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Don’t waste money buying expensive fertilizers when you can make these amazing natural plant fertilizers at home! These plant fertilizers are more cost-effective and utilize waste products and natural resources, making them a more sustainable option for the home gardener. Let’s take a look at the best natural plant fertilizers and when to use them!

1. Banana Peels

Yellow banana peels just Peel to store organic waste.
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Banana peels are rich in potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium, all of which are essential for vigorous plant growth. This natural fertilizer is highly effective when plants are flowering or fruiting. Give it a try on your roses and tomato plants and you’ll be amazed by the results!

How to use: Chop banana peels into small pieces and bury them in the soil near the plant roots, or soak them in water for a few days to create a banana peel tea.

11 Reasons Banana Peels Are the Secret Ingredient Your Garden Needs

2. Coffee Grounds

coffee grounds
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Used coffee grounds are high in nitrogen, which helps boost leafy growth in young plants. They also contain other important minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron and will improve soil structure and water retention.

How to use: Sprinkle coffee grounds directly on the soil surface or soak them in water overnight and use the liquid as a mild fertilizer.

10 Reasons to Use Coffee Grounds as a Secret Ingredient in Your Garden

3. Eggshells

Cracked eggshell. An empty egg shell halves. Broken eggs cracked open easter eggshell.
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Eggshells provide a slow-release source of calcium, which improves plant health and helps to prevent blossom end rot in tomatoes and other vegetable crops. This natural fertilizer is most effective during periods of rapid growth.

How to use: Mix crushed eggshells into the soil or steep them in water to create a calcium-rich liquid fertilizer.

11 Uses for Eggshells in Your Garden

4. Cooking Water

Different food, selective focus.
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Did you know the water you use to boil vegetables, pasta, and potatoes is packed with nutrients? Rather than pouring this liquid away, use it to water leafy greens like kale, spinach, and chard.

How to use: Simply let the cooking water cool and pour it directly onto the soil around your plants. Avoid using water with added salt or fats to water plants.

5. Green Tea

Green tea
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Green tea is not just a tasty drink – it can also be used as a natural fertilizer! Green tea leaves contain nitrogen, tannic acid, and other essential nutrients that can promote healthy plant growth, as well as anti-fungal properties that protect plants from disease.

How to use: Brew a weak green tea solution using one tea bag per gallon of water. Let it cool and water your plants with this solution once a month during the peak growing season.

6. Epsom Salts

Epsom salts (Magnesium sulfate )
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Epsom salts are rich in magnesium and sulfur, both of which are vital for photosynthesis and overall plant health. This natural fertilizer has been used to boost growth and flowering in roses and other flowering plants for many years with great results.

How to use: Dissolve one tablespoon of Epsom salts in a gallon of water and use it to water your plants once a month. Alternatively, sprinkle the salts directly on the soil.

7. Compost Tea

compost tea
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Good quality compost contains all the nutrients your plants need to thrive, and turning this into compost tea is an excellent way to give your plants an instant boost. Compost tea also contains a multitude of beneficial microorganisms that improve soil health and disease resistance.

How to use: Steep well-rotted compost in water for 24-48 hours, then strain and use the diluted liquid to water plants every two to four weeks during periods of peak growth.

10 Compelling Reasons to Start Composting Today

8. Grass Clippings

grass clippings
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Grass clippings are packed full of nitrogen, helping to boost leafy growth during the warmer growing periods. The best grass clippings to use are freshly cut grass that has not yet gone to seed, which will add organic matter to the soil as it breaks down. Make sure any grass clippings you use are free from chemical herbicides and pesticides.

How to use: Spread a thin layer of fresh grass clippings around plants as a mulch, helping to retain moisture in the soil while gradually releasing nutrients throughout the growing season.

9. Alfalfa Meal

A large number of alfalfa green granules in a warehouse for the production of agricultural feed ready for packaging.
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Alfalfa meal is an excellent source of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and trace minerals. It also contains growth stimulants that promote vigorous root development and plant growth.

How to use: Sprinkle alfalfa meal on the soil surface and lightly work it into the top few inches of soil. Alternatively, make alfalfa tea by soaking 1 cup of alfalfa meal in 5 gallons of water for a few days, then use the liquid to water your plants.

10. Comfrey Tea

Liquid manure from comfrey in a comfrey field.
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Comfrey plants grow prolific amounts of leafy foliage that is rich in potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Some types of comfrey plants can be highly invasive, so choose only varieties that do not self-seed easily.

How to use: Add chopped comfrey leaves to water for a few weeks, then dilute the liquid (one part comfrey tea to ten parts water) and use it to water plants. Warning: Comfrey tea smells incredibly putrid, so keep this mix well away from your living area!

11. Seaweed

Fresh green seaweed in the water.
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Seaweed contains potassium, nitrogen, and trace minerals, as well as growth hormones that stimulate plant growth. It is a common ingredient in many commercially produced fertilizers and composts. Remember to gather seaweed responsibly without damaging natural ecosystems.

How to use: Make seaweed tea by soaking it in water for a few weeks. Dilute the tea and water your plants with it.

12. Wood Ash

wood ash in soil planting
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Wood ash is a good source of potassium and calcium. It helps raise soil pH, making it less acidic and improves nutrient availability. Make sure to only use ash from firewood that was not painted or treated with chemicals.

How to use: Sprinkle wood ash lightly on the soil surface and mix it in. Avoid using wood ash around acid-loving plants like blueberries and azaleas.

Why Wood Ash Might Be Your Home and Garden’s New Best Friend

13. Manure

Hand in bag of dark rich soil full of humus. High-quality photo
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Animal manure, specifically from herbivores such as cattle and rabbits, is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and organic matter.

How to use: Apply well-rotted manure as a top dressing around established plants.

14. Molasses

Molasses that remains as a residue from the crystallization of cane sugar and is used as food and rum production.
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Molasses are a well-kept secret in the plant world! This sticky liquid provides carbon, iron, calcium, potassium, and other micronutrients, feeding your plants as well as beneficial soil microorganisms.

How to use: Dilute two tablespoons of molasses in a gallon of water and use it to water plants once a month.

15. Nettle Tea

Liquid manure from stinging nettles in a stinging nettles field.
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Nettles are an underappreciated weed – they are high in nitrogen, potassium, and trace minerals that promote healthy growth and boost plant immunity. Just remember to wear gloves when picking nettles to avoid stings!

How to use: Add chopped nettle leaves to water for a few weeks, then dilute the liquid (one part nettle tea to ten parts water) and use it to water plants.

8 All-Natural Homemade Cleaners You Can DIY at Home

Close up of young woman hands with gloves cleaning the table with a spray at home windex
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Making your own all-natural homemade cleaner means using safe, eco-friendly ingredients that you may already have at home.

Check out these easy homemade recipes for window cleaner, laundry detergent, and more.

8 All-Natural Homemade Cleaners You Can DIY at Home

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