Make Home Based Natural Fertilizers from Kitchen Scraps for a cleaner and greener Home
Being outside in the sunshine and fresh air is a great way to de-stress and lift up your mood. Gardening is one such activity that is not only a great exercise but has also proven to be helpful in decreasing the chances of depression, cholesterol levels in the blood, and blood pressure. Once you start with gardening, the next best thing to do is start composting – an aerobic method of decomposing organic solid wastes. Compost(or “black gold,” as some refer to it) is the best fertilizer for plant soil. Composting also helps to decrease the amount of waste you would dump into garbage cans, which in turn harms the atmosphere. Vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy products, bread, coffee filters, unbleached paper napkins, meats, eggshells, and newspapers can all be composted. Composting can easily be done at home. However, some of us may not have the determination, patience, or in some cases, the space to have an outdoor compost bin or a worm bin to start composting.
How can you Fertilize the Soil with Home Based Natural Fertilizers?
So, you can’t compost; however, still, want to use natural fertilizers for your plants?? Fret not –there are various food scraps that can be used as natural fertilizers for your garden or potting soils. Some of them are:
- Banana Peels: These disposable skins filled with potassium help plants grow fruits and flowers and thus can be used as an organic substitute to chemical fertilizers. All you need to do is plant whole banana peels under the soil, close to the roots of the plant or simply throw the peels on top of the soil and let them decompose by themselves. If attracting mosquitoes, pests, or animals is a concern, then just blend the banana scrap with some water in a mixer and pour it onto your plants.
- Orange Peels: Orange peels act like a cat, pest, and mosquito deterrent. All you need to do is bury small pieces of peels or sprinkle grated or shredded peels around plants to keep aphids, ants, mosquitoes, and cats away. These peels, which are rich in fiber, vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, calcium, and other essential nutrients, will certainly help your soil and plants immensely.
- Coffee Grounds: Our plants need the minerals and nitrogen available in coffee grounds to boost their life, just as we humans need a cup of coffee to energize our day. Copper, calcium, and potassium are some of the other natural elements available in the caffeine byproduct. It must be noted that some experts recommend using coffee grounds only on alkaline soil or acid-loving plants.
Recommendations for using coffee grounds as fertilizers:
- You can start slowly by mixing small amounts of coffee grounds to your potted or garden plants (probably try one tablespoon for pots and one cup for gardens).
- Dry the coffee grounds before using them to prevent the growth of mold.
- Before watering, sprinkle used coffee grounds around plants; this aids in a slow-release of nitrogen, or you could also dilute the coffee grounds with water to form a gentle, fast-acting liquid fertilizer.
- Egg Shells: Most of us really do consider plants to be a part of our families. So, if you are feeding your family scrambled eggs for breakfast, then why not treat your plants with the leftover eggshells? The calcium deposits in eggshells (which is almost 98 percent of the shell) help your plants get an incredible boost. Many plants, such as tomatoes, peppers, and egg plants, are vulnerable to a disease called blossom-end root. The cause of this disease is a calcium deficiency in plants. Eggshells substitute the depleted calcium in the soil, which helps in the prevention of this disease. All you need to do is first wash and dry out the eggshells, and then place the dried eggshells in a bag or a blender. Crush these eggshells to a powder-like consistency and sprinkle the eggshell powder around your trees or plants.
- Cooking water: When food such as eggs, potatoes, rice, or pasta is boiled in water, a lot of nutrients are released. Instead of throwing this water away, why not let plants benefit? Cool this water and pour it into the soil, and it acts as a natural fertilizer.
Kitchen Residue for Gardening Purposes:
Inspired to not throw out all your waste?? Well, there is more – apart from being used as natural fertilizers, there are some leftover kitchen items that can be used for gardening purposes:
- Old milk jug: An old milk jug can be used as a substitute for a watercan, which is used for watering plants. All you need to do heat up a needle and poke holes in the lid for the water to flow through it freely.
- Citrus peels used to start seeds: Poke a hole in the bottom of the peel for drainage and then fill it with potting soil. Sow the seeds and sprinkle some water. Once the seedling is ready to be transplanted, you can plant the seedling in a container or in a garden with the peel. The peel decomposes itself and nourishes the young plant as it grows.
- Paper Towel Rolls: You can use paper towel rolls in your garden instead of throwing them out. All you need to do is cut the paper into pieces and press the pieces into the soil around your newly planted seedlings to provide them with an added protection from pests. You can also use paper towel rolls as seed starters.
- Pepper Leftovers: The leftovers from peppers, such as tops and seeds, can be used to keep garden pests away. All you need to do is blend the waste, strain, and then mix with water in a spray bottle. Spray this blend to protect your plants from pests.
So, instead of throwing your kitchen waste into the garbage or waste bin, it is indeed quite easy to use its natural fertilizers or also for gardening purposes. So, let us make use of such opportunities and help ourselves, our plants, and our atmosphere. Happy Planting!