Wednesday, December 7

Seven examples of food scraps with which to make homemade fertilizer for your indoor plants

Indoor plants are in fashion. In networks like Instagram, multiple photographs are shown in which their authors and authors coexist in a recreation of natures transported from the most exotic tropics to our western and northern climate.

In other words, we strive to keep alive in our homes species from other climates that are more humid, warmer, with waters richer in nutrients and much more suitable environmental conditions.

It is not surprising, then, that the health of our pothos, our difenbaquias, our brazilwoods or our kentias always hangs in the balance, as delicate as these plants are and as demanding in nutrients.

Thus, keeping them always beautiful and exuberant requires a lot of fertilization, water without lime, abundant iron and above all the three main minerals to take care of the greenery, the size and eventually the flowering: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

  • nitrogen It stimulates the development of leaves and roots, being essential in the first stage of plant development.
  • The match It provides robustness to plants helping them to increase their structure and size, and in defense against diseases. It also favors the development of the roots.
  • potassium helps flowering, fruit and seed production. In addition, it helps bulbs, tubers, rhizomes and seeds to accumulate reserves.

Additionally, we can add a fourth element in importance as it is the ironthat although it is not needed in such quantity, it is important for the formation of chlorophyll, which is the substance responsible for manufacturing the organic matter of the plant.

Buy fertilizer or make it at home

The most immediate solution to these nutritional requirements almost always goes to the flower shop to buy fertilizer and iron, in bags or bottles. Now, the fertilizer is not cheap and surely we will barely use a third of the bag or bottle that we buy and that can be around 15 euros if we choose a good quality one.

On the other hand, these are chemicals that consume polluting industrial processes and are therefore not very ecological. If we add to this that we can make our own fertilizer at home with leftover food, and thus give new value to food waste, the decision seems simple.

Next we explain eight examples of food leftovers with which you can make the perfect fertilizer.

1. Coffee grounds: Abundant in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. They also provide iron and acidity to our soil, so they are ideal when the irrigation water is hard. In any case, if we irrigate with distilled or spring water, they maintain the iron better.

  • 👉🏼 How to make the fertilizer: It is recommended to keep two or three loads of grounds in a one and a half liter bottle of low-cal water for eight hours. Then it is strained and with the resulting liquid it can be fertilized with a little every two weeks in summer and once a month in winter. It is recommended to have a base plate because excess water comes out coloured.

2. Rice grains: Rice grains are rich above all in potassium and phosphorus, and also provide iron and magnesium. If we have a few grains left over at the bottom of a pot or bag, we should not throw them away and use them to obtain a little fertilizer.

  • 👉🏼 How to make the fertilizer: Leave one or two coffee cups full of rice in a liter and a half of low-cal water for 30 minutes. Strain and apply smoothly once every two weeks in summer and every month in winter. You can also boil the rice, but remember not to add salt.

3. Eggshells: this trick is exclusively for plants that do not tolerate excessively acidic soils, such as many Mediterranean aromatic plants. It provides calcium to the soil, thus raising its pH. In the peninsula, with hard water everywhere, this contribution is already provided by irrigation water, except in the Cantabrian Coast.

  • 👉🏼 How to make the fertilizer: we finely crush five shells, add a tip of kitchen salt and pour it into a liter bottle of low-cal water, where we shake vigorously and then apply.

4. Potato peels: its virtue is its high contribution of potassium and phosphorus, a powerful fertilizer for blooms and growth.

  • 👉🏼 How to make the fertilizer: boil the skins of five medium-sized potatoes in a liter and a half of low-cal water and then strain and cool. It is perfect to apply once a week during the flowering season to terrace or balcony plants such as geraniums, etc.

5. Banana skins: Banana skin stands out for its abundance of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron, which is why the so-called “banana tea” is an excellent fertilizer for flowering and growth.

  • 👉🏼 How to make the fertilizer: Boil the skins of five bananas in a liter and a half of low-cal water and strain the mixture. As the infusion is powerful, it should be applied carefully every two weeks, just to correct.

6. Onion skins: here is another food rich in potassium, magnesium and iron. And it also contains copper, an antimicrobial with proven effects that will keep the root environment clean and healthy. Therefore, dry onion skins are also an interesting antifungal and antibacterial agent, especially in cases of excessive soil moisture.

  • 👉🏼 How to make the fertilizer: Put the dry skins in a bottle or a liter jar and leave them covered and dark overnight, without boiling, with low-cal water. The next day, strain and keep the cold broth, which you will apply at will, as it is a mild fertilizer.

7. Water from legumes: legumes in general and lentils in particular are rich in phytic acid, a compound found in their skin and which, in addition to being considered an antinutrient, acts as a plant hormone that stimulates rooting, making it ideal for fertilizing orchards urban areas and gardens that have just been replanted.

  • 👉🏼 How to make the fertilizer: take advantage of the low-cal water from the lentils that have been soaking all night and water the plants that you recently transplanted with it.

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