Make your own home made Miracle Grow as well as several other plant foods easily with epsom salt, baking soda and household ammonia. This DIY Miracle Grow fertilizer is a more organic way to feed your plants. The homemade plant food recipe is easy to make and works really well!
Many people who garden do not like to use commercial products to fertilize their plants. They prefer more natural ingredients. Green is in when it comes to gardening. If this is you…you are in luck. Here is a recipe to make your own Miracle Grow style plant food as well as a four other homemade plant fertilizers.
Normal retail plant fertilizers often contain chemicals that are not environmentally friendly. Some can even harm your plants! They are also quite expensive. Many gardeners like to make their own home made versions of these plants with items found around the home.
Organic farmers have long used manure to fertilize their gardens, and many home gardeners use compost as a form of enriching the soil to add nutrients. Many plants need additional fertilizing and that is where these home made recipes will help.
What is homemade Miracle Grow?
Traditional Miracle-Gro plant food us a synthetic garden fertilizer that contains ammonium phosphate and several other chemicals. Many organic gardeners don’t like to use it and try to make use of other more natural forms of fertilizer, such as having compost piles, or making their own products to use.
The recipe for home made Miracle Grow is made from water, epsom salts, baking soda and a very small amount of household ammonia. It is thought to be a more natural way to fertilize plants.
Can you fertilize too much?
While fertilizing plants, either with one of these home made solutions or your favorite retail product, is a good idea, sometimes, it can be a case of too much of a good thing. Here are some common problems with over-fertilizing plants.
The roots of plants can suffer damage if fertilizer is used too often. Some lower quality fertilizers contain Urea, which is a source of nitrogen. Many plants are sensitive to this ingredient.
Over-fertilizing can also lead to a build up of soluble salts in the soil. This can burn the roots of plants, as well as their leaves. Too many soluble salts will cause leaves to wilt and turn yellow and the margins and tips to turn brown. The plant may then slow down growth or, in some cases, show no growth at all!
Plants that are suffering from root burn will be stunted in grown and will sometimes stop flowering. If the condition is serious enough, the roots might shrivel and become incapable of delivering moisture to the plants and they can die.
Pests and Diseases
It may seem counter intuitive, but too much fertilizer can result in SO much lush growth that the foliage will attract pests such as aphids which will feed on the plants.
How to recognize a plant that has had too much fertilizer
For lightly damaged plants, they will wilt and look generally unwell. For more serious fertilizer burn, you might see a white, salty crust on the surface of the soil. If you see this, flood the plant with water to try and flush out some of the excess salts. This will remove the excess fertilizer from the top layers of the soil.
The Gardening Cook is a participant in the Amazon Affiliate Program. This post may contain affiliate links. I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to youif you purchase through an affiliate link.Make your own #miraclegrow #composttea and other plant fertilizers using common household products. 🍓🌽 Click To Tweet
Five Different Home made Plant Fertilizers
Would you like to save a little money and make use of household items to make some plant fertilizers? Why not try one of these combinations?
Make your own home made Miracle Grow
You can easily make a home made Miracle Grow fertilizer your plants using products found in the home!
To make this home made fertilizer combine these together::
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 tbsp epsom salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp of Household ammonia
Mix all the ingredients together and use once a month on your plants by mixing a 1/8 -1/4 of the concentrate with 4 cups of water in a watering can.
For more ways to use baking soda in the garden, check out this post.
Home made Miracle Grow is not the only fertilizer that you can make. There are versions of liquid fertilizers, fish emulsion recipes and other ideas, too.Combine kitchen scraps and coffee grounds to make your own compost tea to fertilize plants. It's super easy to do! I ♥ #homemademiraclegrow.🌻 Click To Tweet
Compost Tea Fertilizer
I love making use of items that would normally be thrown away. For this fertilizer, we’ll be using two common kitchen scraps that are great for adding nutrients to plants.
Get a clean glass jar. Add water to the jar. (Rain water is best, but unchlorinated water works too.) Keep it on your counter. Whenever you use eggs, crunch up the shells and put them into the jar. The same goes for used coffee grounds. (Tea bags also work.) Once you have quite a bit of this mix, add more water, shake and let it sit for a while.
It will need to sit for several days and you will need to shake it every day. Do not keep the jar in direct sunlight.
After about a week, strain the mix and strain it though a paper towel or some cheesecloth into another bottle. That is all there is to it. Just the a few tablespoons of the strained “compost tea” fertilizer to your watering can and water your plants.
Weed compost tea
Composting is great for making humus to add to your soil, but there is a version of it that is also makes a great fertilizer by using weeds and rain water.
This fertilizer is similar to the coffee/tea version above but you use weeds from your garden. Don’t use any weeds that have been treated with herbicides. Place the weeds in a jar with rain water. Cover and place the jar in the sun.
The mixture will smell really foul, but in a week you will have your “weed compost tea.” This mixture is by far more effective than Miracle Grow and will last the entire season in the ground for outdoor plants.
Epsom salt fertilizer
Epsom salt is made with the minerals magnesium and sulfate. It is normally used as an exfoliant and anti-inflammation remedy for dry skin.
This produce also makes a great DIY fertilizer for your indoor plants, peppers, roses, potatoes, and tomatoes. The reason for this because Epsom salt contains the two important minerals needed by these plants.
Epsom salt can help to improve flowering and it also enhances a plant’s green color. Some plants will even get more bushy when watered with epsom salts as a fertilizer.
To make Epsom salt fertilizer, just mix 2 tablespoon of Epsom salt to a gallon of water. Combine it well and mist your plants with the solution once a month when you water them. If you spray more often, just weaken the solution to 1 tablespoon of the salt to a gallon of water.
Fish tank water fertilizer
Put the water in your aquarium to good use by watering your plants with it!
Fish tank water has similar effects to those that fish emulsion fertilizer does. A bonus is that it doesn’t require any labor at all. Just save all the dirty fish tank water and use it for watering your plants. Fish water contains nitrogen and other important nutrients that the plants need.
If you would like to be reminded of this post later, just pin this image to one of your gardening Pinterest boards to find it easily when you need it.
Other Examples of Natural Fertilizers
If you like the idea of using natural fertilizers, here are some other options that you can use to make your garden grow better.
Grass clippings, leaves that have been collected and then shredded and old pieces of hay are examples of natural materials that break down and improve your soil, making it more fertile. ‘
If you add mulch yearly (particularly if you combine it with compost) it will improve your soil’s ability to absorb nitrogen and other nutrients.
Mulching also helps with moisture control and helps to prevent weeds.
Most organic gardeners are aware of the benefits of adding compost to gardens. Some even swear by adding some to every hole dug for planting.
Compost is made from a composition of brown and green (dried and moist) organic matter that combines and breaks down to make humus – a nutrient rich form of organic matter.
Compost is free (if you have your own compost pile). It provides the soil with a wonderful, well balanced mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which all plants need for healthy growth.
Bone meal is a mixture of finely ground animal bones and other waste products from slaughter houses. It is used as an organic fertilizer for plants, as well as a nutritional supplement for animals.
It is a slow release fertilizer that provides a good source of phosphorus and protein.
Manure comes from livestock animals such as chickens, horses, cattle and sheep. It adds essential nutrients to the soil and improves the quality of the soil as well.
Gardens that are amended with manure are able to retain water efficiently. One does need to be careful using manure, since it can cause food-borne illness, so use it well in advance of harvesting a vegetable garden. (at least 60 days.)
Admin note: This post first appeared on the blog in April of 2014. I have updated the original post to add four new home made plant fertilizers and to give more information on natural plant fertilizers.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."