Looking to make extra money? Mixing up homemade fertilizer is a great side hustle for gardeners.
What is fertilizer?
I want to discuss fertilizers. They are anything you add to the soil to make it a hospitable place for plants. They can be organic or non-organic.
When looking at fertilizers, they seem to come in all different kinds. For example, there are fertilizers for growing big and flavorful fruits and veggies, encouraging root, foliage, or flower growth, and even ones formulated for specific plants like roses.
Fertilizers usually have 3 numbers on the front that refer to the ratio of 3 elements they contain. These are called the NPK ratio.
Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus(P), and Potassium (K) are essential for plant growth. Nitrogen is critical for producing amino acids, and the proteins plants use for structure. Phosphorus is vital in photosynthesis. Potassium is necessary to move water and nutrients through plants and create energy.
What is a soil amendment?
Many people confuse fertilizer and soil amendments. They are both things you add to the soil to encourage plant growth. Amendments include changing the soil’s acidity, drainage, or water retention.
Best Homemade Fertilizers to Sell
These easy recipes are great to mix up and sell.
Homemade Fertilizer: Seaweed
Water plants, both salt, and freshwater varieties, are rich in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
And there is a long history of people gathering water plants off the shores, steeping them in water, and then using that water to feed plants.
You can create your seaweed fertilizer in 2 ways:
Simple Seaweed Tonic
- Collect weeds from the shore
- Lay weeds in a single layer and let dry. You can do this slowly in the sun or use your oven at a very low temperature (160-180℉) for a couple of hours until dry.
- Steep in hot water until the water has tinted green.
- Let it cool, then water your plants with it.
This one seems to be the preferred way of using seaweed.
- Dry seaweed like above
- Use a large grinder, food processor, or blender to pulverize the dry weeds.
- Add the powder directly to the soil in the garden.
Kitchen Ingredient Fertilizer
This simple fertilizer can be mixed up from simple, everyday kitchen ingredients and provides nitrogen, magnesium, and sulfur, all crucial nutrients for general plant growth. Some of the elements also protect plants from fungal diseases.
Follow this recipe to the letter, though. Adding too much of each ingredient can cause burns on your plants.
Kitchen Ingredient Fertilizer Recipe
- Gather a plastic gallon pitcher, Epsom salt (not table salt), baking powder, and ammonia.
- Add 1.5 tablespoons Epsom Salt, 1.5 teaspoons baking powder, and just under .5 teaspoons ammonia to the empty pitcher.
- Add water to the mixture to make 1 gallon.
- Let sit for 15 minutes to make sure all solids are fully dissolved.
- Apply to your plants
Do you make your fertilizer? Let us know your recipe in the comments below.
Ali is a homeschooling mom of 5 who includes gardening and food prep as important subjects in her school. She has been raising plants her whole life and learned how to garden from her father. When she isn’t caring for her plants, she can be found reading or hiking.