fbpx

35+ Powerful, Inexpensive Organic Fertilizers You Can DIY

Home gardeners spend big bucks each year on organic fertilizers for their gardens and houseplants—but you don’t have to be one of them. You can easily make your own organic fertilizers at home, using waste material you are already generating and other inexpensive items.

Why Do Plants Need Fertilizer?

Your plants need fertilizer because:

  1. Most soil does not provide the essential nutrients that are required for the best plant growth and production.
  2. All of those beautiful flowers, fruits, and veggies that you grew last year took nutrients from the soil. Your garden needs another boost of nutrients to support this year’s plants. (This holds true even if you are super lucky to have the rich, loamy soil that all of us crave.)

Find Out What Your Plants Need by Getting to Know Your Soil

The first step to knowing what your plants really need in terms of fertilizer is knowing what your soil needs. That’s where a soil test comes in. Your local county extension office should be able to provide one. You simply send in a soil sample using the instructions they provide, and they’ll send you back an extensive report that tells you what your soil already contains and what you really need to add for optimal plant growth. (You can request that they provide their recommendations in terms of organic fertilizers.)

Read More: “6 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizers for Healthier Soil”

The report will also tell you the composition of your soil. Generally speaking, this is important because soils vary in their ability to hold nutrients and make them available to plants. Sandy soils do not hold nutrients well; clay soils do. However, clay soils do not like to give up the water they hold, so it is more difficult for plants to take up the nutrients that are available. As we mentioned above, loam is the soil that every gardener strives for. Those of us who don’t start out with it (and that’s most of us) try to achieve it by adding lots and lots of amendments—in the form of organic matter—to our soil over the years.

Which Do I Need: A Soil Amendment Or Organic Fertilizer?

First, let’s look at the difference between a soil amendment and organic fertilizer:

  • Soil amendments are mixed with soil to improve its physical properties or increase microbial action. They make a plant’s roots happy and healthy. Amendments improve the soil’s water retention, permeability, drainage, air-holding capacity, and structure. Soil amendments are added to … well … the soil! You can add them before, during, or after planting.
  • Organic fertilizers are applied to promote plant growth rather than to change the soil’s characteristics. However, many organic fertilizers also improve soil characteristics and thus can be classified as soil amendments. The nutrients in most organic fertilizers are not readily available for plants to take up. Microorganisms in the soil need to break them down further so that plants can use the nutrients in the organic fertilizer. However, some organic fertilizers—including bat guano, fish meal, and worm castings—do contain nutrients that are readily available to plants.

So, which does your garden soil need? The short answer is that you need both—amendments for long-term improvement of the physical properties of your soil and the microbial life in it, and organic fertilizers to meet your plants’ needs over the short-term growing season. The goal is eventually to need less and less fertilizer as the quality of your soil improves through the regular addition of amendments.

Organic Fertilizers vs. Chemical Fertilizers

Now let’s look at the difference between organic and chemical fertilizers.

Organic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizers rely on soil microorganisms, which break them down, making their nutrients readily available to the plants in the process. Organic fertilizer releases nutrients slowly and decreases the risk of over-fertilization. The slow release of nutrients also means they are available for a longer period of time. Even though they’re applied to promote plant growth rather than to improve soil characteristics, many organic fertilizers will also improve your soil. They may do so by increasing soil’s ability to hold water and nutrients, helping to loosen hard-packed soil, adding natural nutrients, and feeding important microbes.

On the downside, many organic fertilizers act slowly, so your plants won’t be able to use the nutrients until the decomposing process is completed. (Because of this, the best time to add organic fertilizer to your soil is before you plant in it.)

However, there are fast-acting organic fertilizers, too. Bat guano, fish meal, and worm castings all have nutrients readily available for plants.

Read More: “Homemade Fertilizers—15 Simple and Inexpensive Options”

In addition, while many organic fertilizers contain low percentages of the three key nutrients—nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K)—they generally also provide additional nutrients you won’t find in chemical fertilizers.

Chemical Fertilizers

Chemical fertilizers contain manmade materials, either completely or partially. Manufacturers combine these in different ways and amounts to get a super-growth fertilizer that may or may not be organic. Chemical fertilizers contain nutrients (usually N-P-K) that are already broken down and are therefore available to plants immediately. However, they do not improve soil characteristics.

