Homemade Fertilizer

Homemade fertilizer is a great way to have quick compost even if you haven't built a compost pile. Here's how to make your own fertilizer for a powerful, all-natural, liquid compost in just three days.

I stumbled on this fertilizer recipe while trying to get rid of one of the most vicious weeds known to mankind - goat head stickers!

They're thick in our neck of the woods, and they're just awful; they sting like the dickens when you get one stuck in your finger, and they have a nasty way of attaching themselves to your socks, only to work their way into your ankle or foot when you least expect it.

I've been spending a lot of my gardening time lately digging up these weeds, but disposing of them was a challenge. I didn't even want these awful weeds in my compost pile.

Turn these nasty stickers into a quick compost that won't produce more goat head stickers.

The thought of them sprouting and popping up in my garden at a later date was more than I could bear, but I also didn't like the idea of stuffing them into a plastic bag and adding them to the dump pile.

Burning them was out of the question as well. It tends to be hot and dry in Oklahoma in the summertime, and safe burn dates are few and far between. And besides, what do you do with them in the meantime?

How to Make Your Own Homemade Fertilizer

What I finally decided to do with the nasty things turned out to be a boon for my garden, and hopefully a benefit for you as well. I figured out a  fertilizer recipe that could make quick compost out of those nasty weeds. I've been using goat head stickers, but it will work with any weed from your lawn or garden.

I stuffed all the weeds I dug up (I've dug up about five wheelbarrow's worth so far) into a 55-gallon trash barrel and then filled the trash barrel with water. While I prefer black trash barrels for composting, the one I had available was blue, and it seems to work just as well. You want a dark color, because it absorbs the heat better and can more easily heat the weeds and water inside.

I put the lid on the trash barrel and then let it sit in the hot sun for three full days. I would really recommend keeping the lid on tight, because trust me, it's going to stink and attract flies, but the end result is well worth it.

At the end of three full days, draw off the water with a bucket. This is your liquid homemade fertilizer.

To add it to your garden, take a small garden hand shovel and dig a small trench around the plant and as far from the plant itself as it is tall. So for example, if your tomato is two feet tall, you want to dig a trench in a circle about a two-foot radius from the plant.

This will keep your homemade fertilizer from burning the plant and also get it to where your plant can access it the most easily - where the delicate end roots are that take in nutrients for your plant.

Add this quick compost to plants in your garden that aren't producing enough, are doing poorly or are being attacked by pests. Then add the remaining solid matter to your compost pile where it will continue to break down and make even more rich soil for your garden. You'll have a stronger, healthier garden in no time!

Learn More About Organic Gardening

Tips on Composting the Old Fashioned Way

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