Liquid Fertilizers for Organic Gardening

The soil in most parts of the world has been depleted through intensive farming methods and erosion. Plants will grow with chemical fertilizer, but often lack valuable minerals and micronutrients. We need to give the plants a boost so they’re healthy and disease resistant, and our bodies also need the added nutrients. This blog post explains several low cost/free ways to make liquid fertilizer to give your plants a healthy, natural boost. And remember, “You are what you eat” (and think).

EM = effective organisms, microbial innoculent

EM is a culture of naturally occurring beneficial organisms that turn food scraps into incredibly productive biostimulants. EM is in use in at least 116 countries. I’m just beginning to experiment with EM after hearing rave reviews. Numerous brands are available, or with some extra effort you can make your own from scratch. You simply mix a little EM with about one-quarter full 5-gallon plastic bucket of fruit and veggie scraps, eggs shells and certain other food scraps (follow the directions since some foods are not recommended). The recipes vary, but I plan to add a few ounces of blackstrap molasses, a few ounces of EM, and then top off the bucket with water. Stir and allow the microorganisms to multiply. Once your EM system is up and running, you can use EM from a previous batch instead of buying it each time. (Sort of like making yogurt or sourdough bread, where you add a little from the old to each new batch.)

Compost tea with worm castings

Search YouTube for many more videos on compost tea. Some of them get really elaborate with lots of ingredients.

Compost tea from weeds

“This movie from Peter Kearney of City Food tells you all you need to know on how to turn your weeds and specific plants in your food garden into potent liquid fertilisers. And it costs you nothing to fertilise your organic garden with these methods. They are easy to make and apply and have a strong impact on soil fertility and plant health.” More info on turning weeds into your food garden friends.

Compost tea from seaweed
“I live on the Western Coast of the United States, and I can tell you that the best way to use seaweed is to get it from the beach shores, wash it off good with fresh water, and then put it into a plastic trash can, full up with fresh water, and let it set for 2 months. You will have a nutrient rich, organic fertilizer for your garden(s). There is a slight odor when first applied the first day, but your plants will thank you for it.”

Mycorrhizae root stimulant
“Mycorhizzae- the fungus superhero that teams up with plant roots to increase their surface absorbing area by 100 to 1,000 times, thereby greatly improving the ability of the plant to access phosphorus and other micro nutrients in the soil, but unavailable for plant use. The mycelium of mycorrhizal fungi also increases the efficiency of water and confers resistance to several plant pathogens.” You might also want to research Natural Root Starter from Willow.

Liquid gold
“Human urine is a great, natural, free source of nitrogen for your soil or compost. Flushing your urine after each pee, would waste thousands of gallons of water per year at home. Then, your valuable urine is not only lost, but it goes to a chemical waste center where they must use chemicals on all that water you flushed, since within the sewage pipes it has all gotten mixed with stool. Using for your compost or garden is an extra benefit.”

5 thoughts on “Liquid Fertilizers for Organic Gardening”

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  2. for people who want to learn more about these techniques, google “beneficial microorganisms”. There are lots of DIY recipes to grow your own from scratch, suited to your local environment and conditions.

      • I have seen a lot of really good techniques. Basically, you leave some rice water in the forest for a while to gather bacteria, and then add a bit of molasses and grow them. Once you have a starter, it is just a matter of adding more feed to expand.

        I really like the approach of using local microorganisms vs buying an EM product. The local microorganisms will be better suited to your particular climate and conditions than any bought product.

        • That’s a good idea. Local microorganisms would probably be more beneficial. But I wonder if you would get the full range as promoted by some brands? At some point the difference would be minor. Maybe try both and compare. (EM is cheap.)


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