It’s important to note that applying chemical fertilizers that your soil doesn’t need can lead to a buildup of salts and other minerals in the soil, causing damage to your plants.

35 Inexpensive Organic Fertilizers

When your garden is ready for organic fertilizer, here are 35 effective, affordable homemade options to consider:

  1. Worm Castings: Worm castings are soil superfood! They provide nitrogen and make soil absorbent. A huge number of beneficial microbes and bacteria are introduced to the soil, too. Learn more about worm composting here.
  2. BeerThe jury is out on this one. Many tests have shown that beer doesn’t add anything, but some people swear by it. Beer is a simple sugar and plants need complex sugars. Scientifically speaking, it probably doesn’t work. However, it does work to get rid of slugs and is a great cool-down on a hot gardening day! Also, if you brew your own beer or live near a microbrewery, you might want to use “Beer Mash” (the grains leftover from making beer). It’s a great soil amendment.
  3. AmmoniaAmmonia naturally occurs in the soil. There are microbes in the soil that pull nitrogen from the air and put it into the soil in the form of ammonia. The amount is what is important here. Use 1 or 2 ounces per gallon of water, mixed with molasses. Microbes love this stuff. If you’re uncomfortable using manmade ammonia, you can always slide down the list and use urine instead.
  4. Liquid Dish Soap: This is another one that is up for debate. There are a lot of studies that show that dish detergent (made with a lot of chemicals) is harmful to plants. However, there are some organic dish soaps that will help your “supertonic” to penetrate the soil. You only need a couple of drops in 32 ounces of water to get the job done. Remember, more is not better!
  5. Dog and Cat Food: Make sure that it is an organic pet food. Sprinkle the dry pet food on the bed or container. Turn the soil or water it in. It provides protein to feed the fungi and bacteria, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium, plus other minerals. To discourage vertebrae pests, be sure to cover this fertilizer with cardboard.
  6. Tea: Tea and tea bags are excellent for your garden. As the bag and tea decompose, they release nitrogen. First, make sure your tea bag is compostable. (You don’t want the ones made of polypropylene. If the bag is slippery, don’t use it in the garden.) Tea also makes a great brew for acid-loving plants like azaleas and blueberries. Tea also helps deter some root maggots.
  7. Bone Meal: Alright so this is a stretch for just having some lying around the house. However, bone meal is a really good source of phosphorus and protein. It is coarsely ground animal bones and waste products. (Make sure you need phosphorus in your soil before adding it. A soil test is your best friend in the garden.) If you want to make your own bone meal, here’s what you do:
    1. Collect bones by storing them in the freezer.
    2. Clean them by making a bone broth.
    3. Once they are clean, sterilize them. Place them on a baking sheet under the broiler for 10-15 minutes.
    4. Dry the bones by placing the cooking sheet on the counter for about three to four weeks. They need to be completely dry.
    5. Crush them into a fine powder with a food processor. (If you use a mortar and pestle, be sure to wear a mask over your nose and mouth.)
    6. It is now ready to use.

      Read More: “How to Make and Use Bone Broth”

