Spring is here, which means it’s time to start fertilizing your plants! While there are some benefits to using synthetic fertilizer, these benefits do not outweigh the harmful effects they cause to the environment and your plant. Synthetic fertilizers lead to chemical build up in the soil of your plant, runoff from the fertilizer harms marine ecosystems, they can easily give your plants chemical burns, and they acidify the soil of your plants if used for long periods. These are just some of the many reasons why you should choose organic fertilizers. That being said there are many different organic options out there, which I’ll be breaking down for you below.
First, I’ll suggest two options you may already have in your home. The first is compost. Compost makes an amazing fertilizer for your plants. It has a pretty mild smell compared to some of the other organic fertilizers, and bonus points because it is an awesome way to make use of food waste. The second is old water from your fish tank! Due to the water in fish tanks being dechlorinated and all the nutrients from the fish poop, it makes for a great fertilizer that your plants will love. Plus it is really easy to use. All you have to do is change the water in your tank, save the old water, then water your plants with it like you normally would.
Now for my personal favorite. Worm Castings. Worm castings is just a fancy name for worm poop, but I promise they don’t have a smell. Some of the benefits of worm castings are: it is pretty much impossible to burn your plants with, they have no smell, they are slow release so you only need to fertilize every couple months, and there are many different ways you can use them. You can mix the castings in with your plants soil when repotting it, you can put some on the top of the soil and as you water your plants it will seep down and fertilize them, or if you bottom water you can make it into a liquid fertilizer by mixing two cups of castings in five gallons of water, let it sit for 24 hours, then simply water your plant with the mixture.
Next up are the most popular types of organic fertilizer fish emulsion, seaweed emulsion, or a mix of both. While these fertilizers are more quick acting than the ones listed above and extremely effective, they stink. When I say that I mean it they smell really really bad, but if you water your plants with them outside then let them air out for a couple hours you should be good and your plants will be well fertilized.