Here is guest blogger Kerri with a recipe to make to your own organic garden fertilizer:
Fertilizer Tea Time
I’m thrifty. I have a Goodwill frequent shopper card and I most certainly love a good rummage sale. I’m running my 1997 Subaru into the ground…and proud of it! So, I don’t know about you, but it pains me to drop $12 or more on a bag of organic fertilizer. I’m tired of forking over my hard earned cash to Menards! Take a stand with me and make some fertilizer tea!
Yields 3 Gallons
4 Cups Seed Meal (I used cottonseed meal)
1 Cup Dolomitic Lime
1/2 Cup Bone Meal
1/2 Cup Kelp Meal
Place all ingredients in a double-layer large square of cheesecloth.
Tie the corners to make a tea bag. Pour three gallons of water into a large container (I used a 5 gallon pail that I had on hand). Submerge the tea bag in the water ( I used a length of old pantyhose to secure the tea bag to the handle of the bucket to suspend it in the water).
Steep for 24 hours.
Sparingly water your garden plants, near the roots, with your finished tea. I used a soup-ladle full for each plant. One batch was enough to fertilize my front and back garden and a few potted annual flowers.
So far my results from application of the fertilizer tea, after one week, have been solid.
The plants appear strong and vibrant and the eggplants have experienced a bit of a growth spurt. I would say that the fertilizer tea is on par with any organic ready-made fertilizer you can buy at your local garden center. Although the original recipe poster noted that this yielded only one batch, I’m steeping the tea bag again and will do a weaker fertilization this week…because I’m thrifty.
If you’re interested in making your own fertilizer tea, your best bet for securing all of your ingredients in one stop is to visit your local Stein’s Garden Center. I first visited a Farm and Fleet ( or Farm and Barn, as I like to call it) and could find only a couple of the ingredients. The only organic products they carried were Miracle Gro products (which I try to avoid). I then ventured over to Stein’s and was delighted to find that not only did they have all of the ingredients I needed but they had three different organic brands! Thrilling! I think the grand total for all ingredients was around $70. This may seem like a lot to drop all at one time but, if I’ve done my math right, for a small garden like mine, you could be set for a couple of seasons. You may have to purchase more seed meal. I plan to continue to use the fertilizer tea in combination with side dressing with additional composted manure for the rest of the season.
Next time: When to harvest beets and easy ways to prepare them!
And…check out these pics from the garden this week. A katydid came to visit!