  8. Antacid Tablets: If your soil is low in calcium, this should be a go-to. It helps prevent blossom end rot in your tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Push one tablet into the soil by the plant’s roots. Voila! Instant calcium boost.
  9. Coconut Coir: Coconut coir has become the replacement for the non-renewable peat moss. This soil amendment adds air and space to assist with water retention and nutrient uptake. It makes a great seedling starter!
  10. Humanure: Okay, I hear you with your “ewww’s,” but hear me out. This organic material is a valuable resource rich in soil nutrients. In the US, each of us wastes more than a thousand pounds of humanure each year. Composting is key! Depending on your climate, it takes anywhere from 1 to 10 years to fully compost human feces and break down the pathogens. (To prevent the spread of pathogens and disease, only use for fruit and nut trees—not on vegetables.) Please consult a humanure expert in your area. For more information, check out The Humanure Handbook by Joseph Jenkins.
  11. Newspaper: Newspaper makes a great mulch and soil amendment. The added bonus is that the soy-based ink kills diseases in the soil. Newspaper can be shredded or laid in a thick layer on your beds. It is best to wet the newspaper before applying. NOTE: Do not use the glossy inserts from the paper. The colored inks and finishes can be toxic.
  12. Comfrey: This deep-rooted herb was once a traditional remedy to help heal broken bones. Its vast root system acts as an accumulator by extracting a wide range of nutrients from deep in your soil. These nutrients naturally accumulate in its fast-growing leaves. Cut 4 to 5 pounds (1.8 to 2.27 kg) of leaves from each plant. It is super-rich in nitrogen and potassium. Some research has shown that comfrey leaves have 2 to 3 times more potassium than farmyard manures!
  13. Urine: Yes, you read that right! Human urine is an excellent source of nitrogen. It is great to add to compost tea or your compost pile as an activator. Pathogens, disease, and toxins are quickly killed within 24 hours of leaving your body. Dilute the urine with water in a 1:2 ratio and water your plants.
  14. Citrus Rinds: Stir those rinds right into the soil. As they break down, they’ll release sulfur, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and more nutrients. You can also dry the peels and grind them into a fine powder that can be added to the soil.
  15. Kelp Meal or Seaweed: Kelp contains small amounts of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, but it’s very high in trace elements, too. Typically, you’ll mix this liquid fertilizer with water. Use it as a foliar spray or pour it onto the soil around plants.
  16. Granite Dust: Granite is made of volcanic rock. It is filled with more than 60 different elements, including potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Trace elements in granite make the soil nutrient dense. Be sure to read the label!
  17. Green Manure: This is a favorite! Green manures are a fall cover crop that is grown on beds or pastures before or after crops or flowers to add nutrients back into the soil as they grow. They get turned under after their season. Some green manures include clovers, vetch, rye, and mustards.
  18. White Vinegar: Feed your container plants with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of sugar in 8 ounces of water. Bring the mix to a slow boil until the sugar dissolves. Then, let it cool and nourish those hungry plants. (There is a lot of chatter on the Internet about white vinegar changing the pH level of your soil. Tests have shown that it may have a temporary effect, but it is nearly impossible to change the pH of your soil, except over the very long-term.)
  19. Grass Clippings and Weeds: These are an excellent source of nitrogen and potassium for your fertilizer teas. Put the clippings in a 5-gallon bucket filled with water. Cover and let marinate for 3 to 4 weeks. You’ll have a lovely batch of “green” fertilizer tea.
  20. Mushrooms: The part of the mushroom that you see is actually the fruiting body. In the soil is where the real magic happens. Fungi are part of the soil web that helps bring nutrients to your plants.
  21. Borax: Some plants of the Brassica family, like broccoli and cauliflower, need boron (found in borax). Be sure to do a soil test to see if your soil needs boron. If it does, sprinkle 1 tablespoon over 100 linear feet.
  22. Bat Guano: Whether fresh or dry, bat poo adds a heavy dose of nitrogen to the soil. It acts fast and has very little odor. It also helps enrich the soil and helps with drainage and texture. Add it directly to the soil or make a bat guano tea!
