Nitrogen, often hailed as the backbone of protein synthesis in plants, is the silent champion propelling your plants’ growth and development. Making a good homemade nitrogen fertilizer for your plants is the secret tool to cultivate lush, healthy plants with an economical and sustainable approach. This not only nurtures your plants, but also nurtures Mother Earth by reducing the carbon footprint associated with commercially produced fertilizers.
Worm castings, known to many as ‘black gold’, are a powerful, yet incredibly simple, tool for enhancing the health and growth of plants. They are essentially the ‘waste’ produced by worms, rich in nutrients, including a 1-0-0 NPK ratio. That means it provides plenty of Nitrogen (N), a key element for plant growth.
This unique form of fertilizer serves as an excellent quick-release source of Nitrogen. It introduces beneficial fungi from the worm gut into your soil, contributing to the vibrant microbiome that helps plants thrive. But the magic of worm castings doesn’t stop there; it also includes a slow-release component, ensuring plants have a sustained supply of nutrients over a long period.
Application of worm castings is straightforward and easy. For outdoor gardens, typically, about 10-15 lbs per 100 square feet is ideal. This provides a substantial nutrient boost without overwhelming the plants. If you’re using containers for your plants, worm castings can make up to 1/3 of the volume in your potting mix.
Feather meal is a unique organic fertilizer derived from ground-up chicken feathers. Sporting a significant Nitrogen (N) value of 12 in the NPK ratio (12-0-0), feather meal stands as a strong contender in your gardening toolbox, particularly for late-season plant growth.
This powerful plant nutrient is renowned for its slow-release properties. Unlike other fertilizers that may overwhelm plants with a quick nutrient rush, feather meal releases Nitrogen gradually, thus providing a steady nutrient supply over a longer period. This characteristic makes it excellent for growing certain plants like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants that appreciate a consistent nutrient source.
Applying feather meal to your garden or pots is quite straightforward. For a 100 square feet area, using about 4-8 lbs of feather meal is advised. If you are working with pots, the quantity can be adjusted according to the size: a 1/3 cup of feather meal for a 5-gallon pot and a 1/2 cup for a 7-gallon pot would sufficient.
Fish meal is an organic fertilizer crafted from ground-up fish carcasses, a product that cleverly repurposes what would otherwise be waste. With an NPK ratio of 9-4-1, it offers a balance of essential nutrients, making it one of the best cool-season Nitrogen (N) sources for early spring plantings.
The Nitrogen in fish meal provides a necessary boost for leaf and stem growth, while the Phosphorus (P) supports root development and flowering. The Potassium (K) contributes to overall plant health and disease resistance.
Application of fish meal is a breeze. For gardens, you’ll want to apply up to 5 lbs per 100 square feet. If you’re potting plants, add a 1/3 cup of fish meal to a 5-gallon pot and a 1/2 cup to a 7-gallon pot. A word of caution, though – fish meal’s potent aroma may attract raccoons and other wildlife.
Bat guano, an organic fertilizer, is one of nature’s most powerful and efficient gifts to gardeners. It’s derived from the droppings of insect-eating bats, and with an impressive NPK ratio of 10-6-2, it provides a superb source of Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P), essential nutrients for plant growth.
The high Nitrogen content in bat guano supports vigorous and lush foliar growth, while the significant Phosphorus aids in robust root development and blooming. Additionally, bat guano is known for its versatility and is hailed as one of the finest soil amendments for container gardens.
But the magic of bat guano doesn’t stop there. It also encourages microbial diversity in soil or container mix. This enriched microbial activity bolsters soil health, ultimately leading to healthier, more resilient plants.
As for application, it’s straightforward. In a garden, apply about 1-2 lbs per 100 square feet. If you’re tending to an 8-inch pot, a tablespoon of bat guano will be enough.
Seabird guano, the waste of sea birds, is a powerful, well-balanced organic fertilizer. Its 10-10-0 NPK ratio is perfect for helping plants grow strong and healthy. This ratio gives your plants lots of nitrogen for leaf growth, and plenty of phosphorus for good roots and flowers.
But it’s not just about these nutrients. Seabird guano also helps improve the soil itself. It encourages tiny soil creatures to grow, making the soil healthier and better for your plants.
Using seabird guano is simple and it’s not expensive either, because a little bit does a lot. You can sprinkle it straight onto the soil or you can mix it with water and spray it on the leaves. You generally need about 1-2 lbs for every 100 square feet of your garden.
Crab meal, with an NPK ratio of 5-2-0, is a rich source of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K), but that’s not all. It’s loaded with Calcium (Ca), beneficial for strengthening plant cell walls, and Chitin, an essential ingredient needs to fuel the growth of chitin-eating microbes like fungi.
To whip up this sumptuous feast for your garden, apply crab meal at a rate of 1-2lbs per 100 square feet. It’s a small step that promises a bounty of healthier, more resilient plants, and a garden that sparkles with life.
Shrimp Shell Meal
Shrimp shell meal is simply a clever way to make use of the leftover shells from the seafood industry. It has a surprising benefit to a wide range of plants, from vegetables and herbs to colorful flowers that make your garden pop.
Packed with a balanced NPK ratio of 6-6-0, shrimp shell meal provides a great source of Nitrogen and Phosphorus. These are key nutrients that play a big part in ensuring your plants grow strong and vibrant. It’s not just about Nitrogen and Phosphorus, though. Shrimp shell meal is also rich in Calcium, another important ingredient that gives your plants their strength and firmness.
But there’s more to it. Shrimp shell meal comes with Chitin, a unique substance that helps microorganisms like fungi in the soil to grow. This in turn aids the development of your plant roots, contributing to the overall health of your garden.
Applying shrimp shell meal to your garden is straightforward. Just add about 1-2lbs per 100 square feet. Although it doesn’t seem like a lot, this minor addition can lead to major improvements in your garden’s health and productivity.