A Great Homemade Organic Fertilizer That Will Save You Money
Organic fertilizer will feed your plants slowly, but steadily throughout the garden season, and build your soil at the same time. Complete formulations are available off the shelf, but let me save you some money by sharing my homemade organic fertilizer recipe.
If you are an organic gardener, or want to be, you probably already have a
in your garden and
your plants. But do you ever envy those gardeners that simply sprinkle on the
out of a box or bag, instead of spreading tons of organic matter over their gardens.
Well don’t. First of all,
is the best amendment to any garden – continue to use it. Second, even us organic purists can now shake it from a box or bag just like those lazy gardeners. Go to any garden center and you can now find many complete organic formulas containing all the necessary major and minor
that your plants need.
Organic garden fertilizer is less potent, because chemical processes have not been used to synthetically boost the nutrient percentages. The
will usually be in single digits, so you’ll need a little more. The good news is that they won’t be as likely to burn your plants and they will break down more slowly, feeding your plants over a longer period of time.
A typical formulation might be 4-3-3, meaning there is only a total of 5 pounds of N-P-K in each 50 pound bag. But, there are also important trace minerals and the rest is also organic matter that will help build the soil structure and tilth. It will also contain fewer salts and is far less acid than its chemical cousins.
While it is certainly easy to purchase these organic formulations, ready to use, it can also be spendy, costing well over a dollar per pound. Let me share an old
organic fertilizer recipe given to me by my grandfather (right).
Combine these ingredients by volume, rather than weight:
4 parts seed meal or
1 part dolomite lime
1 part rock phosphate or ½ part bone meal
1 part kelp meal
Even if your soil is not acid (mine is mildly) the lime will help offset the acidity of most seed meals and also supply needed calcium and magnesium. The kelp has many other necessary trace elements. If your soil is very alkaline cut the lime in half.
Several of these ingredients were once available only in small boxes with big prices at garden centers. The popularity of going organic has changed that. Buy these ingredients in bags of 25 to 50 pounds to get the best price. If the garden center doesn’t carry them this way, find a local agricultural co-op or farm store that does.
Mixing your own should cut the cost, as compared to premixed formulations, to less than half. If these ingredients cost an average of 50 cents per pound, and you use 10 pounds per 100 square feet of garden, your cost will be less than 5 cents per square foot for great organic garden fertilizer.
Want Liquid Organic Fertilizer Recipes?
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