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Organic Fertilizers for Home - Growing Gardeners

For the Love of Homegrown Stuff: Organic Fertilizers for Gardeners

If you plan to plant a garden at home, you can easily grow one just like professional farmers, but without the chemicals.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Nov 27, 2018
There's nothing like the taste of homegrown tomatoes. Regular grocery store produce sections have red globe-shaped vegetables that look like tomatoes, but they taste nothing like the real thing grown in your own garden.
The same truth applies to most vegetables in grocery stores that are shipped in from faraway places or other countries. Unless you make regular trips to a farmer's market or roadside vegetable stand, the only way to get that home-grown taste is to plant your own garden at home.
Couple Planting Vegetables
Many home gardeners choose to grow their own vegetables not only because they taste better, but also because they can control whether or not they are exposed to chemicals, fertilizers, or other toxic materials intended to make them grow faster, bigger, pest-free, or sturdier.
Those substances may make the vegetables look better and last longer, but they can dramatically affect the nutritional value and definitely the taste.
Compound Fertilizer
Fertilizer is one of the most common thing, making vegetables toxic. When you buy vegetables, you must wash them thoroughly before eating. Even then there is so much you can wash off because fertilizers are applied from overhead by spraying.
High pile of manure in farm
Instead of chemical fertilizers, it's easy to find natural alternatives that work just as well and are much healthier.
Coffee grounds and ashes
Ground coffee
One of the best mulches you can use around vegetable plants is a mixture of coffee grounds and wood ashes from fireplace. This provides nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous that help to make plants hardier and more tasteful.
Manure
Cow dung as bio fuel
It doesn't matter where you live, there is probably an excellent source of organic fertilizer around. If there is a cow pasture nearby, a stable, a petting zoo, or a pet store, ask if you can get manure for a rich, nutritional plant compost.
manure
Most places are more than happy to have you haul away their manure stockpiles, because it saves them the time and trouble of cleaning up the manure.
Seaweed
Dried Wakame Seaweed
If you live near the coast, seaweed is a good way to fertilize your garden. It is rich in potassium and nitrogen than most manures, and most communities are glad if people take the seaweed that clumps up on the shore interfering with the beach fun.
You may think that seaweed would be soggy and difficult to work with, but you only have to rinse it off. Pile it in a stack on your driveway or sidewalk, where the water runoff will not affect your yard or garden. Leave it there for few weeks so the rain will wash it thoroughly and you can add it to your compost heap or into the garden soil in the fall.
Green manure
Man with manure
In the fall, after clearing vegetables or flowers from the garden, you can sow a green manure crop like winter rye or vetch. Such plants flourish in cool weather, thus protecting the garden from weeds, erosion.
Three or four weeks before planting in the spring, simply turn the winter crop over by digging it into the soil. As the plants decompose, they become a fertilizer for the next crop by adding humus to the soil.
If you are careful to mix compost and home-grown organic fertilizers, you will be able to customize your garden beds specifically for the vegetables and flowers you're growing. One of the best things you can do to ensure that your soil is exactly what you want it to be, you can have it tested.
Soil tests are available from a state agricultural university, if there is one in your area, or you can get one from a local Cooperative Extension office. The results of a soil test will tell you exactly what you need to do to fertilize your soil and add whatever trace elements are necessary.
Organic gardening
Knowing how your soil will perform for you will help you to give your plants exactly what they need to thrive. There is nothing like home-grown vegetables, so taking the time to ensure that they have ideal conditions for growing happily will end up making you happy.