Fertilizer can be found not only on the counter, but also in our garbage cans, in the water of our regularly replaced fish tanks, or in-plant residue, which many of us do not compost, but banally burn, and most offensively, even the remaining ashes are literally thrown to the wind, collected in garbage bags, and thrown in containers.
In doing so, we not only spend a lot of money, year after year, banally throwing away the fertilizers at hand and buying the ones that are beautifully packaged and adorn the store shelves, but we often destroy nature by not giving it back the products of its own life, stuffing it with not always useful chemical balls and different colored granules that the soil still needs to bring it to its normal, plant-ready state.
This is why, even when the soil is enriched by “chemistry”, it is depleted year after year, crops are produced less, and these varieties and fruits become different from what they were before.
Let’s talk today about what substances we have on hand in our kitchen or garden that can be useful and effective natural fertilizers in our gardens, vegetable gardens, and flower beds.
THE BEST NATURAL FERTILIZERS
Green manure – sediment
The term green manure is probably familiar to every gardener, but as a rule, it does not go beyond the definition of grass that needs to be buried and usually does not come to the point. In fact, green manure plants – are the plants with the highest rate of seed germination and intensive growth, that is, they germinate quickly, grow aggressively, and give a strong green mass.
Of course, using green manures, tilling them instead of removing them from the ground, has the potential to improve the soil considerably, first of all in terms of structure: it may not become more nutritious, but looser and more “pliable” that’s for sure.
Of course, marginal fertilizers are more suitable for larger plots – in fact, for tilling, sowing, and plowing. The humus contained in the tilled portion of the green manure crop is slowly transferred to the soil, improving its structure and, in a sense, increasing fertility. In addition, green manure is a good protector against wind and water erosion, it suppresses the growth of weeds, thus eliminating the use of herbicides and again making the soil healthier.
As green manure crops, field peas (an excellent legume crop that accumulates nitrogen in the soil), white clover (with the same characteristics), white mustard, winter rye, canola, and similar crops are commonly used. Sowing of green manure crops is usually done in early spring, as long as the soil is free of snow and easy to work with. Waiting for strong germination of green manure crops, which is not worth it on small plots, is not worth it on large plots: once there are strong and friendly shoots, they should be mowed and then plowed or dug (if the site is small), thus mixing with the soil (organic matter). It is best to complete all these procedures 12-15 days before planting the main crop on that plot.
I would like to talk about another natural fertilizer, composting. Essentially, it is a minuscule mixture of the most diverse ingredients or parts of them, if you will, partially or completely recycled by microflora. The bottom line is that compost not only retains its beneficial properties, but it can also even improve them over time.
As for the composition of the mixture, since someone cares, let’s say. Among the components of compost can be some vegetables or fruits, remnants of poultry manure (no more than 15 parts), manure (no more than 10 parts), as well as fallen leaves, eggshells, roasted tea or coffee (especially if it is not a substitute, but natural coffee and tea), and cut grass and weeds (in the case of couch grass, only without seeds and rhizomes), and twigs, straw, etc. in various degrees of decay. Usually, the gardener or landscaper makes a compost heap, usually in the southwest, enclosed by iron or slate, and puts all the ingredients in this box or pit, if it is a box, it is called a compost bin or compost pit.
It is important to put ten buckets of sawdust or sturdy branches at the bottom for drainage so that the decay does not collect and run off. After that, you need to alternate between dense organic matter and alternating wet and dry masses. For example, put on branches, pour on sawdust, put on the wet stuff – repeat the process. In the future, this composition should be mixed every two or three days to enrich the air, otherwise, it will rot because it can not get air, which is bad. Ideally, if you do everything right, your compost will even smell good, have the scent of forest soil, and become friable.
More related information about Composting
Liquid weed fertilizer
To prepare such a fertilizer, you need to take any plant, including weeds, and most importantly, they, as we have shown, do not have seeds and roots (such as wheatgrass). In essence, liquid fertilizer is the same as compost, only significantly faster and some gardeners find it even more effective. You can usually add quinoa, nettles – especially young nettles – and couch grass (the middle part, the safe part) to this wet compost.
Of course, you can adjust the amount of herbs to your liking and put what you like in there. Ideally, for better combustion (by the way, all this should be placed halfway in the bucket and topped with water), it is necessary to add a tablespoon of urea, the nitrogen fertilizer, to the solution. Then the container remains tightly covered with a lid, but once a day, open it and stir the contents so that the fermentation process does not turn into a rotting process.
As long as you can smell the ammonia in the container, you’re done. Indicators of readiness will be “bubbles in the water” and the brownish-green color of this liquid. All that remains to be done – is to squeeze the grass out of the life-giving juice and use it as mulching material, for example, in the garden, but not under the drupes. Then you can also divide the wine into thirds and use it as an application for the whole season.
Let’s take it a step further: wood ash is basically what’s left over from burning branches, twigs, leaves, grass, and other things. Scientists say that burning is the fastest oxidation process, so wood ash is just what’s left after the rapid oxidation of once-living tissues.
What’s good about grass ash: It reduces soil acidity, but it won’t be as effective as lime. The second advantage of wood ash is that it contains potassium (about 5%) and trace elements, albeit in small amounts, and in readily available forms if applied to pre-watered soils.
Manure or chicken manure
Manure is rich in a variety of plant beneficial substances, but both manure and poultry litter need to be heavily diluted before spreading to avoid actually “burning” the plants and to minimize the risk of soil contamination by pests and the overwintering stages of the disease.
