Top Organic Garden Fertilizers You Can Make

Top Organic Fertilizers You Can Make 3

I don’t like the idea of adding chemicals to our environment, whenever it can be helped. And let’s be honest… If you are growing your own veggies, you are probably after some of the health benefits, right? Ok, and then there is the cost factor as well… why wouldn’t you make your own organic fertilizers for your garden, instead of buying expensive specialty products? It is easy, it is healthy for both your family and the earth at large, and it is cost effective.

Basically plants need three major nutrients to thrive, Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). You might see these displayed on commercially made fertilizers in number form, for example, 10-5-5. Nitrogen is necessary for leaf and green growth, Phosphorus for flowers and fruit, and Potassium for gemeral health of the plant. That having been said, plants need a lot of other nutrients as well, called Micronutrients. Some of these include Magnesium, Calcium and Sulfur. Plants are also affected by the acidity of a soil, and the biodiversity of bacteria that creates a healthy environment, all of which can be improved with organic fertilizers. Now that you have the basics down of why we are doing this, let’s get down to some simple recipes for our choices for top organic garden fertilizers you can make!

Top Organic Fertilizers You Can Make 2-1

Coffee Grounds Fertilizer

Coffee grounds is a natural fertilizer that not only adds nitrogen to poor soil, it also increases the acidity of soil. This will especially make your roses, hydrangeas, magnolias and rhodies happy!

Work up to 25% coffee grounds into soil at the base of the plants. Coffee grounds will also improve the organic matter in the soil.


Banana Peel Fertilizer

High in potassium, phosphorus and calcium,  banana peels are great for flowering and fruiting plants. Simply bury a peel under the ground at the base of the plant, and allow to decompose. You can also freeze overripe bananas that you would have otherwise thrown away, and then bury next to a needy plant when needed. If you prefer to make a spray, soak a peel in water for 2-3 days, then use the water to spray plants or seedlings.


Epsom Salt Fertilizer

Epsom salt is available at your local drug store, and adds important magnesium and sulfur to the soil. Especially good for tomatoes and roses, Epsom salt tea is great for starting seedlings and reducing transplant shock as well. Known for giving plants a deep green color, especially on magnesium low soils, this is a simple and quick recipe. It is pretty impossible to over do this fertilizer, as it breaks down in to a simple magnesium component.


  • 1 Tablespoon Epsom Salt
  • 1 Gallon water

Use from a watering can for both indoor and outdoor plants. Can also be mixed into the soil around plants at a rate of 1 tablespoon for every 1-2 feet in height of plant. Water in well.


Egg Shell Fertilizer

Egg shells are very high in calcium, which is necessary for good cellular growth in all plants. If you have ever had blossom end rot on your tomatoes, then you probably have calcium deficient soil. You can crush up used egg shells and just bury them beneath the surface of the soil, or for a faster response, you can make a spray.


  • 20 egg shells
  • 1 Gallon Water

Boil the egg shells in the water for a few minutes, then let them sit in the water overnight. Strain and use as a spray or water from a can directly into the soil.


Grass Clippings Tea

Here is a great way to get a high nitrogen fertilizer, and use up those annoying grass clippings at the same time!


  • 1 Five gallon bucket filled with fresh grass clippings.
  • Cover with water

Allow to sit for 3-5 days. Dilute the strained fertilizer tea by using one cup tea mixed with 10 cups fresh water. Pour onto soil.


Compost Tea

Made in exactly the same way as grass clippings tea, but with organic compost. This gives a much richer tea with a variety of nutrients, perfect for any plant.

So spend a little time setting aside some egg shells and coffee grounds, or drop by the drugstore for some Epsom salts. You will be saving yourself some cash, and creating a healthier environment for your plants, and the planet!




  1. ‘Sure appreciate all the good tips. I give all my banana peels to my neighbors chickens and goats.
    What do you think about using crumbled egg shells under hosta leaves to deter slugs and snails?

  2. Thank you for sharing such good news for organic farming at home garden. In my part I will apply and will update you the progress.

  3. Robin Severson says:

    Can anyone help me deterr bunnies from eating my plants? I had to fence in and brick the bottom of the backyard fence to keep them out. The front yard us another story. They love the hostas. Yellow roses, clematis, etc.

    • I heard chervil, which is an herb, keeps a lot of hungry pests away from your garden produce, not sure of the outcome because I have never personally done it but if you plant it around your garden it may help! May have to dig a bit more in depth to get some answers, good luck, with those pesky rabbits! Lol

  4. Faerie711 says:

    Can u use coffee grounds, egg shells, bananas, AND epsom salts all together at once? To provide all of the benefits? Or is that overkill? I just want to know the best way to fertilize my small container gardens organically. Thank u.

  5. Love this blog.

  6. Emily Heise says:

    Thank you for posting this wonderful article. It is very useful.

  7. yemi Odugbesan says:

    How can I reduce weed on my garden? I have tomato, basil, okro, and pepper but the weeds are not allowing them to grow. Please I need help

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      You can mulch heavily with an organic mulch like bark or compost, that will help. A pre-emergent in the early spring like “Preen” sprinkled in the garden will keep a lot of them from coming up. Other than that, a good old fashioned hoe is the best way we know of! Don’t let them get on top of you, first thing in spring walk through the garden every couple of days and pull what you see. That really helps!

  8. Hello! I have a couple baby catnip plants, almost an inch tall each, that are turning purple. I live in Costa Rica, and catnip just doesn’t seem to exist here (I had to dig the seeds from dried catnip from the pet store!) and I can’t find any information about it. It’s my first time planting, so I’m really nervous and I don’t know what I have to do! Which of these do you think would help?

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      Catnip likes a well balanced fertilizer, so compost tea or epsom salt fertilizer might help it along with healthy growth… Does it look healthy other than the purple leaves, or are they scraggly?

  9. Elizabeth Kabega says:

    I just want to know the best way to make Organic fertilizers for my small backyard gardens

  10. Hi,
    I enjoyed this post and some of these fertilizers are interesting, at the moment I use epsom salts and I have some banana skins soaking in a jar of water. I have one more to share with you that I find is great for tomatoes / squashes etc… Comfrey tea. It is easy to make just add comfrey leaves and stalks to a bucket, cover with water and leave for a couple of weeks and add to water in a 10 – 1 mixture and feed to plants once a week once they have flowered.

  11. I love these different fertilizer ideas. Obviously the store bought, chemical fertilizer works too, but who doesn’t want a more natural and healthy approach? I will have to try putting some banana peels in my garden this spring!

  12. Can you help me a friend of mine gave me some fertilizer that is 20-10-20 what can I use this up on. I then will not take any more I just do not want to waste anything Larry

  13. Can you use tea leaves instead of coffee grounds?

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      It isn’t the same, no!

    • Penny Carpentier says:

      I put my tea in the compost bin with left over fresh fruit & vegetables, egg shells and more. Usually this a few months to get to compost, faster in warm weathet, I’m able to use it for containers & adding to the soil.

  14. Kate in Delaware says:

    Just started mt first composter and this is excellent information for a beginner. Thank you Kathy.

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      Good luck Kate!

      • Morning Kathy – what can I do to stop Lizard eating my greenpeppers and tomatos. We never see hom but my gardner did.

        • Kathy Woodard says:

          Well I obviously don’t live in your neck of the woods! ;) Never heard of a lizard produce eating problem, but I am sure some of our readers out there have experience… Readers?

  15. This is a great article. Thank you..

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