  23. Rabbit Droppings: Bunny poo has a high concentration of nitrogen and phosphorus, as well as other trace minerals. It can be added directly into the soil or added to your compost pile. Bunny Poo Tea can be made using a 5-gallon bucket, a shovel full of rabbit pellets, and water to the top of the bucket. Let steep for 2 days. Water the soil when it’s ready! Watch our short video on raising your own colony of rabbits!
  24. Chicken Feathers: Feathers from your backyard chickens add nitrogen to your compost pile, and eventually, the garden. First, put them into your compost pile to let them decompose.
  25. Shellfish: Lobster, shrimp, and crab shells provide nutrients, including phosphorus. However, the bacteria that breaks them down is even more important! Simmer the shells for 20 to 30 minutes in boiling water. Drain well. Put them in a food dehydrator or oven until dry. Crush the shells with a mortar and pestle. Add to your compost pile or directly into the soil.
  26. Baking Soda: In order to sweeten tomatoes and discourage pests, lightly sprinkle baking soda on the soil.
  27. Compost: Compost is a great soil amendment and provides nutrients and microorganisms to your soil. The microorganisms make the nutrients available for the plants to take up. If you want to make a tea, let the diluted mixture sit for 12 to 24 hours with added aeration, by frequently stirring the mix or by using a water pump. The bacteria in the mix will explode in numbers, making it a very potent source of microorganisms. Click here to read more about boosting your compost pile.
  28. Alfalfa: Alfalfa is commonly used as part of livestock feed. However, alfalfa meal is simply ground up so that it breaks down faster. This particular fertilizer has low amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. As a result, alfalfa meal works fairly slow. The best use for this fertilizer is as a soil amendment in the early spring prior to planting crops.
  29. Nettles: The stinging hairs of the nettle plant may deter you from using this bad boy, but if you can stand it, put your harvest into a 5-gallon bucket, and cover them with water. In 3 to 4 weeks, you’ll have wonderful plant food for your garden.
  30. Hydrogen Peroxide: Your plants’ roots will thank you for a little extra oxygen. Mix 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with 2 cups of water. Water your plant’s roots with the solution.
  31. Pine Needles or Straw: Adding pine needles supplies nitrogen to your soil. It also adds bulk that will bring in the beneficial microbes to help break them down. NOTE: Too much straw or any other high-carbon “brown” material can rob your plants of nitrogen, because the bacteria will steal the nitrogen from the soil as it seeks a brown/green balance for the decomposition process.
  32. Blood Meal: Add crucial nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen to the soil by using blood meal to promote healthy plant growth. Want to make your own blood meal? You can! Gather the blood. If you’re a woman, use your menstrual blood by collecting it in a menstrual cup. You can gather it from your meals, or from butchering some of your animals, too. Either way, pour the blood onto a baking sheet. Put it into a 375°F oven. Keep it in the oven until all the blood is completely dry, about 20 minutes. Let cool. Scrape the dried blood off the baking sheet and into a container. Use a mortar and pestle to ground the blood into a fine powder.
  33. Fish Emulsion: Fish emulsion fertilizer is high in nitrogen but pretty stinky! It is also very acidic and should be used lightly to avoid burning plants. Nonetheless, fish emulsion acts immediately once it is applied, which makes it a good treatment for leafy greens that are suffering from low nitrogen levels. Be sure to experiment. Some plants may not tolerate it very well. There is a recipe below!
  34. Crushed Oyster Shells: Oyster shells are a slow-release fertilizer to keep your garden healthy. Crushed oyster shells are a common supplement for chickens, and you can usually buy them where you would buy chicken feed. Or, if you have access to oyster shells, you can crush them into small pieces and bury them in the garden. The calcium carbonate in the shells will make the soil alkaline. Again, make sure you know your soil before adding this amendment.
  35. Nut Shells: Pop the nut in your mouth and toss the shell into the garden. It’s a win-win! Nut shells add bulk, which will allow water and nutrients to get to the plant roots. Microbes will be super happy with your discarded shells.

