Do you have a green thumb and love sowing and growing plants? Are you constantly on the lookout for hacks to increase soil fertility?
If yes, you will be happy to know that most of the things you use while cooking prove to be useful and helpful fertilizers. Yes, while you may need some natural fertilizers for some plants, most can grow quite well with various kitchen staples.
Here are 10 ideas for naturally nourishing your soil using ingredients you find at home.
1. Banana peels
The bananas you eat for an energy burst and potassium is also your plants’ friend. They make natural fertilizers for roses and other beautiful flowers, thanks to the potassium in it. Just add them to the soil before planting your flowers. They naturally degrade, and the surrounding soil soaks up its potassium.
2. Coffee grounds
If you have a habit of brewing coffee at home, it’s time you start using the coffee grounds for the benefit of your plants. They help because they have nitrogen that slowly releases into the soil.
It’s also rich in other minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and copper. Just sprinkle them thinly onto the soil, and balance them with some browns or carbon-rich materials like dried leaves, newspapers and prunings.
Coffee grounds don’t immediately add nitrogen to the soil. It however adds organic material to the soil for improved drainage, soil aeration and water retention.
Many think that coffee grounds reduce the soil’s pH or increase its acid levels. However it’s applicable only to unwashed coffee grounds because fresh coffee grounds are acidic while used are neutral.
This is why it’s best to sprinkle fresh coffee grounds around acid-loving plants like lilies, hydrangeas, azaleas and blueberries. It’s also useful around most vegetables which are slightly acidic like tomatoes and root crops like carrots and radishes. Besides, the caffeine in coffee grounds keeps snails and slugs away from plants by negatively affecting them.
3. Egg shells
Instead of throwing out egg shells, why not crush and mix them into the soil or to your compost? Your plants will benefit from its nitrogen, phosphorus and mostly calcium. Even the water used for boiling eggs is full of calcium. So don’t throw it. Let it cool and water your plants with it.
Eggshells are most beneficial to tomatoes, squash, peppers and other vegetables that are prone to blossom end rot. Eggshells may not help this season’s produce because the shells don’t break down quick enough to create calcium. But they do eventually decompose to directly add calcium to the soil.
4. Fireplace ash
If you have a fireplace to burn wood, it’s time to start adding the ash to the soil. Ash helps your plant by providing it with calcium and potassium and by improving the soil’s alkalinity.
5. Honey and potato
Did you know that it’s not just kitchen waste that’s useful as fertilizers? You can grow a lovely and healthy rose plant in your balcony garden using nothing than your kitchen products?
Yes, all you have to do is dip the base of your rose cutting into some honey, and poke it into a potato. Now place the potato and rose into your pot and trim off the unnecessary leaves. The honey stimulates roots while the potato works as a fertilizer to give you beautiful and bushy rose plant.
6. Water bottle for succulents
All you need is a water bottle and some water to grow more succulent sprouts. Just poke as many holes into the plastic bottle with your knife or scissors, and place some succulent leaves in them. Now add about 2 inches of water to the bottle and pretty soon you are left with numerous new sprouts for growing.
Your fallen hair is your loss, and while you may not be able to do much about it, you can at least use it to fertilize your plants. Place it in the soil so that the nitrates in your hair fertilize your plants.
8. Rice starch
Don’t throw away the water used for washing rice. It’s full of starch which is useful for soil bacteria. It also contains, and adds small amounts of minerals and vitamins like nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus to the soil.
9.Pencil shavings make a great pest repellent
You may know how to use our pencil sharpening for craft projects. But did you know that it helps get rid of worms on your plants too? It’s not enough to add fertilizers to your plants, you also have to add some pest repellents like pencil shavings. Just place some shavings into the pot, and you no longer have bugs to worry about. This is because cedar wood is a natural pest repellent.
10) Coconut Coir
Don’t throw away the coconut coir or the packaging cushioning in the egg boxes from HealthyBuddha.in. It makes great mulch, which acts as an additional soil layer to conserve soil, retails water, reduce weed growth and improve aesthetics. It is rich in carbon and can also be added to your kitchen waste for making compost.
Planting and growing plants is no longer difficult. You can do it at home, using basic kitchen ingredients as fertilizers. Of course, you may need to add some natural fertilizers once in a while, but in most cases your kitchen ingredients are the cheapest, most natural and effective fertilizers.
HealthyBuddha.in home delivers organic seeds, farm inputs for growing vegetables in your balcony or terrace. in addition, they also home deliver fresh organic fruits and vegetables in Bangalore and North Goa.