This page contains handy tips on how to fertilise your garden without buying fertilisers and pesticides. Crop rotation and companion planting is a great way to ensure your plants have the nutrients they need, but you can also use kitchen scraps like banana peels and coffee grinds to give specific nutrients to particular plants.
Save your banana peels
Place them in water to soak (I use large jars). When the water turns cloudy pour this onto the garden. This adds potassium straight to the soil in a form that plants can absorb. Potassium is the nutrient used by fruiting crops to fruit (cucumbers and strawberries). Repeat this until the banana peels are black and then place them on top of the mulch to decompose. They will deter aphids from the garden and then break down into the soil for extra potassium.
Sprinkle a half a cup of milk powder on the soil at the base of every plant.
You can also purchase gypsum from nurseries which is a mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate. Follow the packet directions.
Egg shells are also a way to add calcium to your soil. However, they do take a long time to decompose and release their calcium content. Therefore what you compost now will benefit your soil in the future. Here is how I process my egg shells...
Add 1 teaspoon of Epsom salts to 1 Litre of water and either spray on leaves or pour on the soil.
This is found in worm tea or vermicastings, bone meal, fish fertiliser or gelatine and essential to promote flowering.
Legumes have little nodules on their roots which put nitrogen into the soil. If you leave the roots in the ground when harvesting, and plant a leafy crops, the nitrogen will continue to feed your leafy crop.
All roundersDid you know that vegetables contain most of their nutrients right under the skin? This is why you should always eat the skin of vegetables like carrots and potatoes. But there are some meals - like potato and leek soup which we enjoyed on these cold days to eat the last of our potatoes and leeks - which require you to peel the vegetable.
Potato skins are an amazing source of nutrients. In fact that are a great all round soil booster with:
Yes you can of course add them to your compost or compots (which I have and love). But this will take time to break down. So why not soak them in water for 2 days and pour directly on your plants, before adding them to your compost. A little bit of food now and some for later.
Buy or grow organic potatoes to keep it organic