Making DIY liquid fertilizer is a great way to keep your garden happy and healthy. It’s free, easy, and super beneficial. This recipe is based on my own experience, and it has worked well for our garden. I suggest starting with a small amount on your plants, waiting a couple of days to see how they do, then adding more as needed.
Ok, now let’s get to it!
Step 1: Select Your Container
First, you just grab an old pitcher – something you can easily add food scraps or grass clippings to. Preferably something with a lid, because this stuff gets stinky as it ferments. Fill your pitcher about 3/4 full with water. My water looks murky in the image below because I left the remains of an old batch in mine and just added some new water.
Step 2: Adding Organic Matter
Next, you grab some food scraps, grass clippings, weeds, etc. Pretty much anything you would add to a compost pile can be used for this diy liquid fertilizer (hence the term “compost tea”). For the batch I made here, I added some homemade soup that didn’t get eaten fast enough, and some clover. I don’t use any exact measurements. I just throw in some organic matter. Then you find a nice strong stick or a wooden spoon and give it a good stir.
Step 3: Fermentation
Put the lid on and let it sit for a couple weeks. I store mine in the garage and pour it on my potted plants every two weeks or so. I never bother straining out the solids. I just let it pour out if it wants to, and anything that stays in the container gets reused in the next batch.
Mother Earth News commissioned a study on diy liquid fertilizers, and their scientist found that it’s better to not let the mixture ferment. This avoids the smell and keeps the pH more balanced. I haven’t had a problem yet with letting mine ferment, but to be on the safe side you may want to keep your steeping time to three days. That means you’ll want to make up a batch three days before you want to use it, whereas I just keep a batch continuously brewing. My mixture is strong, so I use a small amount and water my plants well after I add it.
I know it seems kind of gross, but it has helped our potted plants stay happy and healthy! Bunny poo is typically my favorite fertilizer, put eventually you run out of space in a potted plant. That’s when it’s nice to have a diy liquid fertilizer option. And hey, it’s free!
If this simple process takes too long or seems like too much work, you can always just dilute your own pee. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m pretty fascinated by the idea. The plants nourish you, then you nourish the plants. That’s permaculture at it’s finest, right!?
What’s New on Our Homestead
My sunflowers are blooming! This variety is called “Waooh” and I bought the seeds from Territorial Seed Company. I think they are my favorite sunflowers I’ve ever grown! Next year I want to try to plant them as a little hedge along our circle driveway.
I love when the boys help out around the homestead. We never make them do anything (aside from their regular daily inside chores). They usually either see us working outside and step in to help out, or they get paid a little for doing the extra chores. It helps us out a lot, and they usually have fun doing it. Mason helps by being cute and cheering everyone on while he eats his popsicles.
After finally tasting some ripe Yellow Peardrop tomatoes, I decided I’m not really a fan. I much prefer the Sungold cherry tomatoes, and my mother in law was sweet enough to give me some cuttings! All three of them rooted, so now I get to see if I can get them to produce anything in the greenhouse before it gets colder.