Rosemary and Herb Salt

Rosemary and Herb Salt

Rosemary and herb salt is a quick and easy way to preserve your homegrown herbs to use throughout the year. Herb finishing salts, add so much flavour to meals in a quick and convenient way. Try Rosemary and herb salt on your roast vegetables for a delicious boost of flavour.

Why Grow Rosemary?

Rosemary is such a versatile herb and works well with both sweet and savoury dishes. It has a fragrant, pine like aroma. Rosemary offers so many beneficial relationships within your garden. Rosemary is a hardy, drought tolerant, ever green perennial herb. A fantastic staple to have growing in any edible garden. Rosemary also has many healing properties, so it is a handy plant to have near the house or in a kitchen garden.

When to Harvest Herbs?

The best time of day to harvest your herbs is first thing in the morning. This is when the plants are hydrated and full of life. As the day goes on, they will lose moisture and not be as fresh and vibrant. Early in the morning, the bees are not yet active. As the sun comes up and the dew drys, the bees will be about in a hive of activity. So, if you do pick later in the day, just be cautious not stress them out and avoid getting stung.

Yield: 1 cup

Rosemary and Herb Salt

rosemary salt
Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of Salt
  • 1 cup chopped herbs (Rosemary, Parsley, Fennel Frond)

Instructions

  1. Rinse herbs, remove stalks and roughly chop.
  2. Add to a mixer and blitz until breadcrumb consistency (or leave chunky if you would like too)
  3. Add in salt and blitz quickly to combine.
  4. Spread on to parchment and dry in the oven or dehydrator at 45 degrees celsius until dry. Stir through after one hour to loosen up the mix and allow it to dry faster. The length of time will depend on the water content of the herbs (approx 2 hours). The mixture will go a lighter green colour.
  5. Once dry add to a clean airtight jar.

Notes

  • The colour may fade over time
  • Try herbs such as Thyme, Mint, Sage, Chilli, Oregano

Want More Garden to Plate Recipes?

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  • Simple and easy recipes from garden to plate
  • Work with nature and not against it
  • Monthly masterclasses to dive deeper into topics
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  • Creative and nourishing recipes
  • Learn what parts of the plant are edible to maximise your food production
  • Learn how to cook and preserve the food you grow from root to shoot with nothing going waste
How to Choose a New Fruit Tree?

How to Choose a New Fruit Tree?

Choosing a new fruit tree is exciting, daunting, and at times, overwhelming with possibilities! I am adding another fruit tree to my garden and I would love to share that process with you. Plus, some tips to help you select the best fruit tree for your garden.

Click Below to Watch

Growing Fruit Trees at Home

Fruit trees can be grown and incorporated into many home garden designs to create abundant, fresh food. Fruit trees can even be grown in pots or containers for urban gardens. There really is so many ways to grow your own delicious fruit at home, no matter the size of your garden.

Tips to Choose a New Fruit Tree

Below are some tips or things to consider when you are looking to buy a new fruit tree. Take down a few notes and this will help you eliminate or come up with a clear idea to speak with your local fruit tree nurseries.

  • Analyse the Sun and Shade – is there a specific spot you are looking to fill or are you limited with where you can plant a fruit tree? If this is the case, just do a quick analysis of the conditions. Does it get full sun? are there large trees? or buildings that will shade it during winter? The sun tracks lower in the sky during Autumn and Winter and this means more shadows will be cast across your garden. This can have a huge impact on the growth of your tree.

Learn from my mistakes! I once planted a lime in an area that only gets full sun during the middle of summer. It never grew well and when I moved it to a full sun location, it has took off and is loaded with limes! Citrus like 6+ hours of sunlight a day. So noting down the sun and shade will help you pick a fruit tree that will thrive.

  • Wind – Does your property get strong winds? If so, what direction do they typically go? This can be very helpful to note down. Some fruit trees do not cope well with strong winds. Papaya, Tamarillo and Banana do not like strong winds. Especially while they are young and delicate. It may mean you need to plant a wind shelter or position your fruit tree in an area that receives less wind. Creating temporary barriers may also be a great solution to protect the tree while it is young and vulnerable.
  • Temperatures – Take note of your maximum and minimum temperatures. This can be a factor in whether or not you will be able to grow a particular fruit tree or if it will perform below average because of it. Do you receive snow? Frosts? These are important to note down and you may be able to find this information out on local weather reports. Feijoa or “Pineapple Guava” like to have at least 50 chill hours per year to produce good quality crops. Here in Perth, Australia, we can grow Feijoa, but they don’t taste quite as good ( in my opinion). This is also the case with extremely high temperatures, some fruit trees will not perform well. Sometimes, this can be managed with microclimates. Microclimates are areas in your garden that that have unique qualities. For example – next to a metal fence may be warmer, or a shady area with a pond may be cooler with more humidity. This can help you tailor and customise the surrounding to better suit your fruit tree.
  • Root systems – Take note if you have any concrete, pavers, a pool or plumbing nearby. Some fruit trees have huge root systems that can crack concrete or damage pools. If that is a factor then note that down. There are plenty of trees that have shallow or small root systems or you can plant in containers or pots.
  • Height Restrictions – would it matter if the fruit tree grew too tall? Fruit trees can be pruned to keep manageable but if you have restrictions such as neighbouring buildings, power lines, roof, eves or fences, it may be worth choosing a shorter variety grafted on dwarf root stock. This will mean the maximum height will be a lot shorter and you will not need to prune and maintain it as often.
  • How much time do you have to Care and Maintain the Fruit Tree? – Some fruit trees will require a lot more care and maintenance to actually get a good harvest from. Stone fruit for example, will often need to be netted to prevent fruit flies, bats or birds from decimating your crop. If you are wanting a low maintenance fruit tree then there are plenty of options available. Speak to your local fruit tree nursery to see what low maintenance fruit trees thrive in your local area.
  • What other Fruit Trees do you have? I have a lot of citrus already, so I want to get something different for my next fruit tree.
  • Have you tried that Fruit before? Once you have an understanding of your specific climate and have a few key points noted down on sun, shade, wind and surroundings, the next thing is to taste some fruit! You don’t want to spend money, allocate space and time, to grow something that you don’t actually like! This can seem obvious, but is often overlooked with the excitement of new fruit trees. Some fruit will be hard to find as there are many types of fruit that don’t travel well and cannot be sold commercially. These can often be found at local growers markets or on local gardening pages. Imagine waiting four or five years for your tree to fruit and then hate the fruit..that would be so annoying!

