11 Super Simple Plant Foods (including some that might surprise you!)
When you forget to buy plant food or prefer to use the homemade versions instead, these eleven easy adds should do the trick! Come check out our eleven fun fertilizer finds:
Used coffee grounds are always a treat for plants that love increased acidity. Lily of the valley, hydrangeas, roses, blueberries, camellias, carrots, radishes, rhododendrons, and numerous other plants appreciate it if you sprinkle them with it around their roots or work it directly into the soil. Be sure to rake it around gently to prevent it from clumping together, and don’t use too often. Others like it better after you’ve mixed it with compost or made a “tea” from it ( steep 2 cups used grounds in 5 gallons of water for several hours, then apply as a liquid food).
Salad lettuce and similar plants enjoy a little shot of nitrogen on occasion. To up the nitrogen in your soil, throw in some grass clippings. Spread them gently around the earth, but not too thick, and make sure water can get to the plants’ stems. (If you want to increase your nitrogen without grass clippings, try soaking nettles in water for two weeks, then spread in a liquid form diluted by water in portions of 1:10).
Roses, tomatoes, strawberries, squash, and other plants in your garden may get a craving for a hunk of potassium now and then, and you can meet this with your everyday banana peels! The best way to get started is to roll the banana peel up and bury it alongside the plant (a rose bush, for example). After some time, you can continue to hide them this way or start burying some in the bush’s surrounding soil.
Aquarium Waste Water
When you’re about to change out that used aquarium water, consider using the wastewater in your garden. As long as it isn’t a saltwater tank, use your used aquarium water for garden plant food. Just pour it over plants as liquid fertilizer when you change out your water. Your plants will love it!
Used Cooking Water
After you’ve boiled up your veggies, pasta, eggs, potatoes, or other items for dinner, don’t just toss out the water -- keep it in the pan to cool. Then after you’ve eaten, when it’s time to clean up, go ahead and pour the cooled water over your plants. They’ll get a kick out of the extra nutrients!
Keep your eggshells when making breakfast or baking, and use them later to give your garden a snack. Make sure they’ve cooled, then wash them out and let them dry. Finally, crush them into a powder and sprinkle them all around the base of your plants. The extra calcium is welcome there, as well as the protective layer they provide, which helps keep cabbage, peppers, and other plants free from pests.
If you’ve got any powdered milk on hand, mix some in with your soil before you plant your garden. You can also sprinkle up to a half cup of the powder on its own on top of the ground after you’ve already planted. Not only does this increase the calcium in the soil, but milk also stops the spread of bad fungi.
Mix crushed leaves into your compost for additional nutrients, added moisture, and assistance in attracting worms and disease prevention. One easy way to crush up leaves is to run the lawnmower over a pile of them slowly.
Save your kitchen scraps for compost. If you don’t have a compost bin that can fit on your kitchen counter, take a look at some when you have time. Some can even prevent odor while making rich and nutritious compost right on your desk! The Envirocycle is one of many options available to do the job.
For a dose of magnesium, dissolve two tablespoons of Epsom Salts into a spray bottle of water. About once per month, spray this concoction on the leaves of your favorite indoor plants.
Healthy Human Urine!
That’s right! As long as you’re healthy, give your garden the unexpected gift of your human urine. Just make sure you mix it with enough water to properly dilute it first, hopefully as close to the 20/1 ratio mark as possible.
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