Have you noticed that the plants are looking a little worse for wear and want to make the most of being outdoors whilst the weather is warm? Using your own organic fertiliser recipes could be the answer! Using organic fertiliser is good for plant growth with no harsh chemicals being used. The organic stuff however, comes at a price, but with these simple and affordable ways to make your own, you could be helping your plants and your pocket!
If you live near the beach then you have a continuous supply of compost material all year round! Seaweed is rich in iodine and potassium but not much phosphate and nitrogen. Foraging on the beach is also a great way to involve younger children in the activity.
Collect enough seaweed until you have filled a reasonable sized sealable container. Cover with water and leave to decompose for two months until the liquid has turned brown and the seaweed has dissolved.
Dilute one part to four parts water and feed it to the plants, but be warned, there will be a slight fishy smell for up to two days afterwards.
Used in the average household daily, egg shells are always in constant supply. They are 93% calcium carbonate and 1% nitrogen so they are the perfect fertiliser for all types of plants. Calcium may be good for our bones but it’s also an essential plant nutrient, important for cell function and growth.
Collect your egg shells, place on a piece of kitchen towel and leave them to dry out either in an airing cupboard or on a warm sunny windowsill. Once dried crush them, then blend them into a fine powder with a hand blender. Empty the blender and apply around the base of the plant and they will flourish. More information about using egg shells in organic fertiliser recipes.
Nettles are high in nitrogen which make them an excellent fertiliser. Make nettle fertiliser in the same way you would seaweed but it may be a good idea to wear gloves when picking those leaves! Fill a sealable container with young nettle shoots. Cover with water and leave for 2-4 weeks until the nettles have dissolved and you have a smelly greeny/brown liquid, not the most appealing mixture but the plants will love it.
Dilute one part to four parts water. The smell will hang around for 24 hours so this is definitely an outside job.
Coffee is not just great for our bodies and skin, it makes a great component for organic fertiliser recipes. Acid loving plants such as azaleas, roses, heathers and evergreens love to have your coffee grouts once you’ve finished with them so let nothing go to waste. Coffee contains potash, nitrogen, phosphoric acid among other minerals and vitamins. Just apply your grouts as you would mulch, around the base of the plant and watch them grow.
RHS has some good advice for fertiliser use and organic fertiliser recipes.
Visit 50connect gardening channel for more tips and advice on fertilisers and garden maintenance.