Expense-Free Fertilizers Around the House. 9 Easy-to-Apply Ideas

Plant fertilizers purchased from the local garden center often contain chemicals that may harm your plants and are not environmentally friendly. In addition, fertilizer can be a bit pricey, but you needn’t spend a bundle of money because, believe it or not, you are full of fertilizer. There are quite a few common disposable items in your home that can be used as plant fertilizer. So here’s a list of nine great expense-free fertilizers around the house. 

1. Aquarium water

Water your plants with the aquarium water taken right out of the tank when cleaning it. Do not use water from a saltwater tank. The fish waste makes a great plant fertilizer.

2. Expense-free fertilizers around the house. Hair

Hair is a good source of nitrogen and you can easily get it from your hairbrush but also the local barbershop or beauty salon, as well as your dog or cat.

3. Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds are particularly useful on those plants that like more acidic soil such as blueberries, evergreens, azaleas, roses, camellias, avocados, and many fruit trees.  Allow the coffee grounds to dry and then scatter them lightly, as a mulch, around your plants.  Avoid scattering them thickly when they are wet, because clumps of coffee grounds have a tendency to get moldy.

4. Expense-free fertilizers around the house. Banana peels

Banana peels benefit many different plants. When planting roses, bury a banana peel in the hole alongside the rose. As the rose grows, bury banana peels into the top layer of the soil. Both of these approaches will provide the much needed potassium that plants need for proper growth.

5. Cooking water

Many different nutrients are released into the water that food is cooked in.  Water that is used to boil potatoes, vegetables, eggs and even pasta can be used as a fertilizer.  Just let the water cool before applying it to your soil.

6. Expense-free fertilizers around the house. Egg shells

Calcium is an essential plant nutrient which plays a fundamental part in cell manufacture and growth. Plant growth removes large quantities of calcium from the soil, and calcium must be replenished, so this is an ideal way to “recycle” your egg shells. Simply crush them, powder them in an old coffee grinder and sprinkle them around your garden soil.

7. Wood ash

Ashes can be sprinkled onto your soil to supply potassium and calcium carbonate. Best ash is from hard wood and never use any from charcoal or lighter fluid.  Don’t use ash in areas where you are trying to maintain acid-loving plants – the ashes are alkaline and can increase alkalinity in the soil.

8. Expense-free fertilizers around the house. Gelatin

Gelatin can be a great nitrogen source. Dissolve one package of gelatin in 1 cup of hot water and then add 3 cups of cold water.  Pour directly on the soil around your plants once a month.  This is great for houseplants!

9. Corn gluten meal

Corn gluten meal is a byproduct of the wet-milling process for corn. To use as a fertilizer, simply spread a thin layer of corn gluten meal and scratch it into the top inch of soil. Corn gluten meal also works as an herbicide before seeds germinate.

Credits: thegrownetwork.com

Photo credits: brit.co, johnpaul.com, buzznigeria.com, petful.com

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