HUMUS

Humus is actually not a fertilizer. It is an organic matter that is left in the soil for decomposition. Humus is the result of decomposed organic matter in the soil. The plants need a good amount of humus in the soil for healthy growth and better yield. The potting soil should contain at least 5 percent humus.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

   By adding add organic matter such as plant clippings, leaves etc. during the soil preparation, you can increase humus, which will in the long run increase soil nutrients.

APPLICATION:

 Add plant clippings, leaves and other organic waste in the soil and plow the soil properly prior to 2-3 weeks of planting.

BENEFITS:

    Humus makes the soil lose for root prorogation and better drainage.

    Since humus is decaying organic matter, it continues to provide necessary nutrients for a long time.

LIQUID KELP

Kelp is a seaweed which originates from the ocean’s garden. It is one of the best materials for an earth garden.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

    Kelp can be found in the ocean.

    You can use kelp to make a Kelp tea or liquid kelp

APPLICATION:

    Rinse and apply to the soil.

    Arrange it as a 2-4 inch mulch layer

    Include them in your compost pile

    The liquid kelp or kelp tea can be applied at the base of plants to reach the root zone

    You may also dilute it to be used as foliar spray

    You can also add it to a drip irrigation system

BENEFITS:

    Seed germination is improved

    Fruits and vegetable have a greater nutritional value

    Plants develop more extensive roots systems

    Healthy foliage, flowers and fruits

    Plants have a greater resistance to nematodes, diseases and pests.

MANURE

Manure is abundant until organic farming is introduced. You can buy manure from various animals from fertilizer shop or directly from farm. You can use manuer from all kinds of animals including humans. The best, or rather say the most common type of manuer is chicken poop, goat poops, cow dung, horse dung, rabbit poop etc. For the best results you will have to dry manuer before using it, fresh manure can kill the plants. Best way to use it is letting it decompose for 4-5 months.

MANURE’s NPK

    Chicken : 1 –  0.80 – 0.50

    Cow : 25 – 0.15 – 0.25

    Horse : 70 – 0.30 – 0.60

    Rabbit : 2.4 – 1.4 – 0.60

    Sheep: 0.70 – 0.30 – 0.90

APPLICATION:

    Manure can be used as soil amendment, not a mulch.

    Never put raw manure directly on your garden soils

    Manure release nitrogen and ammonia which can burn plant roots, young plants and interfere with seed germination

 BENEFITS:

    Improves soil structure and adds nutrients

    Holds moisture

    Improves micro organism activity

    It will increase soil carbon

    Reduce atmospheric carbon levels

    Reduce soil erosion

    Reduce nitrate leaching

MOLASSES

Generally speaking, molasses is used as sweatner in baked items as well as animal feed. However, molasses is also one of the primary ingredients in fermented fertilizer and natural fertilizer. Molasses is a byproduct formed while processing sugarcane or grapes.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

    Molasses is is full of various minerals and vitamins not only good for human and animal consumption, but also for the plants. It is added to liquid fertilizer, compost tea, alfalfa meal, and kelp, to name a few; or

    Mix 1-3 tablespoons of molasses into a gallon of water and use it to water your plants

APPLICATION:

    Added to organic fertilizers.

BENEFITS:

    Molasses is rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.

    It also contains sulfur and host of micronutrients

    Encourages the growth of beneficial micro-organisms.

MORINGA

Moringa oleifera, or simply Moringa, is a medicinal plant that has been used for conditions like diabetes and hypertension for a long time. The fruits and the leaves of Moringa plant is edible. While fruits make great vegetables, leaves can be used for healing. One teaspoon of Moringa leaves powder in a glass of warm water for 30 days can help you lose at least 4 pounds of weight. Interestingly, there have been a lot of studies that have established that Moringa can also be used as fertilizer for the plants. The studies have found that the Moringa leaf contains compounds that can actually stimulate growth in plants. Studies confirmed that Moringa when used as fertilizer, crop yield increased.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

Grind moringa leaves and small twigs and mix it in water. Add this mixture to the soil. Alternatively, you can also strain it and spray it on the plants. You can also add Moringa leaves and twigs in the soil, plow it properly 2-3 weeks prior to planting.

APPLICATION:

  Use Moringa leaf powder in the soil, or make liquid fertilizer from Moringa leaf and spray in plants. Or mix leaves in the soil 2-3 weeks before planting. You can also use Moringa leaves as mulch.

