12 July 2007

Homemade fertilisers (fertilizers)

One of the things H and I are trying to do is to bring as little as possible into our home from outside. We try to make or grow what we need and that applies in the garden too. Here are some recipes for homemade fertilisers.

Cut the leaves from the comfrey plant before it flowers and throw the leaves into a bucket that has a lid. Half fill the bucket with leaves and put a brick on top of them to stop them floating. Fill the bucket with water and put the lid on. It will smell ... a lot. Stir it every couple of days and in two or three weeks you'll have a nice brown liquid that is an excellent feed for your green leafy plants. It's high in nitrogen so it will really give them a boost. USE: Strain the leaves out of the mixture and put them in the compost. Add 20mls of your comfrey mix to every 2 litres of water and add a couple of grated pieces of soap to help it stick to the leaves when you spray it on. If you have any comfrey tea left over, pour it onto your compost. It will help it decompose.

Take two shovel fulls of horse/cow/sheep/pig maure, or one shovel of chook poo and place it in a hessian bag. Place the bag in a large barrel and fill to the top with water. Let this sit of 7 - 10 days. USE: It can be used straight, poured onto the soil around plants, or dilute it (50:50) for delicate plants. Don't waste what's left of the poo in the hessian bag. Dig it into the compost heap.

Almost fill a watering can or bucket with water. Add half a cup of worm castings, one tablespoon molasses, one tablespoon of fish fertiliser and half tablespoon of seaweed concentrate. Stir this well for at least five minutes. USE: Pour this on and around your plants first thing in the morning.

If your garden bed
will stand empty for a while, plant a green manure crop. This can be any legume type plant like cow peas or broad beans, or you try a grass like oats or barley. If you have left over peas or beans, use them, or buy green manure seeds from somewhere like Green Harvest (see further reading below). When the crop is about a meter high, cut it off and leave it as mulch. When you're ready to plant again your soil will be alive and healthy and ready for the new crops.


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