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10 Unusual Yet Cost-Effective Organic Fertilizers for Vegetable Gardens

Updated on October 6, 2015
Garden shovel with soil.
Garden shovel with soil.

The tides are now changing, compared to past generations; everything seems to be more complicated nowadays. Having a hobby is a money pincher, especially when your hobby is something that requires a lot of investment like gardening.

Gardening does not only cost you in terms of money, but it also eats up a lot of your time; it requires full and consistent attention that one mishap would make the whole thing crash like a deck of cards. Now the question arises, is there anything to make my hobby really feel like a hobby? Well, fortunately there is, one word, organic fertilizers.

Organic fertilizers are composed of many natural resources and what’s good about this is that not only would it greatly improve the growth performance of your beloved garden, but it is also very wallet friendly.

So then, here are ten cost-effective organic fertilizers that are sure to give a good run for your money.

ONE : Blood Meal

Next up is blood meal; blood meal is basically blood collected from cattle, commonly acquired from cattle slaughterhouses, which are then dried up into a powdery substance. Blood meal has a high nitrogen percentage, which would be beneficial for garden soil.

TWO : Bone Meal

In line with the concept of blood meal, another fertilizer is bone meal. Bone meal is finely ground bones commonly acquired from slaughterhouses. Though it is mostly used for flowers, it primarily contains phosphorous –phosphorous helps in the strengthening of the roots and promotion of seed growth in the vegetables. Although the similar elements are found in rock phosphates, bone meal proves to be a cheaper and more convenient alternative.

THREE : Bat Guano

Bat guano is another cost-efficient candidate, bat guano is another term for bat feces.

The pros with using bat guano is that odor is reduced to a minimum, and that it contains nitrogen and potassium, essential for both the soil and the plant’s health.

It ranges to about 30 dollars each pound.

FOUR : Seabird Guano

In line with the concept of bat guano, another alternative would be seabird guano, it is commonly collected in the rocks of Sea Islands, where the environment is dry, drastically increasing the amount of essential nutrients. It is the next best alternative in the guano fertilizers.

Compost tea sample.
Compost tea sample. | Source

FIVE : Compost Tea

Compost tea is also a cost efficient organic fertilizer; it can be created from the steeping compost. Compost tea would have the same beneficial effects as that of compost.

Here's how you can make your own compost tea.

SIX : Greensand

Greensand is another essential; it does have nutrients that can contribute to the growth and development of your garden but it’s most effective in its effect on the structure of the soil. Consequently, soil would be able to gather up water and nutrients more efficiently.

SEVEN : Fish Emulsions

Fish emulsions perform in a different way, the amount of nitrogen is kept in the equilibrium, the nutrients transferred to the soil is controlled in a way that the soil receives only what is sufficient. It also stimulates microorganisms that help in the intake of nutrients.

It is rich in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, which means that this fertilizer can revive the quality of the garden soil.

This is actually mild so there’s no bunt plants as a result. It is also used as foliar spray and soil drench.

EIGHT : Earthworm Feces

Earthworm feces is another shoo-in in this list; earthworms spend most of their lives underground, wriggling in the lower layers of soil. What can be beneficial to a garden’s health is their excretions. They contain microorganisms that break down organic matter, which makes it easier for roots to absorb the nutrients.

NINE: Manure

Setting aside the odorous aroma that the raw material gives off, animal manure does an efficient job with keeping the soil healthy as it contains plenty of organic nutrients such as nitrogen.

Along with this fact, this is not really that hard to obtain. You can use the manure of your chickens, goats, and cows.

An experiment showing two plants with and without urine.
An experiment showing two plants with and without urine. | Source

TEN: Urine

This does not pertain to animal urine, but your own urine. That is actually one of the best fertilizers for plants and vegetables. It is one hundred percent safe to use; in fact, this is purified by the astronauts in space so they have water to drink. Your urine is rich in almost all the vitamins and animals that your vegetables need.

These are just some of the many cost efficient organic fertilizers out there waiting to be discovered, but these ten would be the best for your valuable vegetables.

So, which of the 10 have you tried or is very interested to try today? Feel free to answer by commenting below.


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    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Great hub with some good info. I can vouch for about half the products you list here.

      There is one I'd add that I use all the time. Filter Coffee! Once you've made your moring brew just chuck the 'dregs' on the garden (or add water as I do and pour it over a large area) besides the nutrients it also has caffein that helps control slugs and snails and is totally pet friendly!

      Happy gardening


    • Evane profile image

      Eva 2 years ago from Philippines

      Hi SANJAY ! Yes, exactly :) There are even more actually :) Thank you :)

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

      Sanjay Sharma 2 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Thanks for sharing the wonderful information. Generally, almost all of these things go into the garbage, while they should be used as fertilizers.

    • Evane profile image

      Eva 2 years ago from Philippines

      Yes, indeed! Sometimes, it's surprising that solutions and ideas are just around us, even inside our house. ;)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Very interesting information! There's always more to learn. Thanks for this lesson.

    • Evane profile image

      Eva 2 years ago from Philippines

      Hahahaha :D You must try urine. That is very effective. Just use a chamber pot at night to collect them.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 2 years ago from India

      I use cow manure. Very interested to know about urine.

      I have to try that LOL