Anyone use homemade fertilizer? We have only used vegetable water from steaming. We will start using fish tank water in our containers.
Any other ideas?
We have liquid kelp as a suppliment for US. Could we use some of that? I know it is probably not cost effective but we have it and don't use it much.
Any other homemade type fertilizers anyone use?
BTW we live with sandy soil but a lot of what we have are in pots with store bought soil.
The best fertilizer we've found so far is bat poo! We have 3 bat houses and keep a tarp on the ground underneath to catch it, then make a "tea" with it by putting 1 cup per gallon of water in a bag and putting the bag in a bucket, filling it with water and letting it steep overnight. Guano is amazing as a fertilizer. It's very well rounded and has worked wonders in our gardens.
Bat houses are easy to construct. In our area there has been a horrible mosquito problem this year due to our very mild winter and while everyone's talking about needing to spray and such we haven't had any trouble with them. Bats are fantastic for pest control.
My mother told me once that if you rinse out your milk glasses/bottles and use that water on your plants it helps them.
I've also heard of people using human urine, you may want to read up on that one some more, can't say much about it...but I can see how that would work well if you can get over the ick factor.
Chicken poo. They are fabulous producers of manure, being that they have relatively inefficient digestive systems. They pick up stones and eggshells and bugs (whose shells provide them natural calcium). I like mine mixed in with ample amounts of litter, so there is no worry about the manure being "hot" if you add too much.
It's not exactly "fertilizer" in the sense that it is an amendment like compost tea, or kelp tea that might boost the available nutrients but do little to improve tilth. But then, I don't grow fertilizer-needy plants or crops, either. If a plant can't make it with what we give it, we don't grow it. Our soil is very nice, BTW.
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if you eat eggs, the water from boiling them is good.
chicken poop is great, like sweetsilver says, but it is very "hot" and can burn plants if you put it directly on or do not let it age. all kinds of poop, except from carnivores/omnivores, makes excellent fertilizer; the best of all is rabbit, because it does not have to be aged. you can start seeds directly in it.
there are probably horse stables or cattle farms somewhere near you who would be happy for you to muck out or shovel some for free. it never hurts to ask.
epsom salts can be used as well, though i would do a little research on the type of plants you intend that to be used for and their preferences.
eta: oh! and look into vermiculture. that's pretty easy to diy.
and compost, too.
Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?
You can perk up plants by burying a broken egg with the shell about 4-6 inches from the root mass. I also like to give my garden a sugar high- so I take that weird can of pop that someone gave my kids and I hid out of site to my garden- mix it with a bucket of water and water with that occasionally. Epson salt works well to green up yellow plants- don't add too much though maybe like 1/2 c to 5 gallons of water well dissolved. Manure tea really needs an additional bacteria to make it awesome- even something like yeast will work better- and it also should be aerated.... Oh and I add sea minerals occasionally- I use GroPal- both for my garden,livestock, and me :) But really I think any you have in the house could be dissolved and put on. Also your shelf life of your produce will be soooo much better if you add calcium.
Iowaorganic- mama to DD (1/5/06), DS1 (4/9/07), DS2 (1/22/09), DS3 (12/10/10), DD2 (7/6/12) and a new kid due in early 2014
I notice you live in Hawaii - I am on the other side of the US (Rhode Island), but what we both have in common is proximity to beaches! Seaweed is a wonderful fertilizer. I gather it by the bucketful and use it as mulch under the straw in my veggie garden, but you can also put it in a large container, cover it with water, and wait until the water turns into a brownish sludge. If you add some fish emulsion it is a perfect fertilizer, but I think even without it is wonderful for plants. It also has the added benefit of being great pest control if sprayed on leaves.
Depending on what you are growing, coffee grounds and dried, ground eggshells are great too.
Second the seaweed (I usually use it as mulch on the gardening off season and then compost what the garden didn't eat). Compost tea and comfrey tea (decompose comfrey leaves in a black bag then mix with water). And of course any compost of veggie scraps, egg shells and animal manures (we have chickens). Chicken manure will turn to compost faster if the chickens have wood shaving or sawdust bedding or you layer a wood product over it in the compost pile. My layered, wet compost became soil in only two weeks in our unseasonably (for Nova Scotia) weather.
Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!