5 More Easy Homemade Fertilizers

#1: Comfrey Tea

Comfrey tea stinks like crazy, but it is oh-so-good for your plants! Here’s how to make it:

  1. In a big bucket or a lidded plastic trash can, submerge comfrey leaves for 3 to 5 weeks. (Use a brick or something similar to hold the comfrey leaves down.) How long you soak the leaves depends on the warmth of  your climate.
  2. Mix the comfrey solution with more water to dilute (so it doesn’t damage or burn the root systems of plants), a 1:3 (water) ratio should work.
  3. Store in a cool dark place.

#2: Acid-Loving Plant Booster

Mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in 1 gallon of water. Hand water your acid-loving plants.

#3: Seed-Starting Fertilizer

This is a great fertilizer to use to keep soil moist when you’re sprouting seeds. Here’s how to make it:

1 drop of organic liquid dish soap
2 drops of ammonia
1 tablespoon of worm castings

Place the above into a 1-quart misting bottle. Fill it with water. Shake it gently and mist the soil in your seed container every day until you start to see little sprouts.

#4: Homemade Fish Emulsion

You don’t have to buy fish emulsion—you can make it at home! Click here to get the recipe.

 

#5: Container Garden Smoothie Fertilizer

Here’s a great fertilizer to use with the plants in your container garden:

Compost bucket
Blender
Kitchen scraps (these might include egg shells; vegetable scraps; banana peel, broken into small pieces; used coffee grounds; used bulk herbs from herbal teas; spent fruit (non-moldy); stale sea-vegetables)

Place all scraps in blender. Fill blender halfway with water. Don’t add too much water, because there is already liquid in your kitchen scraps. (You don’t want your blender to explode compost all over the kitchen!) Place lid on blender. Start on a low setting and puree until everything is combined and becomes a liquid.

Feed it to your container soil. To do this, you can either pour it on top of the soil and water it in immediately, or you can let it sit for 24 hours, and then water it in or turn the soil. If you already have plants in place, pour the mixture into a large bucket and fill it with water. Then pour the water-liquid over the soil.

Remember, gardening is an adventure. Try different organic fertilizers and make note of the results. Some things may work better for you than others. You be the judge!

What Do You Think?

What’s your favorite organic fertilizer and how do you use it in your garden? Please let us know in the comments below!

______________

This is an updated version of an article that was originally published on July 3, 2017.

The Grow Network is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for our team to earn fees for recommending our favorite products! We may earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you, should you purchase an item after clicking one of our links. Thanks for supporting TGN!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

(Visited 29,651 times, 1 visits today)
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categorised in: , , , , ,

This post was written by The Grow Network

COMMENTS(33)

  • Mondo says:

    Wow this was really helpful glad you shared with the rest of the world ,we need to educate others on this topic ,its so important ,,to have a steadfast garden with these tips n tricks people everywhere can now enjoy the fruit of there labor ,,good on you thanks so much..mondo

  • jon draw says:

    What fertilizer do you recommend to help time grow so we have enough of it to do everything?!!!

  • Sandy Jones says:

    I was really interested in the section about the citrus rinds. I had heard that they weren’t good for earthworms.

  • Farmer Phyl says:

    These are all good ideas for some gardens… but not all gardens. Just because it’s organic doesn’t mean it’s always good for your soil or plants. Vinegar will add instant and temporary acidity to the soil, but but will also kill many soil microbes and decomposers reducing the overall natural fertility of the soil. And too much nitrogen, especially quick release forms, and it will cause organic matter in the soil to decompose very quickly depriving the soil microbes of food and reducing soil fertility. Excessive nitrogen can sometimes increase aphid problems too. So use a little caution.

  • krys says:

    Marjory, I’m STILL not a land-owner (yet!) but with your amazing, benevolent and wise advice, I’ve learned sooo much! I’ve never dabbled in a garden so far but look forwards to doing so once I get my own place. Thank you & bless you and yours always.

  • Sheila Fontaine says:

    I am using the weeds in a bucket. Just add water cover stir daily. Brew 2-3 weeks. One cup of rough and fill the watering can. One Bucket fertilized my fence line 60 feet, and all my potted plants. Nice green leaves with in three days. I have several buckets on hand. Every one has weeds. So thank you all for all the hard work I learned so much. I love gardening and not paying a thing for fertilizers.With the money I saved I was able to buy a ecostove and use up all my garden sticks. The ash and coal for the garden as well. Next a solar oven. I do not live off the grid but I sure could.
    I thank you all for all the information. As we learn new ways to improve our soil. I am not able to use them all. But with the good information you gave. There is something for everyone.
    Happy gardening!
    Sheila

  • Edward Lye says:

    Basically I just chuck everything into my wet compost pile{broken pail/tub/container with a 3foot cylinder of wire mesh around it – the container ensures that the pile is kept moist and the load of leaves/twigs/whatever ensures no mosquitoes breed}. Everything goes … except … mangosteen shells which never seem to rot or be attacked by fungi or mould. Humanure is harvested using a large slotted spoon tied to a generously loooong handle then covered with grass clippings. I have one roadside dead cat under a pile of grass clippings and tea leaves from a local coffee shop.

    What is the proper ratio to dilute urine? Most websites recommend 1 to 10 in order not to kill earthworms. 1:2 seems quite potent to me.

