What's your favorite free or inexpensive DIY fertilizer?

Merin Porter
Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin
edited January 2019 in Composting & Soil Fertility
For free or low cost it would have to either a compost tea or scraps such as banana peels buried near roses.


  • Loretta Bredemeyer
    Loretta Bredemeyer Posts: 1
    edited January 2019
    I use manure from my chickens mixed with earthworm castings from my worm farm for free fertilizer.  In the spring I purchase a small bag of bat guano to mix with my free fertilizer.
  • DebiB
    DebiB Posts: 92 ✭✭✭
    edited January 2019
    My most used DIY fertilizers are my homemade compost and worm castings.  And an honorable mention for leaves for a slow release fertilizer that doubles as a mulch.
  • mreagan1953
    mreagan1953 Posts: 1
    edited January 2019
    I like to use donkey manure because I have a spoiled rotten jackass named Wilbur. he uses the bathroom in the same spot until the pile gets too big then he will move to another spot. that makes it much easier to shovel up .I also have a barrel that has been cut off that I put any weeds and honeysuckle vine in and let it rot I can use the water that accumulates it it for compost tea.
  • Cherlynn
    Cherlynn Posts: 169 ✭✭✭
    edited January 2019
    This year its leaves, My daughter lives in KC and they have to keep their yard up so they have bags and bags of leaves and can only put them out twice a year so I cheerfully collect 8 bags each time I go down there and haul them home.  I will empty out the rest of the manure from the chicken coop and mix them together in the late Spring to add to my garden spaces.  Right now it's been snowing for 30 hours and is still snowing.  It's a real fine snow but we already have over a foot and it's still coming down.  Last Sunday I was wearing capri's and grilling out on our deck, what a difference a week makes!
  • Johanna
    Johanna Posts: 8 ✭✭✭
    edited January 2019
    I use ash from the fireplace in spring on my raised beds.  The ashes are dark and helps the snow melt faster.  Then it gets into the soil for spring planting.  I live in a cold climate which is also very dry.  I open my cold frames to collect as much snow as possible.  In spring I put the windows back on to extend my growing season. It means that I use less water in spring.  I'm going to get new garbage cans and shovel them full of snow.  The water barrels will collect water as well.  Do not use ashes on your lawn unless you want to mow three times a week.  It is great for grazing pastures and some perennials.  Herbs live from abuse so most don't want or need the fertilizer.  Make sure not to burn painted wood, treated wood, or anything with heavy metals.

  • ines871
    ines871 Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Favorite fertilizer? - we have eight 30-gallon plastic blue cans, which get as much rainwater as possible, topped off with tap-water, into which go dead plants with soil attached, and anything else I sense that plants need. They are so excited to get 'baptized' as often as possible :)

  • Jens the Beekeeper
    Jens the Beekeeper Posts: 651 admin

    I use comfrey and/or stinging nettle in water. Fill a bucket/barrel as big as you can fill with the plants. Add water to submerge all plant material and let ferment. once fermented use diluted 1:10 in your watering.

    Works great but may smell some ;-) during the fermentation phase.

  • Karyn Pennington
    Karyn Pennington Posts: 71 ✭✭✭

    I actually stumbled on my compost tea by accident. I had (2) 30-gallon (or so) trash cans sitting one inside the other to save space. I would put weeds or plant debris for which I was concerned about seeds in the compost in the one can along with sticks too big for the compost pile. Little did I know, there was a hole in the top of the 2 cans, so when it rained, I got compost tea without even realizing it. Now I do it on purpose. Once the material that I've thrown in the trash can and mostly decomposed, I'll throw it on the regular compost heap and about 2-3 per year I'll take the compost tea out and dilute it to use in the garden.

    My other "freebie" is my own urine. Most Saturday mornings during the growing season, I feed my alliums (onions, garlic, shallots) with really weakened urine (only do this if you are not on any prescription medications!).

  • Desire’
    Desire’ Posts: 31 ✭✭

    I like feeding my worms kitchen scraps and using the castings. Using the chop and drop method with Comfrey and any other weeds is as simple as it gets.