BENEFITS:

    Moringa provides various vitamins and minerals for the plants. It also improves nitrogen, phosphorous and potash content in the soil.

MUSHROOM COMPOST

Mushroom compost is simply compost that has already been used to grow mushroom. It is a by-product of growing mushrooms. (NPK – 2-1-1)

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

Mushroom are grown in organic matter such as peat moss, straw, hay poultry litter etc. Mushroom compost is actually the substrate you get after harvesting mushroom.

APPLICATION:

    Use 50-50 of mushroom compost on your soil. It has a high level of soluble salts which can be harmful to the plants.

    For young plants, let the mushroom compost sit, uncovered, over cooler season to “cure”

BENEFITS:

    It has 1.12% Nitrogen, 0.67% Phosphorus, 1.24% Potassium, 2.29% Calcium, 0.35% magnesium, 1.07 Iron.

SOYBEAN

Soybean is cultivated all over the world for its high protein and lipid content. Before chemical fertilizers were invented soybeans were widely used as fertilizer. All parts of soybean plants, soybeans, stem and roots can be used as fertilizer. In fact, even when you plant soybean in soil will gain nitrogen contents as soy roots have nitrogen-fixing bacteria that traps atmospheric nitrogen.  (NPK – 7-2-1)

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

    Dry and grind soybeans and mix into the soil whole preparing the soil

    Cut soy stems into small pieces and apply in the soil

Use byproducts of soybeans after oil has been extracted

    APPLICATION:

    Add soybean powder or soybean stem clippings to the soil

BENEFITS:

    Enriches the soil with nitrogen

    Promote vegetative growth and early plant development

    Contains Calcium, Vitamins A and B

URINE

Studies suggest that urine is sterile and safe and very effective fertilizer for plants. NPK – 18-2-5 (straight urine); 15-1-3 (diluted with water)

HOW TO USE  IT:

    Urine should not be put on the plants directly

    Dilute urine with 8 to 10 parts water and apply it to soil

    Urinate directly on straw bale and use the straw bale in your compost

BENEFITS:

    It contains macro and micro nutrient essentials for plant growth such as:

        Zinc

        Chromium

        Nickel,e tc.

WATER FROM BOILED VEGETABLES

Water from boiled vegetables can be used  for your garden plants. It release nutrients of one kind or another.  CAUTION: Don’t put salt!!

APPLICATION:

    Let the water cool down, and then use it to give a garden plant or two a healthful drink.

BENEFITS:

    It depends on what you boiled.

    For eggs, you get calcium

    For spinach, you get iron

WOOD ASH

Wood ash is a source of potassium for your garden. It also has several trace elements needed by your plants to thrive.

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

    Gather all the wood ash from your wood stove or bonfire. CAUTION: Do not get wood ash from chemically treated wood

APPLICATION:

    Apply 9kg of wood ashes peer 93sq.m. of soil.

    Till them thoroughly into the soil.

    Sprinkle ashes in each layer of your compost pile to help break down the organic materials as they compost.

    Sprinkle on top of tilled soil then take a rake and mix in evenly

    Apply when the dirt is dry or at least 3 weeks before planting

BENEFITS:

    Plants will benefit from the potassium content of wood ash

    Acts as liming agent and reduce the acidity of the soil

    It can be used in your compost to help in increasing the fertility of the soil

    It is a natural pest repellant, too

WORMCAST OR VERMICAST

Worm cast or vermicompost is an organic fertilizer made by earthworms. Actually, Vermicompost is earthworms poop. NPK – 3-3-1

HOW TO MAKE  IT:

    Add organic matter to a 6 inch deep wooden plank tray. The size of tray depends on your resources.

Fill the tray with organic matter such as grass clippings, organic waste, kitchen waste etc.

Release earthworms. You can get these earthworms from garden store.

  After the worms eat all organic matter, collect the worms and release them in another tray. You can also wash worms in water before releasing them in another tray. This liquid can be uses as liquid fertilizer.

Collect worm cast and let it dry in shaded area.

APPLICATION:

   You can use vermicompost just like regular compost. However, vermicompost is better than ordinary compost. You can also mix equal amount of vermicompost and regular compost and feed to the soil. Add one pound of vermicompost for every 30 square feet of land while soil preparation. When you are using vermicompost for seedlings, it is better to mix with regular compost.

   BENEFITS:

    Increases soil nutrients

Improves water retention

improves water drainage

Promotes plant growth

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