Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Frugal Garden Fertilizers

Erin Heffstetler has an awesome article on making your own homemade fertilizer for your flowers and veggies.

Epsom Salt Fertilizer

Epsom Salt
Photo Credit: Erin Huffstetler

Use in Place Of:

Houseplant food
Vegetable fertilizer
Rose plant food

What You Need:

  • 1 Tablespoon Epsom Salt
  • 1 gallon water
  • A watering can

Preparation:

1. Combine the Epsom salt and water.
2. Use the solution to water your plants.
3. Repeat once a month.

Why This Works:

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

Coffee Ground Fertilizer

Use in Place Of:

Rose plant food

What You Need:

  • Used coffee grounds
  • A cookie Sheet
  • Newspaper

Preparation:

1. Line a cookie sheet with newspaper.
2. Then, spread your used coffee grounds out on the sheet, and allow them to dry completely.
3. Sprinkle the grounds around the base of your acid-loving plants. Azaleas, roses, rhododendrons and blueberries are just some of the plants that will benefit from this treatment.

Note: Be careful not to over do it with the grounds. Even acid-loving plants can get too much acid.

Why This Works:

Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, magnesium, and potassium – all important plant nutrients. They are also acidic, and help to maintain the acidity of the soil.

Egg Shell Fertilizer

Use in Place Of:

Lime

What You Need:

  • Egg Shells
  • A blender

What You Do:

1. Save your eggs shells, and allow them to air dry.
2. Then, place the dried shells in the blender, and pulse until they are powdery-fine.
3. Sprinkle in your garden.

Why This Works:

Eggs shells are made up almost entirely of calcium carbonate – the main ingredient in agricultural lime.

Vinegar Fertilizer

Vinegar
Photo Credit: Erin Huffstetler

Use in Place Of:

Houseplant fertilizer
Rose plant food

What You Need:

  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 gallon water
  • A watering can

What You Do:

1. Combine the white vinegar and water.
2. Use the solution to water your plants.
3. Repeat every three months.

Why This Works:

The acetic acid in vinegar works to increase the acidity of the soil – just the thing for acid-loving plants.

2 comments:

Debbie J. said...

Hi, great post about the fertilizers. I need to read this in more detail. I had to get a closer look at that picture of Caroline Ingalls! Took me a minute to get it. I love little house and thats a great idea for your blog!

Caroline said...

Thanks Debbie. The only problem is that I have 3 boys - no laura, or mary so I adapted the Brady bunch boys- Greg, Peter and Bobby lol!!