More and more people are turning to growing their own food, whether it’s in a window box, garden planters or giving up half of their garden to the production of fruit and vegetables. It could be for any number of reasons like to save money on their grocery bills, or simply to know where their food comes from. But no matter what they choose to grow, all plants require feeding occasionally, even your run of the mill house plants. Rather than spending money on what can not only be expensive but also harmful commercial plant foods there are a number of organic and natural plant foods that you can make yourself using only basic ingredients.
Coffee and Tea
Not only does a nice brew in the morning pick you up and set you up for the day it can also do the same for your plants. For example, if you want your seeds to sprout faster than usual you should soak them for a couple of hours in some lukewarm tea, especially sunflower seeds or other large seed varieties. Sometimes seedlings just seem to give up and die, this is actually due to a fungus and is known as dampening disease. Dampening disease can be successfully treated using chamomile tea. Simply add one chamomile teabag to four cups quantity of boiling water, steep the tea bag in the water for at least twenty four hours, transfer the liquid into a spray bottle and spray over your seedlings every time that you water them, once they get their second leaf set you can stop.
Don’t pour left over tea and coffee down the drain, let it cool and use it on your plants both those indoors and those in the garden; once a fortnight should be enough for you to see an improvement. If you have a container garden take a few used tea bags and mix them in with the soil in your pots. The tea bags will actually store up water and add essential nutrients to the plants, this works really well with roses. Carrots love coffee - mix up your seeds with some coffee grounds before you sow them and you will be boosting them with extra nutrients right from the start.
Other Sources of Plant Food
- Epsom Salts: Perfect for tomato and pepper plants, the Epsom salts give the plants the magnesium that they need. Place some in the pot as you plant out your seedlings and water with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of salts to four litres of water once every week.
- Milk Powder (Non Fat): Vegetable plants need calcium in order to reach their full potential and the milk will also double as a fungicide. Try watering your vegetable plants with two tablespoons of the powdered milk diluted into four litres of water at least once a week. You could also use fresh skimmed milk in the mixture of none parts water to one part milk.
- Eggshells: Rinse off your eggshells and sprinkle them around where you have your leafy green vegetables planted; it will stop slugs and snails coming up and making a meal of your greens. Eggshells also add calcium to the earth. Once every two weeks add crushed eggshells to the water that you water your plants with.
- Banana Peel: Rather than an instant hit, the banana peels act like a slow release plant food - they deliver potassium and other nutrients to the plants. Chop up the discarded peels and bury them around your rose bushes. You can also add some banana peels to the bottom of your holes when you are planting out your seedlings to give them a great start.
As a home and garden blogger Eric has come across many different plant food recipes that are created without the use of powder filling from Neatcrown. However Neatcrown do provide some excellent ready to use pesticide and insecticide options.