When it comes to helping plants grow, you can never underestimate the power of plant food. There are plenty of brands of plant food on the market, but do you know what chemicals are inside, and how they can affect you?
That's why it may be best to make your own plant food. Making your own plant food isn't as hard as it seems. You'll be surprised how much more rewarding it can be to make your own.
Why Do You Need to Use Plant Food?
Planting your plants in the soil isn't the only thing you can do to ensure growth. The truth is, plants need much more than soil and water to make them grow healthy. Most soils don't contain the right minerals for every plant.
Even if you do have healthy soil, plants have a way of soaking up the nutrients to grow. When they've taken everything they can, their progress may slow. This is how you know it's time to start feeding them. So, giving them plant food at the beginning is ideal for growth.
What Kind of Chemicals Are Bad?
Chemicals in some store-bought brands of plant food and fertilizer are harmful. These include:
- Anhydrous ammonia
- Diammonium phosphate
Some of the chemical filled fertilizers have a wealth of dangerous effects. They contain levels of nitrogen and other substances that are harmful in high doses. Not only can these be bad for your health, but they can also contribute to water pollution.
The chemicals can get into the air, and they also pollute water sources. This is only one reason why it's a good idea to start making your own plant food.
How to Make Your Own Plant Food
Here's a recipe for homemade plant food. You'll feel proud of the plants in your home knowing you fed them with healthy food.
Epsom Salt Mix
Epsom salt is a very effective nutrient for plants. The reason is that it contains a good amount of magnesium. Next, you'll need baking soda to act as an anti-fungal. Household ammonia is the third and last ingredient. Because it's household ammonia, it contains the right amount of nitrogen plants need.
To make this homemade plant food:
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of Epsom salt
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of ammonia
- Gallon of water
Heat a cup of water and stir in baking soda and Epsom salt until they dissolve. Then, pour the water into a larger container and fill with the rest of the water, plus ammonia.
Once it's all stirred, you can pour the fertilizer mixture over your plants every few weeks. You'll see the difference in the way they grow when you give them homemade food.
Use Scraps from the Kitchen
There are some things you throw in the trash that you could use to feed your plants instead. Kitchen findings such as coffee grounds, banana peels, and eggshells are all useful.
1. Coffee Grounds
Some plants are keen on acidic food. Plants such as roses, blueberries, and tomatoes thrive on it.
If you want to use your leftover coffee grounds, there many ways in which to do so. You can sprinkle the grounds on top of the soil before you water it. The water will help the ground absorb them.
You can also put the grounds in water and let it soak up the leftover coffee. Then, when the water is dark, you can pour it over the ground.
If those options don't sound like enough, there's another way to do it. You can mix the grounds in with the topsoil. That way the plants are sure to get every nutritious benefit.
2. Banana Peels
Sometimes throwing away banana peels feels like a waste of food. It won't, though, if you use them as plant food. Your rose bushes will thank you for it. When you plant your roses, place a banana peel into the ground with the roots. That way the plant can absorb the potassium it needs.
This method isn't only good for roses. You can use it to get healthier vegetable plants, as well.
Eggshells don't seem like a useful item for gardening, even though they are. When you've finished cracking your eggs, don't throw away the shell. Wash off the residual yolk and white and then set it aside for a later time.
When you're ready to feed your plants, crush the eggs shells. Once they're crushed, mix them into the soil so they can seep into the plant roots. If you have tomato plants, these are perfect for adding calcium for them to feed on.
4. Weeds and Grass
Usually, you want weeds to stay out of your garden. But did you know weeds and clipped grass can be effective liquid plant food? The reason is that weeds and grass both absorb a lot of nutrients from the ground. You can grow your plants by putting those nutrients back into the ground.
Create a liquid fertilizer by soaking grass and weeds in water for a couple of days. When it's finished soaking, be sure to dilute the solution by cutting it with water. Then, pour the water into another container and feed your plants with it.
You can use this solution every few weeks to see results.
5. Other Things to Use
There are many other things you can use to feed your plants:
- Manure compost
- Fresh seaweed
- Pet food
If you don't have the means to make your own composts you can always buy it. People are willing to sell their mixtures.
More at Decker's Nursery
There's more to helping your plants grow than only knowing how to make your own plant food. You also need to know when to plant, what to plant, and how to care for your plants. Read our blog for advice on all these gardening basics.
Want to take your garden to the next level? Visit the nursery for pottery and much more!