Here are a few recipes for making your own fertilizer for your Organic garden.
Eggshells are a calcium rich tonic for your garden. Many plants feed heavily on calcium, especially when blooming. Just save the eggshells from cooking until you have about ¼ cup, add them to a gallon of water and let the mixture sit for a few days, maybe even a week, then use the water to water your plants.
You can keep a bottle steeping while you collect more eggshells.
Fish water food.
If you have an aquarium or even just a fish bowl, don’t throw the water away when cleaning the tank out. Use it to water your houseplants, I find this keeps my purchase of commercial fish fertilizer at a minimum. I also take the water from my outside garden pond and use it to fertilize my roses.
Manure tea is my favorite fertilizer, although a bit messy to work with, it is great for seedlings or mature plants. If you can find a friend or neighbor with a horse, you are indeed lucky as they should be able to provide you with a constant supply.
The recipe for Manure tea:
I shovelful horse, cow or poultry manure (preferably aged)
1 large piece of cloth or fine mesh vegetable bag
Put manure in the cloth and tie it closed. Place package into a bucket and fill the bucket with water. Let steep for 2-3 days. Remove manure bag and discard in your compost pile. The solution remaining should look like weak iced tea (although it may not smell like it!). Now use as a soil drench or a foliar fertilizer. If you want to make lots of this concoction, expand ingredients to fill a trash can.
Spread mulch thickly or thinly, depending on the plants and type of mulch. For woody plants a three-inch layer is the norm. Start the mulch 2-3 inches away from the trunk to keep the mice from chewing on the bark and also to prevent rot.
For shallow-rooted plants, like azaleas, put on a thin layer. Use mulch that breaks down easily in one season, for annuals and perennials. Leaf, straw, and grass mulches are great for this purpose. Using these mulches, you can dig up and turn soil without worrying about any that has not been broken down, by the end of the growing season.
Pine needles make a great mulch for acid-loving plants. The needles break down and add a lower ph to the soil, which is preferred by plants such as Azaleas, Hydrangeas, and Rhododendrons
To keep paths weed-free, try placing newspaper or cardboard down and then add a thick layer of mulch on top, try using bark or wood chips as they make a good path.
I think that the worst choice for mulch would be Peat Moss. Although it is acid and will lower a soil’s ph, be careful with it if you live in a dry area. It must be kept moist or it can form a dry crust that actually repels water instead of absorbing it.
I also find that it is quite expensive, especially if you have a large garden, and often tends to blow away.
I hope that these “recipes” will be of use.