Organic Fertilizer and Compost Tea
Make your organic fertilizer and close the food loop at home! This fertilizer can be used to water your plants and provide them with additional nutrients.
The nutrients being added back into the soil of your plants depend on what ingredients you add into your mixture. For example, banana peels are rich in potassium, and coffee grounds are high in nitrogen. The contents of your compost bin at home influence what elements go into your fertilizer.
While there hasn’t been extensive research into the benefits of using kitchen scraps to fertilize your live plants, many gardeners and farmers swear by using organic material and compost teas. Follow the recipe below to make your fertilizer!
- Save your vegetable and fruit scraps in a bin at home. Ideally, save scraps that are raw or have a limited amount of additional residues on them like oils or sauces. You could also save the water you use to cook or soak vegetables to add to your fertilizer.
- Add your desired amount of scraps to a blender and add water. Start with little bits at a time to make sure the mixture doesn’t end up too liquidy.
- Blend into a paste.
- Pour the paste into a sealable container, stir for a few minutes, and leave overnight.
- Add a teaspoon of Epsom salts or Ammonia for additional nutrients.
- After the paste sits overnight, it is ready to use! If the paste is still thick, add water to create a liquid that can be used to water the base of your plants.
This fertilizer blend is a great way for home gardeners to utilize their kitchen scraps and close the loop on their small-scale gardening. Additionally, with more space and a few extra ingredients, folks can make compost tea to inoculate their soils with. This typically requires space to make your own compost but can also be done with store-bought compost. This recipe makes a great source of fertilizer for your plants.
Compost Tea Recipe
- 3 gallons of unchlorinated water
- 2.5 gallons of fresh compost (can be homemade or store-bought)
- 1 ounce of molasses without additives (the sugar feeds the microbes)
Combine all ingredients and let sit for up to 3 days (the longer, the better). Make sure to stir one to two times a day to add oxygen to your tea. Strain and use to water your plants!