[Fertilizer] Organic Garden Fertilizer Alternatives
Typically store purchased fertilizer can contain harmful chemical that will eventually pollute your soil and any plants or vegetables you plan to grow in that spot into the future. Although levels of toxins are regulated and are allowed to be purchased, using organic type fertilizers is always a better solution. In the information below, learn how you can use alternative fertilizers in your garden that does not necessary have to include manure.
Gardening is messy and sometimes stinky work. Awhile back, I posted an article about the Unglamorous Side of Homesteading and smell is definitely one of them. Using manure in the garden or dealing with manure from your livestock is a necessary evil for most homesteaders. Not everyone who gardens wants to use composted manure but neither do they want to use chemicals from some big agra company. I was asked a couple months ago about non manure options that were still organic and natural to fertilize with.
I was surprised at how many people were actually forbidden to use manure of any kind in their gardens, even in container gardens! These rules generally applied to places like homeowner associations or gated communities that aren’t exactly known for their personal freedoms in the first place. I knew about compost teas and a couple other things that would help but what shocked me the most is how many organic fertilizers we actually throw away on a daily basis!
Used Coffee Grounds – As I said above, we are saving coffee grounds not only for keeping the slugs away, they are also a fantastic way to put some nitrogen in your soil. It can be applied right on top, worked in to the top few inches of soil, or composted. The abrasive nature of coffee grounds helps keep slugs away.
Crushed Eggshells – Eggshells are a great way to put some calcium and other minerals back into the soil. Their sharp edges also help to keep the slugs and snails away. Depending on how large your crushed pieces are, adding them to the top few inches of soil or mixing into the overall soil will help drainage while at the same time releasing nutrients back into the soil, making for better food!
Dried Banana Peels – Used as a mulch, dried banana peels make great fertilizer that will release nutrients over time. They also provide you with natural pest repellent as bugs such as aphids can’t stand bananas. You can also bury small bits of peel an inch or two in the garden but whole peels are not recommended as they can attract unwanted rodents.
Seaweed and Kelp – I can personally attest to the results of using seaweed and kelp can produce. A lot of people immediately think that using either of these organic fertilizers will cause a build up of salt in the soil but that is simply not true. When you think about it, the vast majority of the plant is water and what is left is a fraction of actual organic matter. The real upside to using either fresh or liquid seaweed and kelp is all of the minerals from the ocean being deposited into your soil. I cannot recommend this enough, especially if you are against using (or unable to use) manure fertilizers.
Bone meal – The use of powdered bone meal is an ancient practice to help restore nutrients and trace minerals needed to grow strong plants. You can make your own though most people tend to buy it as the process can be cumbersome.
Image Source: Kyle Taylor
Article Source: 5 Organic Non Manure Fertilizer Options