Ways & How

How to Make Liquid Fertilizer

How to Make Liquid Fertilizer

With all the talk about climate change, the idea of organic gardening is fast gaining ground. Coupled with increasing prices of chemical-dependent farm produce and the attendant health risks they present, growing your own garden edibles makes a lot of health and financial sense. In order to do this, you will need to learn various skills, so you cut the chain of dependence on agro-chemical products to grow food. Learning how to make liquid fertilizer is a great first step in reducing your outside dependence for food and making a better impact on the environment. It’s also surprisingly easy to do. Here’s how.

  1. Collect ingredients. In some parts of the world, liquid fertilizer is called fruit plant juice or tea, as in comfrey tea, if your ingredients are primarily made of comfrey leaves. You are essentially making liquid food for plants, so you can use familiar kitchen ingredients like crude/brown sugar or molasses, chlorine-free water, and legumes (which are rich in nitrogen). If you don’t have legumes on hand, parts of fast-growing nitrogen-rich plants will do.

    is is because nitrogen is the prime nutrient and the most important ingredient in all balanced plant foods. Nitrogen performs a crucial function during early growth and leaf production to help plants grow deep green, luxuriant foliage.

  2. Assemble equipment. You need to have a large plastic container with a capacity of one gallon (e.g., a bucket), a piece of cloth, a rubber band, plastic bottles with caps (one-liter bottles or soda bottles), a strainer, a funnel, and a measuring cup.

  3. Combine all raw materials with a 1:1:1 ratio. If you have one kg of plant material, you’ll need to put in one kg of brown sugar and one gallon of water. This can be reduced or increased depending on how much you need as long as you keep the ratio. Put all raw materials in the large plastic container and mix them together until the sugar dissolves in the water.

  4. Cover the container with a piece of cloth and secure with a rubber band. It is important to keep the container in an undisturbed and shaded location.

  5. Allow the container to stand undisturbed for one week. If you notice molds growing on the surface and the liquid giving off a sweet-and-sour smell, this indicates fermentation and the start of (beneficial) bacterial growth.

  6. After one week, mix the liquid thoroughly with a stick.

  7. Strain the liquid into large plastic bottles using the strainer. Do not fill the bottles to the neck. Leave some room for the bacteria to breathe by capping the bottles loosely. The residue or solid materials can be placed in your compost pile.

  8. Store the bottles in a dark corner or shaded location for use when the need arises.

  9. Shake the bottles of liquid fertilizer vigorously at least once a week to bring air to the bacteria and to prevent the settling of organic matter.

The process of how to make liquid fertilizer can be easily learned by a first-time gardener as it does not require specialized contraptions, complicated processes, or extensive background knowledge in agriculture or permaculture. The ingredients are also cheap and easy to find, which makes it a sustainable alternative to commercial fertilizers.   When it’s time to apply, remember that the smell of the liquid is quite pungent, so a mask is recommended when straining the solids or mixing the concoction. Mix one cup of the liquid with one gallon of chlorine-free water and apply it in the early morning or late afternoon. Use the diluted liquid to water your plants at their bases, but do not include the stems. For most plants, apply the diluted liquid fertilizer at least once a week and more frequently during the leaf-production stage of plant growth.


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