Homemade Fertilizer for Your Garden | Make Natural Fertilizers the Easy Way

Last updated: 9/22/20

Homemade fertilizer … Is that really an option as a gardener?  Don’t I need that expensive store-bought natural fertilizer?  You are one of those folks who like to do it yourself while in your vegetable & flower gardens.

You feel that throwing away food scraps into the landfill is a waste.

Here are a couple of easy ways to make the homemade fertilizers that you can either store for later use or mix with water or compost tea to use as a liquid fertilizer.

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Homemade Fertilizers | Flow with Nature

Let’s preface this that you already have the knowledge about the basics of fertilizers.  Check out these posts in the links that delve deeper into topics such as slow-release fertilizers and water-soluble fertilizers.

Basically, your plants need some food in order to thrive and grow abundantly.  Why not be the garden hero and do your part to save the world & grow some kick-ass tomatoes at the same time?

There are a ton of benefits of making your own homemade fertilizer.  We will go over some of those plus give a few easy recipes

Homemade Fertilizer Benefits

  • These fertilizers are also considered organic.  Yes, you can say you made homemade organic fertilizer to all your earth-loving friends.
  • Adding these to your garden will build your garden soil structure thereby increasing water and air movement throughout the soil.  You know that soil is a living organism and building healthy soil should be the goal of every gardener. (More on that later)
  • These fertilizers tend NOT to acidify your soil which will support the earthworms & microorganisms in your soil.
  • Reusing these materials will keep them out of the ever-growing landfills.  (Superhero garden power activated)

Natural Fertilizer Recipe Disclaimer

The recipes shared here are what we use in our own gardens.  One of the drawbacks of using homemade fertilizers is that the NPK ratios are not accurate. 

Homemade Fertilizer

You can use these for more of a long term way of building soil. They are safe to use in moderate amounts throughout the growing seasons.

You will still need to use other slow-release fertilizers such as bone mealblood mealgreensand, etc as they are much easier to dial in the correct amounts of NPK.  We also use other water-soluble fertilizers such as fish fertilizer and other organic means.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s see what recipes you garden superheroes can make.

We provided the average NPK ratios with each recipe as a guide.

Homemade Fertilizer Recipe #1

  • 1 Cup Coffee Grounds (2- 0.5- 0.5)-primary usage is for Nitrogen.
  • 20 Banana Peels (0-3-42)- 1 peel has a ton of Potassium
  • 20 Eggshells (1.2-0.4-.1) – Great source of calcium
  • 0.5 lbs Epsom Salts – Used as a balancer that has magnesium and sulfur

Sprinkle about 2-3 tablespoons around each plant every few weeks.

Instructions & Prep notes for this recipe

You can source coffee grounds from your own spent coffee grains or from Starbucks.  I would not recommend using unused coffee grounds as it can be acid-forming.  We like to source our coffee grounds from star bucks in large amounts.

You can dump bags of it into your compost piles and also use some of the grounds to make our homemade fertilizer.  It is ideal to save about 20 banana peels to have enough.

You can store the peels in the freezer to keep them from spoiling until you are ready to process them. The eggshells are rinsed with water and also stored in a bag in the freezer.

You want to make sure that you dry the banana peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells in your oven at about 150 degrees.  You are not cooking them, but rather drying up the peels, grains, and shells of the water content.

This dried natural fertilizer will keep much longer once the water content has been removed.  The banana peels will take the longest to dry such as 5-6 hours.  You want them to be almost brittle or leathery like so that they can become a powder when you blend them.

The optimal way would be to use a food dehydrator as you may know some older ovens may not go as low as 140 degrees.

Next, you will need to use a coffee grinder or blender to pulverize all the ingredients to have a powder.  It is ideal to store this powder in a Tupperware or some other airtight container.  You can sprinkle this homemade fertilizer directly around your plants in the garden.  Another option is to mix this up with compost tea to use as a water-soluble fertilizer.

Check out this video for this DIY organic fertilizer recipe:

Homemade Fertilizer Recipe #2

  • 2 parts of Blood Meal
  • 3 parts of Bone Meal
  • 6 parts of greensand

Instructions for this Natural Fertilizer recipe

This homemade fertilizer recipe is a broad recipe that will give you a balanced NPK. We can’t give you a precise NPK ratio, but recommend to look at the packaging to get the manufacturers NPK amounts and adjust accordingly.

This is what we use about a week after we plant as it takes a little time to break down.  We sprinkle a couple of tablespoons around the base of the plant and scratch it in so it doesn’t wash away.

Ready to go

There you have it.  You are now armed with some homemade fertilizer recipes that can incorporate into your garden.  Maybe you have done your part of saving the world one banana peel and eggshell at a time.

Spending the time to make these natural fertilizers will also give you a sense of accomplishment in knowing your plants will get copious amounts of the right nutrition.  Thereby, you will also benefit from what your plants eat as you are what you eat.

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Green Thumb Gardener
homemade fertilizers for your garden
Jeremy Starke

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