13 Best Ingredients for Homemade Fertilizer

potted plant with banana peel and egg shell

If you have a home with a yard, you'll want to keep it looking its best. One way to do so is by fertilizing it. You can buy fertilizer at the store, or you can make your own.

If you go the homemade route, here are a few ingredients you should consider using. And if you do decide to buy it at a store, consider looking for fertilizers that contain these ingredients.

1. Manure

Manure, while stinky, is the gold standard when it comes to fertilizer. It can come from a variety of farm animals.

The reason manure makes a great fertilizer is it is high in nutrients like nitrogen.

Be careful, though, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing and too many nutrients from manure can actually harm your plants.

dried patties of manure fertilizer

2. Clippings and Weeds

Next time you mow your yard, collect the grass clippings. This can actually be used as mulch for your garden. Like manure, this is rich in nitrogen.

Similarly, weeds can make a great fertilizer. Like grass clippings, these are also high in nitrogen. To prevent the weeds you want to use as fertilizer from causing more weeds to grow, you can use the weeds to make a tea to pour onto your garden.

3. Epsom Salt

You can use Epsom salt as a fertilizer. To do so, dissolve Epsom salt in water and shake. You can use this to water your garden once a month.

Epsom salt contains magnesium and sulfate, both of which help plants grow.

4. Ashes

After they are fully cooled, you can actually use ashes from your fireplace as a fertilizer. The ashes have heavy amounts of potassium and calcium carbonate, which are great for your soil.

5. Kitchen Scraps

kitchen scraps for fertilizer

Using kitchen scraps is an environmentally friendly fertilizer idea and can be used to make your own compost. Compost helps to release nutrients over time, instead of all at once. It also keeps the ground from drying out. This will allow your garden to do well all year.

6. Coffee Grounds

Instead of throwing away coffee grounds, you can use them as fertilizer. Some plants need acidic soil, which coffee grounds can help you achieve. You can simply sprinkle the coffee grounds in your garden.

Don't overdo it with the coffee grounds, though. Using too much can damage your plants.

7. Eggshells

Like coffee grounds, there's no reason for you to just throw away eggshells. Rinse out the eggshells and crush them into small pieces. Then sprinkle them in your garden. Eggshells have high levels of calcium carbonate which helps your garden.

8. Vinegar

Add a small amount of vinegar to water, combine them thoroughly, and use the mixture to water your plants. Too much vinegar can hurt plants, so only do this once every few months.

9. Fish Tank

If you have a fish tank, you can use some water from the fish tank to water your plants. The water in your fish tank has lots of nitrogen and other nutrients that your plants will love.

10. Baking Soda

hand with baking soda on spade

Beyond being used for baking and cleaning, baking soda can also be used as a fertilizer in your garden. Mix it with water and then add it to your garden. Baking soda protects plants against some fungal diseases, which makes it a great fertilizer option.

11. Ammonia

Ammonia can also be combined with water and used as a fertilizer. Ammonia containers nitrogen which promotes healthy roots.

12. Banana Peels

Banana peels are high in potassium, which plants love. You can bury banana peels under your soil to act as a powerful fertilizer.

You could also use the peels to make a tea you can use to water the garden.

13. Animal Food

Organic cat and dog food have a lot of nutrients in them that can benefit not only your pets but also your soil. You can spread some of the food into the soil with water. Make sure it is fully covered and watered.