How to Make Your Own Plant Food for Garden Plants
Do your plants need feeding? You need not spend money on expensive and harmful chemical fertilizers to feed your plants. You can make your own all-natural organic food to nourish your indoor or garden plants with a few basic ingredients. Here's what you will need:
Tea & Coffee
If you want to sprout your seeds faster before planting them, soak them in lukewarm tea for a few hours to overnight. This works especially well with larger seeds like sunflower seeds, peas or beans. They will pop out of the ground a few days faster if you do this.
Sometimes otherwise healthy looking seedlings will keel over and die. This is called dampening off disease and it is caused by a fungus attack. Prevent this pesky disease with chamomoile tea. Put one tea bag into four cups of boiling water and let it sit for 24 hours. Now spray your seedlings at every watering until their second set of leaves appear.
You can pour diluted leftover tea and coffee on your plants, indoor or out. Try it once every two weeks at first, more often if they seem to like it. Acid loving plants like blueberries, azaleas or rhododendrons will especially love this treatment.
If you are into container gardening, mix a few used tea bags with the soil in the pot. The bags will retain water and add nutrients to the soil. This is also great to do with your rose bushes. Plant the tea bags under your mulch. Roses love the tannic acid from the tea.
Sow your carrot seeds mixed with unused ground coffee. This will make the tiny seeds easier to sow. It will also add nutrients to the soil as it decomposes.
Tomatoes and peppers love Epsom salts. They need the magnesium it provides. When you are planting your seedlings into the garden, add a tablespoon of Epsom salts in the planting hole. Add a tablespoon of Epsom salts in four litres (one gallon) of water and water your plants with it once a week to maintain the benefits.
Roses also like an Epsom salt treatment. Sprinkle one half cup around your rose bush in the spring, then water it in well.
Nonfat Powdered Milk
Many vegetable plants, especially tomatoes and squash, need a lot of calcium to grow and flourish. Blossom end rot is one of the problems that occur to tomatoes if there is a lack of calcium in the soil. Milk can also act as a fungicide. Try adding two tablespoons of powdered milk per one gallon of water and water your plants with it once a week.
Or if you prefer, mix one part of skim milk with nine parts of water and water your plants with that.
And here's one that combines the goodness of Epsom salts and powdered milk: Mix 1/4 cup of nonfat powdered milk with 1/4 cup Epsom salds and a shovelful of compost. Sprinkle this on your baby tomato plants when you plant them outside. This will feed your plants and ward off blight.
Rinse and crush up your eggshells and sprinkle them on the ground wherever you plant your leafy greens. When they pop through the soil, snails and slugs will avoid your plants as they can't stand to crawl over the sharp shells.
Eggshells also supply calcium to the soil. Every two weeks, crush up your eggshells in the blender with some water. Aim for six shells per litre of water and water your plants with that.
Feed your alkaline loving plants like clemantis and delphinium with one tablespoon of baking soda in two litres of water for fuller and healthier blooms.
To cure black spot on your roses, mix two teaspoons of baking soda and a few drops of liquid soap in four litres (one gallon) of water. Pinch off the affected leaves and spray this on the rest of the rose bush.
Banana peels act as a slow release fertilizer that provides potassium and trace elements. Chop them up and bury near your rose bushes. You can also throw a banana peel in the bottom of your planting hole when planting out your vegetable seedlings. They will love you for it.
So there is your shopping list to make your own plant food. Don't forget to start your own compost pile, too. Compost is the ultimate homemade plant food.
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