You’re growing your own fruit and vegetables. You’re eating free-range meat and eggs, and you’re investing in non-disposable products. You’re recycling, reusing, and thrifting. You’re making eco-conscious lifestyle choices to feel better - mentally and physically - but why stop there? If you want to go green all the way (especially if you're growing your food), consider your plants’ health and garden soil too!
The effects of organic fertilisers aren’t as immediate as chemicals such as pesticides. But unlike chemicals, they’re 100% natural, inexpensive, and significantly improve soil structure.
Organic fertilisers are naturally produced by animals or come from plants, and they improve your soil structure. In contrast, chemical fertilisers are composed of synthetic substances, and their purpose is to feed the plant. Chemical fertilisers don’t do anything for soil health.
Organic fertilisers are generally easy to come by. If you choose to DIY, it’s just a matter of throwing kitchen scraps together in a compost heap, leaving them for a few weeks, and then applying them to your garden soil. It’s a long process, but it’s worth it as you feed valuable nutrients back to the soil.
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Organic fertilisers come in many forms. They can be liquid or dry, and you can buy organic fertilisers or make your own. While raw ingredients can be applied directly to your garden, the most effective organic fertiliser is a mixture of multiple raw ingredients, which form compost.
One important thing to remember: these ingredients need to decompose completely, otherwise their nutrients (undiluted and acidic) will overload the soil.
Bananas are 42% potassium, one of the primary nutrients required by plants and soil. They also contain nitrogen, magnesium, and phosphorus, which are three other essential nutrients for soil health.
Potato peels, onion peels, cabbage, lettuce, and other vegetable scraps are critical components of a rich compost heap. For example, potato skins are loaded with potassium, while cabbage contains magnesium and potassium. Your soil needs these nutrients.
Even your garden loves coffee! While some plants are more sensitive to caffeine (coffee grounds can inhibit the growth of certain plants) coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Your soil will lap it up.
Eggs are rich in protein and a staple in most meals. But once you’ve cracked, scrambled, and eaten them, don’t get rid of the shells! Eggshells are full of calcium (and also contain potassium) - this mineral can lower the acidity of your soil and prompt plant growth by strengthening plant cell walls.