DIY Homemade Garden Fertilizer: Nik’s Easy Peasy Plant Tea
If you are growing any type of plants or a garden, fertilizers can not be skipped. When it comes to adding nutrients back into the soil and growing healthy new plants you need to add vitamins, minerals and keep the soil ph in a healthy balance. Many plant stores sell commercial or powder fertilizer and some are more organic than others, but making them at home is also possible.
What most plants need is compost
My first line of defense is regularly adding rich black compost into all of my soil and beds. Every time I cut back a plant at the end of it’s lifespan I compost the area or bed it was in. If you can’t make compost I suggest you find somewhere to buy it.
Easy Peasy Plant Tea is NOT a substitute for regularly composting your soil which is your soil’s big meal. Plant Tea is like a multivitamin and something I use on my fruit trees and house plants. It’s ideal for small space gardeners as a supplement who don’t often have access to composting. If you are growing food in containers you can use this tea once or twice a year. Otherwise, yearly or at the end of a plant’s growth cycle you should turn out your containers and mix the soil with fresh potting blend and or compost to keep the soil healthy and productive.
Test your soil
If compost and a bit of this tea doesn’t seem to be working it’s time to do a soil test, you can find out the ph level to know if it’s too acidic or perhaps you have a mineral deficient soil. If you are composting regularly it may seem like a waste of time, but if you are having trouble growing a soil test will help you focus the type of fertilizer you use.
If your soil tests comes back with specific nutrient needs you can apply only one of the following three organic fertilizers as your garden needs. If your soil is acidic do not add any more nitrogen (green tea), instead sprinkle your soil with limestone.
Natural Fertilizers in
Nik’s Easy Peasy Plant Tea
- Green tea
This is full of nitrogen and helps add oxygen into the soil. Some people add the tea leaves into the soil, but I usually brew it into tea and then compost the leaves. I find this helps spread out the dose of nitrogen to the plant better and not cause the soil to become too acidic. When used properly green tea helps build strong roots and greener plants.
You probably eat bananas for the same reason your garden will, potassium and phosphorus. If you bury banana peels in the soil they act as slow release fertilizer. Bananas have many vitamins and minerals the soil needs, but they won’t alone provide everything the garden needs.
- Used Coffee Grounds
This is another little multivitamin for the garden adding phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and copper. Used coffee grounds are nearly ph neutral making them a great filler material in soil and mulch. Most trees and flowers like direct application of coffee grounds into the soil, but tomatoes and other vegetables do not. It’s also very important that you use coffee grounds that were used to brew coffee, if you use fresh grounds they will be far too acidic for your garden.
How often to apply Easy Peasy Plant Tea
I suggest applying this no more than 2 times a year.
Ideally you would apply compost 1-2 times yearly and this only to bigger plants or well established trees once yearly. However, for non edible indoor plants this can be used as a substitute for miracle grow type products and you can apply plant tea 2-3 times a year and re-pot and compost only 1 time.
Making Easy Peasy Plant Tea
2 green tea bags
½ cup used coffee
2 banana peels
Brew with green tea in ½ liter hot water until room temperature.
In a regular mop bucket place the ½ cup used coffee grounds, the two banana peels, the green tea water and tea bags and cover in tap water until 2 inches from the top of the bucket.
Leave in the sun for 2 days.
At the end of the second day or the start of the third place an old tshirt over the rim of a mop bucket and tie in place with a piece of cord or string. Slowly pour your tea, coffee, banana peel brewed water through the t-shirt to filter. Once all the solids have been filtered out use the peasy peasy plant tea as desired.
I pour a whole bucket on the roots of each of my trees yearly, and give it by the cupful to my indoor potted plants. You can add the filtered out solids to your compost, or bury them in the yard or your raised bed.