    Comfrey is not native to tropical Asia. What other plant/weed is its equivalent here?

    1. Shaela says:

      Banana plant or palm fronds, cut up? Any non toxic large leaved plant, or perhaps the leaves of a vine? The point is, any non toxic, bio mass/ greenery should be able to be used, as long as it’s non toxic, and non acidic, unless u need more acid in your soil.

  • Debbie says:

    Regarding newspaper, I remember reading waay back that black ink was okay, but some colored inks sometimes had something toxic in them. I am wondering if this is still the case. Weed tea sounds great, as I always have plenty of weeds around. I would also like to know if I can make a tea out of slugs and snails, as I have been picking them off my brassicas by the hundreds and throwing them in a bucket of soapy water.

  • Charles Pledge says:

    Some great information. I have done organic gardening for a number of years and was familiar with about everything except Comfrey tea for vegetables. Thanks. Wish I could print it to add to my notes.

  • Joanne says:

    Thank you fo the excellent informative article Marjory. Lots of great ideas to try. I would like to add…for those who make Kombutcha (fermented tea)…and eventually have too many SCOBYs (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), that SCOBY’s are great for the compost/soil. I’m guessing that you could blend a SCOBY with water and add it to your soil too. It’s already fermented so I’d add it to soil directly. Thanks again Marjory. Love your emails.

    1. Debbie says:

      Please let me know about this, as I was just wondering what to do with extra SCOBYs. They won’t dissolve in water, so would you chop them in a food processor or blender? How about extra Kombucha for the compost tea?

      1. Laura Nilsen says:

        I used to blend my SCOBY’s with water and pour in the garden or just throw the thing in the compost.

  • Jemima says:

    No mention of Epsom Salts? One tablespoon per gallon is supposed to help…

  • Rose Hayles says:

    Great information! I am a Master Gardener but no matter, I am always learning and the knowledge is endless. Thank you!

  • tracy says:

    Hi Marjory

    I keep hearing about adding urine to your garden. I wonder what the impact of the urine would be if you are on medication…

  • Julie says:

    On the citrus, does it matter that they’ve been soaked in some alcohol?

  • Emeka Onah says:

    Can I maket your product here in Nigeria

  • Tammie Kruse says:

    This is a great article, Thank You for sharing.

  • Daniel Gatoto says:

    I am interested in organic farming and planning to start activity soon

  • Five Acre Farmgirl says:

    I LOVE all these ideas…however, I do have questions about composting,,,I live extremely rural and have severe bear problems..
    THEY LOVE COMPOST…does anyone have any suggestions..????????????
    I compost my composting toilet and stuff that does not draw them, but, hate throwing away other stuff that can compost…HELP!
    Thanks for any suggestions….
    Five acre farmgirl

    1. Shaela says:

      Chili pepper sprinkled on it? Perhaps if they sniff or try to eat it and have a burning sensation, they’ll stay away. It won’t harm them, but should be very uncomfortable for them for a bit. Another idea, maybe u could put your compost pile inside a chain link dog kennel, that maybe they couldn’t get into. Another idea, is simply just make Scrap Frappes/Smoothies, with the edibles they might be interested in, and just compost inedibles, like coffee grounds, egg shells, weeds, leaves, grass clippings, etc. If they don’t find any edibles, they might stop coming. The edibles in the Scrap Frappes, would be buzzed infitely small, and integrate with the soil so much, there wouldn’t be anything for the bears to eat.

  • Five Acre Farmgirl says:

    Hello…I LOVE to compost, but, have extreme bear problems…
    does anyone have any suggestions……
    bears LOVE compost…HELP !
    Five Acre Farmgirl

    1. Debbie says:

      I have bear problems as well. You could try burying what attracts them under a good layer of things they do not like, so hopefully they will not smell anything they want to eat. Also, I believe bears are deterred by ammonia, so you might put some ammonia in a spray bottle, and spray it around and on the compost. Of course, you will have to reapply it frequently, especially after rain. Unfortunately, once bears have discovered a food source, they can be quite persistent in returning to it.

