Eat What We Grow
Homemade Fertilisers

In a time of high rising cost anything than can reduce the monthly budget is worthwhile looking into. Also, those planning on going ‘green’, homemade fertilisers is just one other environmentally-friendly practice to adopt. It reuses waste, reduces packaging and harmful by-products from the manufacturing of chemical fertilisers is minimised by incorporating these into our home gardens.

Epson Salt Fertilizer

Epsom Salt Fertiliser

Epsom salt is made up of magnesium and sulphate – both vital plant nutrients. Some magnesium-loving plants to try it on are houseplants, roses, peppers, tomatoes and potatoes.

Use the 1 Tablespoon Epsom salt to 1 gallon water solution to water your plants. Repeat once a month.

Coffee Ground Fertiliser

Coffee Ground Fertiliser

Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, magnesium, and potassium. It is suited for acid-loving plants such as potato and most vegetables. Allow the used coffee grounds to dry completely by spreading it out on newspaper sheets. Sprinkle sparingly at the base of the plants, as an overdose can affect even acid-loving plants. Remember to water after sprinkling to release the minerals.

Egg Shell Fertiliser

Egg Shell Fertiliser

Eggs shells can be used as a calcium carbonate supplement instead of agricultural lime. Ensure the egg shells are dried completely. Crush or blend your egg shells until powdery. Sprinkle in your garden.

Milk Fertiliser

Milk

The nitrogen component of milk makes it a good plant food. Water plants with a one-part milk and four-part water solution weekly for best results.

Vinegar Fertiliser

Vinegar increases the acidity of the soil due to its acetic acid content. Use with acid-loving plants. Combine 1 tablespoon white vinegar and 1 gallon water. Repeat every three months.

Fish Tank Fertiliser

Fish Tank Water Fertiliser

Used fish tank water is full of nitrogen and other nutrients that plants need to thrive. Simply save the dirty water from your fish tank and use it to water your plants as needed. 

 

Manure

Well broken down manures can provide great supplies of nutrients to any garden. The droppings can be mixed into the soil or scattered around the base of the plants. Mix in manure at least 3 weeks before planting. Use 1 kg (2 lb) chicken manure or 4 kg (8 lb) cattle/goat manure per square metre (yard) of beds.

Compost Fertiliser

Compost

Compost is dark, crumbly, soil-like humus made from organic material (manures, leaves, grass clippings, kitchen wastes). Meat products, however, should not be added to the pile. It is best to place compost material in a covered container to minimise the offensive odour and hinder animal pests from lingering around the area.

Avoid placing stems and branches into the compost pile as they take longer to compost than chopped or shredded pieces. Keep the pile moist to encourage and speed up the composting process. Turn or stir the pile frequently to puts more oxygen into the pile. Air heats up the compost material killing harmful bacteria and weed seeds. Place the compost pile or bin directly in full sun and on the soil to increase the temperature as well.

  • Layering the compost Begin your pile with a base of three to four inches of straw or twiggy material on the bottom for good air circulation.
  • Add alternating three to four inch layers of wet green material and dry brown material
    • The green matter should consist of a mix of grass clippings and garden waste. Cover with soil before adding the brown layer, to prevent odours and flies
    • The brown matter should consist of a mix of dry leaves, straw, or shredded newspaper. (No colored ink or glossy paper though).
  • Mix everything up well every two weeks with a pitch fork.
  • Don't let your compost pile dry out.

After 5-8 months, your compost or organic fertiliser is produced and ready to be added to the soil.