So, how can manure and poultry litter be made safe before applying it to the soil? Nothing could be simpler: you simply spread it on a flat surface in a very open area and let it dry. Depending on the efficiency of the end result you want to see, you can let the manure dry for one to two years. There is a faster way to purify chicken manure and manure – the thermal method – but in this method, the beneficial microflora contained in the manure may be affected as much as the harmful microflora (the manure should simply be boiled, soaking its entire surface as much as possible).
FERTILIZERS THAT WE OFTEN FORGET
But let’s turn to a less traditional fertilizer – for who knows what. Coffee grounds, therefore, can turn your coarse, tired soil into a lighter, more friable one. All you need to do is use 100 grams of roasted, natural coffee residues per square meter of soil.
Potato Water is rich in trace elements and many people think that Potato Water is only suitable for houseplants, but this is not the case; the main thing is not to water aubergines (tomatoes, potatoes) because you will attract potato beetles to your garden.
Potato Water is made as follows: first boil potatoes – in any quantity – then cool Potato Water so as not to burn yourself and the soil, and pour it on the soil at a rate of 500-600 grams per square meter.
It is known that the starch in potatoes disappears in the water in which they are boiled, which is the truest source of energy that strengthens the immune system and contributes to the overall development of the organism.
What do you think happens to the bones of the meat and poultry you eat? When bones are ground up and used as a meal, they are an excellent fertilizer. Bone meal has a high amount of calcium, so it can and should be applied to the soil, especially in the presence of increased acidity. Bone meal also contains nitrogen and phosphorus, which makes it a safe all-mineral fertilizer.
Water in grains
Cereal-based dishes are often part of your diet – which is good and healthy. But try not to throw the water from washing your grains down the drain – it’s a great additional fertilizer for vegetable crops – just be bold and pour it under the bushes of different vegetable plants and you’ll be happy with a high crop.
Water for the aquarium
Of course, if you have a 40-50 liter aquarium, then the vegetable garden from them will be of little use, but with a larger aquarium, then this is a real godsend. Roughly once a month, you can replace 45-50% of the aquarium water with new, and in fact, slip, directly to his area, because there is a large number of microorganisms that improve the soil structure and accelerate the growth of plants.
The only thing I can say is that they are best used semi-digested, they retard the growth of weeds perfectly and keep the soil warm if you lay them under the plants in winter and warms it faster if you remove them as soon as possible in spring. It should also be remembered that they retain irrigation water in the soil very well and look beautiful, but they also strongly acidify the soil, which is a disadvantage.
Yeast is enjoying a boom – every publication must write about it as a fertilizer. Yeast is a single-celled fungus, but it is very different from other single-celled fungi of the same type. They prefer to live in semi-liquid and liquid media and reproduce there.
Of course, yeast contains water, various vitamins, proteins, minerals, fats, phosphorus, sugars, and nitrogen. There are many types of yeast and they are classified as baker’s yeast, fresh yeast, dry grain yeast, and brewer’s yeast.
What are the benefits of yeast for plants? First, it is an excellent source of growth stimulants and beneficial microflora. For example, if you feed plants with yeast, they begin to grow roots, above-ground parts, fruits, and berries more actively. Immunity increases. In particular, they respond well to yeast seedling feeding, and sometimes even using them helps to avoid pulling out seedlings. When it is overexposed, it simply becomes more plentiful.
It has been observed that by watering with yeast you can make strawberry seedlings better rooted and feel good about vegetable crops and flowers. Interestingly, foliar feeding, for example on shrubs, can also be very useful.
So, about yeast we have already spoken a lot, but how to prepare such a feeding. Everything is simple, you need to make a common starter from what is at hand – stale bread, breadcrumbs, hops, or wheat – the choice is yours.
Every household has more than enough of this fertilizer. One thing, of course – it’s best to use uncooked eggshells, but rather eggs specifically for frying. Each hen’s eggshell has up to 95% of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and even phosphorus in it. That’s why our grandmothers always put pounded eggshells in the well when they planted seedlings into the ground. These substances break down quite quickly in the soil and become available to the plant, especially in its initial stages of growth and development.
Note that under highly crowded conditions, the shells of chickens raised on poultry farms are many times less useful than those produced by chickens grazing freely on green pastures. However, it is mainly composed of the same elements, which means that plants may not feel the difference.
Before being placed in the soil, the shells should be washed well to remove as much of the remaining protein as possible, then dried within two days, then it is left to grind, perhaps in a coffee grinder, and place in a cool, dry place until use.
As a rule, the soil is fertilized as follows: in a ball of eggshells, about 4-5 eggs, pour 0.26 Gal (1 liter) of water, without any lemon, where it is not needed at all, and keep it under a tight lid for seven days. During this time, the appearance of the liquid can be nauseating and should only be approached on an empty stomach. If this is the case, the fertilizer can be used safely. Before use, dilute it three times and use one tablespoon per square meter and no more.
IMPORTANT RULES OF USE
Now that we have learned so much new information, we want to know how to use it all correctly so that neither the garden nor ourselves, our loved ones, are harmed.
Therefore, for the preparation of any natural fertilizer, use only quality ingredients nothing rotten. Always stick to the dosage, even if it is a natural fertilizer – it is not oil, but soil, not porridge, you can spoil them all. Dosage and application frequency, this is only specific to a particular crop, we won’t describe it all now, we need a separate topic.
Before you apply any fertilizer, assess its condition – know, and whether it really needs to be fed. If you have a healthy person, we don’t want to give him medicine, just in case.
Of course, assess the condition of the soil in the garden, and from my own experience, I can say that if the garden is weeded and the soil is loosened and watered, he will need the least fertilizer.
Don’t forget the acidity, the pH should always be under control, otherwise, no fertilizer will help. Then, make fertilizers according to the type of soil: peat, sand, clay, chernozem, grey forest soil, etc., etc.
We hope that we have helped you!