  • Betty Montgomery says:

    Okay, maybe I’m being picky but with a Masters degree in Broad Field Earth Science I just can’t let it slide. Sigh. Sorry.
    Granite is NOT volcanic rock. It IS an igneous rock. The difference: Volcanic rock is what you get when magma runs out of a volcano and hardens on the surface of the earth. The mineral crystals in it are either very tiny or absent altogether as it becomes the super liquid known as volcanic glass. Igneous rocks, such as granite, are rocks that were not extruded into a volcano or on to the surface of the earth but cooled very slowly underground allowing all those beautiful little crystals of various minerals to form giving the rock it’s distinctive look. I could go on about this as, obviously, I’m fascinated by such things, but I don’t want to take up much of your time. Until later then and just remember the old, old geologists joke : Don’t take all your rocks for granite.
    Oh, and thanks for the fertilizer ideas!!

  • Patty Sullivan says:

    Marjory,
    This is all very helpful with the exception of a few things that need to be brought to
    light >
    1) Unless the Beer is organic, the grains used in the brewing process are all GMO.
    2) 90% of soy is GMO. So are the soy-based inks on printed newspaper. Unprinted
    plain newsprint paper, on the other hand, is fine.
    3) I believe Alfalfa is now largely GMO.
    4) Before mixing straw into the soil or into compost, one should find out if it has been sprayed with pesticides, fungicides, or glysophate in the field. In other words, one should know the source.
    5) No GMO grains, non-organic breads, or GMO produce should ever be added to the
    compost pile. EWG (Environmental Working Group) has great information on pesticides, etc. on produce.
    6) Any fish that now comes from the Pacific Ocean has elevated levels of radiation from Fukushima. According to oceanographers, the ocean floor off the West Coast is
    now totally littered with dead sea animals.
    7) Any fish or crustacean from the Gulf of Mexico is now contaminated with Corexit
    from the Horizon debacle. Corexit is poison.
    8) All freshwater streams in the USA are contaminated with Mercury from power plant
    emissions.
    9) Although large gardens and farms are watered from the sky because of little choice,
    I personally grow organics in smaller plastic-roofed raised beds and water with well water. This is because the chemtrails covering us most days and falling with the rain
    are loaded with aluminum, barium, lithium, mycoplasm, and who knows what else
    all in the name of fighting “global warming” (that as not been helped by human
    unconsciousness) that is the result of changes that are happening in our solar system.
    These are destroyers of the fungal layer and soil micro-organisms, making our soils
    even more depleted.
    10) Natural NPK in a diverse organic compost is great in the beginning, but when plants
    start to flower and fruit, nitrogen should be reduced to a minimal, even 0%

    I have been an organic gardener and avid self-health researcher for decades. I hope
    that is information proves helpful to you, even if it is somewhat disheartening. We
    really need to be incredibly informed to stay healthy. Grassroots sharing is vital to
    our longevity.

    1. Kathy says:

      Still better than store bought. We can’t avoid everything. Not all alfalfa is gmo as well as barley that beer is made from. I use manure from my grass and alfalfa fed cows, works great, don’t need to add anything else. My garden is abundant.

  • Kelly says:

    Only problem is when starting a new garden there just isn’t enough material without importing to succeed. Going forward the garden does turn out better, the liquid fertilizer’s like compost tea are very helpful.

    1. David lally says:

      To a point you can use a lot of kitchen waste that is organic… Also to add life to your soil make a compost tea from the top layers of an old woodland or forrest soil. You don’t need much so the forrest won’t miss it and it is bursting with life that is great for any soil! Also add some old rotting wood to the tea to boost fungal life, airate the tea and feed black molasses to the tea to increase life over a 24h period. …. it also helps if the water temperature is a tad warmer (not hot just warm).

  • David lally says:

    Hydrogen peroxide!!!! Organic ? …. some good ideas on here but seriously this is bad advice on the whole… keep your soul healthy and your plant will follow, it’s that simple ! Add some worms, some organic matter and make compost teas and you won’t go far wrong with feeding. Add perlite or coco or even sand for fast drainage and oxygen retention. Know the difference between water soluble and readily available feeds and feeds that need to be broken down by micro life with in the soil.

  • Will Stecklair says:

    Hello, great article!

    https://website.com

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.