For many gardeners, developing organic fertilizer recipes is a matter of pride. There is personal satisfaction in being able to create a custom fertilizer that is made specifically for your growing conditions.
All Purpose Fertilizer Recipe
This recipe is measured by volume, not by weight. Cutting a gallon milk jug to create a scoop with a handle is a great way to measure these ingredients.
- 3 parts seed meal
- 1 part blood meal
- 1 part dolomite/calcite lime mixture
- Half part bone meal
- Half part kelp meal
- 1 part diatomaceous earth - the type certified for garden and food use, not for pool use
- Mix together all ingredients and combine well.
- Sprinkle throughout the garden.
This is a good plant booster filled with a multitude of nutrients. It's also incredibly easy to make.
- Three shovels of compost humus or three shovels of one of the following: composted cow, horse or sheep manure (If you don't have your own livestock, purchase bags of composted manure at any garden center.)
- Place compost in burlap or another leaching bag.
- Tie the bag to a rake or broom handle and suspend it into a barrel or garbage can filled with water.
- Steep for one week. When the water is a dark brown color, it's done.
- Apply at the roots once a month, or dilute the mixture with clear water to apply more frequently.
This is a great organic fertilizer that you mix into the soil, either when planting something new, tilling a new bed, or when you just want to jazz up an existing bed. This formula is balanced with minerals and nutrients for a slow and steady maintenance release.
- A form of calcium, such as powdered limestone
- A form of nitrogen, such as seed meal and alfalfa meal, equally combined
- A form of phosphate, such as rock phosphate
- A form of potassium, such as greensand and kelp, equally combined
- Combine one part each of calcium, phosphate and potassium.
- Add to that four parts nitrogen.
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Store the mixture and the base ingredients in secure containers.
- Again, whether it's by the handful or a shovel full, always work this fertilizer into the soil.
How to Apply Organic Fertilizer
In the spring, before you plant your garden, spread the mixture over the entire growing area in an even layer. Cover it with a layer of compost.
For vegetables and plants that require a lot of nutrients, apply the mix at a rate of six quarts of fertilizer and a half inch of compost per 100 square feet. For plants that don't need as many nutrients to do well, apply four quarts of fertilizer and about a quarter inch or so of the compost per 100 square feet. For heavy clay soils, apply about 50 percent more fertilizer and a little extra compost.
Over the course of the growing season you will need to side dress the plants with small amounts of the fertilizer once a month. This will ensure that they get enough nutrients to flourish.
Your Best Garden Ever
Don't be afraid to experiment with these recipes. Each garden will have different nutritional needs. Take a soil sample to your agricultural extension agent and have it analyzed. In this way you can have the information you need to adjust the amounts of the ingredients specifically to your garden. Experiment with different ratios until you are happy with the results. Understanding the nutritional needs of your plants, the type of soil you have and how to enrich it is an important step in creating your best garden ever.