There are so many different things that plants can use as fertilizers that we have in our normal day to day life, even some really crazy stuff.
In this guide we’ll show you some unconventional fertilizers for your garden.
Each of these four mysterious bags contains something very strange, which you may never have considered using as a fertilizer for your garden.
This tutorial will help you see that fertilizing plants doesn’t have to be just a matter of going out and buying a bag of 10/10/10. Here are four freaky fertilizers that work very well and are readily available.
Seaweed right off of the beach is one of the best fertilizers that you can put in your garden.
|Bags of kelp meal are sold in California, but if you live anywhere near the ocean, you can pick up some for yourself. Ground up kelp can be used to add minerals to the garden.|
How to use seaweed in the garden.
- Give it a rinse.
Along with the minerals of the ocean, we have lots of salt and so because seaweed comes out of the salty ocean, we don’t want that much salt in the garden.
|This doesn’t apply all the time as mulched beds of tomato with seaweed and a little extra salt instead makes the tomatoes taste better according to some studies.|
Once you’ve rinsed the salt off the outside, there are as many as 90 minerals that can be contained in seaweed.
|It’s a source for all kinds of excellent nutrients for your garden including nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, which are the main minerals.|
- Throw the seaweed directly into your compost piles.
This is a cassava, also known as manioc or yuca. It’s a root crop from the tropics. You can give it a boost of seaweed, which will give it lots of extra minerals.
It will then break down into the soil and the earthworms and everything will eat it over the season. And it’ll do well. You can also take the seaweed and make rings around fruit trees such as an apple tree in your backyard
- Stir it into a bed when you dig a new garden bed.
If you have kelp meal or if you have seaweed, just go ahead and dig it right into the bed. This will then put those minerals into your soil and then your plants will take them up.
- Mulch and add seaweed to your compost.
If the ground doesn’t have selenium in your compose, you need to throw in a little bit of seaweed. The leaves of this cauliflower look nice and healthy and happy even during the middle of the day.
|A garden bed that has been planted and mulched in the past couple of months, after the rains, will have everything starting to look good.|
A lot of the seaweed is broken down and carried into the soil by the earthworms and the little bit that’s left is the seaweed giving minerals to this bed.
So you can just take it, rinse it, throw it on the ground as a mulch and use it as the top layer of any one of your garden beds if you don’t feel like digging it in.
|You can also blend it up in the blender with some water and use it as a foliar feed for houseplants or anything you want.|
- Alfalfa pellets.
The most common are alfalfa pellets are rabbit pellets. If you have guinea pigs or rabbits or hamsters or that sort of thing, you’ve probably got access to alfalfa pellets.
Alfalfa pellets are a little bit expensive but they are a fantastic fertilizer for a couple of reasons:
- They are loaded with nitrogen.
Alfalfa is a nitrogen fixing crop and that means that alfalfa has a relationship with certain type of bacteria in the soil and those soil bacteria live on the roots. They make little nodules on the roots and take atmospheric nitrogen and turn it into a usable form that the plant can take up.
The roots can’t take nitrogen right out of the air but the bacteria can and the plant gives them a little bit of sugars from the sunlight that it’s capturing and they, in return, give the plants nitrogen.
When you harvest that alfalfa, the leaves are loaded with nitrogen and so alfalfa pellets are a nitrogen booster. So if you’ve got them and your plants look like they need a little pick me up, you can give it some alfalfa pellets.
- It boosts plant growth.
Alfalfa has a magical component in it which causes plants to grow. It’s really good for making plants take off.
So if you’ve got some rabbit pellets, and maybe one of your kids left a bag of feed out in the rain and it spoiled, it’s not a waste. Throw it right in your garden and you will grow some beautiful plants.
- Dog food.
Dog food is actually a really good fertilizer. Dogs are mostly carnivores, much like cats. Cats are a true carnivore, dogs are sort of an omnivore but they need a lot of protein. Protein is predominantly comprised of nitrogen, which is the main thing plants like to absorb.
There’s a farmer in Tampa named John Starns who has been using dog food to feed his yam beds and to start new gardens for a long time and it makes for some beautiful growth. So you might want to throw these on my yam beds and stir them into the ground and planted yams on top of the dog food.
Now again, you might want to dig it into the ground if you’re going to plant because some animals are going to want to come along and eat it.
Fish is a fantastic fertilizer. You might have probably heard the story of how the Indians taught the Pilgrims how to bury fish underneath their corn to get a good yield. It actually doesn’t just work with fish, it works with any kind of meat.
How it can used as a fertilizer:
- Dig a hole deep enough. This ensures the animals are probably not going to smell this fish.
- Throw the fish in the hole.
- Make a pumpkin mound.
You can do this with squash, pumpkins and just about anything. Bury some meat or a fish in the ground and plant on top of it.
Those roots will run down there and they’ll get what they need. Fish has plenty of minerals and there’s plenty of nitrogen in there too.
|If you go to the store, you can buy fish emulsion, which is basically cooked down fish guts. It smells amazing and it’ll attract every cat in the neighborhood but it’s a fantastic fertilizer.|
Next time you have a bag of spoiled dog food or the gerbil food gets left out in the rain or you go fishing with the kids and you realize you don’t really want to scale all those two-inch blue gills, go ahead and recycle them back into the soil and you’re going to grow some beautiful plants.