How to Create the Best Organic Fertilizer: 7 Natural Plant Food Options


Learning how to make organic fertilizer at home using everyday items can naturally boost your plants’ growth and increase your garden’s yield. Feeding your plants is crucial, as they deplete soil nutrients while growing. Using organic materials not only avoids harmful synthetic toxins that can affect your health and disrupt soil microbiology but also supports beneficial insects and pollinators. Everyday waste products and specific plants can be transformed into effective fertilizers. This approach not only minimizes waste but also saves money on commercial fertilizers, allowing you to invest more in your garden.

Best Natural Fertilizer Solutions for Your Garden

Below are some of the easiest natural plant food options you can easily make at home:

Rice Water

Rice water is a simple organic fertilizer that can enrich your plants with essential nutrients like nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), collectively known as NPK. These nutrients help in leaf production, cell growth, and fruiting of plants. Rice water contains these elements in low amounts, so there’s little risk of over-fertilizing. It’s important to use unsalted and cooled rice water right after cooking, as it doesn’t store well. Using rice water helps build healthy soil and reduces waste.

Eggshell Water

Don’t toss the eggs in the water after boiling them. Let it cool and use it to water your plants, as it makes a simple natural fertilizer for vegetables. This water adds a bit of calcium, boosting soil nutrients. You can also boil leftover eggshells, crush them, and either add them to your compost for extra calcium or sprinkle them around your plants to keep slugs and snails away. Eggshells have many uses in the garden to help improve plant health.

Vegetable Water

Use the leftover water from boiling or steaming vegetables as a natural fertilizer for your plants. This works for most vegetables, but be careful with ones like broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage. Their water can develop a strong smell, so it’s best to use it only on outdoor plants to avoid bad odors inside your home.

Banana Peels

Banana peels are common household scraps that can be turned into excellent natural fertilizer for your plants. Bananas are loaded with potassium, which is crucial for plant health and growth. In some places, like Perth, where the sandy soil quickly drains potassium, replenishing it is essential. Potassium not only boosts fruit yield and flavor but also enhances flower production and strengthens plant cells, making them robust and healthy. I focus on using banana peel fertilizer, especially for my fruit trees.

You can prepare banana peel fertilizer in several simple ways. The easiest is to toss the peels into your compost or bury them directly in the garden soil, where they decompose and enrich the soil gradually. To extract nutrients faster, try these methods:

  • Water Soak Method: Cut up banana peels and place them in a jar of water. Cover the jar with a cloth to keep bugs out but allow air in. As I eat one banana a day, I add the peels to the jar over a few days. You can use this nutrient-rich water after a day, but I prefer letting it sit for about three days, stirring it each time I add a peel. After that, strain the peels (which you can then compost or bury), and dilute the banana-infused water by at least 50% before using it to water your plants.
  • Dry and Powder Method: Alternatively, chop up the peels and let them dry out in the sun. Once dried, grind them into a powder. You can dissolve this powder in water or sprinkle it directly around your plants for a quick nutrient boost.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds can be very beneficial for your garden; they help your plants grow and improve the soil quality. Despite their brown color, coffee grounds are full of nitrogen, making them a “green” component for composting. They also contain potassium, which is vital for plant health, and are almost pH neutral after being used to brew coffee.

You can use coffee grounds in your garden in several ways:

  • Mix them into your compost pile.
  • Sprinkle them directly around your plants.
  • Make a liquid fertilizer by mixing them with water.

To create a liquid fertilizer:

  • Add one cup of used coffee grounds to a bucket of water.
  • Let it sit for about a day.
  • Use the solution to water your plants.

Coffee grounds can also help keep pests away from your plants and even deter cats from messing in your garden. If you need more coffee grounds, consider asking local coffee shops for their used grounds; they often dispose of them and might be glad to give them to you for free, helping you, your garden, and the environment.

Wood Ash

The ash left from burning wood in your fireplace can be a good fertilizer for your garden, but it’s a bit more complex for beginners. Use the light gray ash, not the black coal pieces. Wood ash is rich in potassium and can make your soil less acidic, so it’s not suitable for plants like blueberries that need acidic conditions. Add it in small amounts to your garden or compost to avoid changing the soil’s pH too much. Also, make sure to use ash from untreated, chemical-free wood because ash from treated wood can harm plants you might eat.

Compost Tea

Compost tea is an excellent, simple organic fertilizer for potted plants when you don’t have space to add more soil. To make it, put a few handfuls of compost into a bucket of water and stir. Let it sit for 2–24 hours to allow the nutrients to infuse the water. It’s best to use rainwater for this, as tap water can contain chemicals that kill the beneficial bacteria in the compost.

If you only have tap water, let it sit out for a day to let some of the chlorine evaporate. Or, next time it rains, place a bucket outside to collect natural rainwater—it makes a big difference!

Make Several Organic Fertilizers for Your Garden’s Healthier and Safer Growth

Try these simple methods at home to create natural fertilizers for your garden using everyday items. From rice water to banana peels, coffee grounds to wood ash, there are plenty of options to choose from. Boost your plant growth, support the environment, and save money on commercial fertilizers. Give it a try today and watch your garden thrive!


Scroll to Top