Observe & Interact – take time to slow down and observe your garden.

What Next? Choose a New Fruit Tree!

Now that you have a little more of an understanding of your climate and restrictions, it’s time to start looking for a new fruit tree! Taking the time to stop and observe, will help you select a fruit tree that will not only thrive in your location, but, that you will also LOVE to eat! Visit your local fruit tree nurseries or fruit tree specialists for valuable local knowledge. They may even be able to order in rare varieties. Local community groups also offer a wealth of knowledge.

In this video I try some tropical fruit to decide whether or not I want to purchase those fruit trees.

What fruit tree do you want to plant next? Let me know in the comments.

Holly 🌱

10 ways to become more Self-sufficient right NOW

10 ways to become more Self-sufficient right NOW

10 ways to become more self-sufficient right now! Start small but start today. These 10 steps to becoming more self-sufficient are things that you can easily start implementing in your life right now. Build layers of knowledge and experience to create a life that is not only more self-sufficient, but is also sustainable. Slow and steady solutions are what will make this lifestyle change last long term. I know, it is so exciting! and we want to do all the things, but, get the basics right from the start and it will flow and be easy.

Click to watch 10 ways to become more Self-sufficient

1. Grow your own food

Growing your own food is a great step towards living a more self-sufficient lifestyle and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start small but start today. Whether that means, converting part of your garden to edibles, planting a herb garden, starting a veggie patch, or planting a fruit tree.

Herbs are a great place to start for beginners because they are easy to grow and incorporate into your daily meals. Herbs are also quite pest-resistant and can tolerate a range of growing conditions. Herbs can be grown in pots and even indoors on a sunny windowsill.

You don’t need to be self-sufficient in everything but you can be self-sufficient in something. Take a look at what you buy regularly eg: salad mixes and plant that. Each season you can continue to expand and work your way up to providing more and more of your household’s fruit and vegetables.

Planting a fruit tree is also a great step towards self-sufficiency. Even if you have a small space or you are in a rental, you can still plant a fruit tree in a pot. That way when it does come time for you to move to a bigger location, you can take your established fruit tree with you. Fruit trees can take a while to start producing, so establishing trees in pots can allow you to get abundant harvest without waiting until you have more space.

So grab some seeds, get them in the soil and start growing your own food on your journey to become more self-sufficient.

2. Compost Scraps

Composting turns your scraps into organic, nutrient-rich soil that is going to help you grow a lot more plants. As well as reducing waste, composting will save you buying lots more soil and compost, because you will be able to produce your own soil at home using what you already have.

Composting your waste helps close the loop and make your gardening more sustainable.

You can purchase compost bins or tumblers at most of your local garden or hardware stores. You may even be able to pick one up cheap or free on marketplace or local buy and sell pages.

3. Learn to Cook Garden to Plate

This is another important one, and I think second to growing food, it is so important to learn how to cook. Even if you are a great cook, it is very different cooking from your garden. You need to get creative and come up with new ways to use and maximize the veggies you grow. Most cooks will be used to incorporating a lot of packaged products into their cooking and to be more self-reliant, you need to get creative.

Whether you use Zucchini as pasta, or Rainbow Chard as wraps, or Cauliflower as a pizza base, there are so many ways to get the most out of everything that you grow. That way, you can create more meals from the garden, and rely less on the shops! Saving you a lot of money. Because, we all know that when you pop to the shops for a couple of things… you end up with 3 bags full.

It takes lots of practice and is a skill to continually work on. Learning to cook with vegetables in lots of interesting ways will help you to become more self-reliant and build up your self-sufficiency. Having lots of recipes and ideas will help you to create exciting and wholesome meals so that you can sustain the lifestyle long term.

Garden to plate cooking is something I am incredibly passionate about, and the main reason I started my online membership. This is where I share my recipes with creative ways to use your harvest from root to shoot! I try to keep them simple, easy and of course delicious! If that is something you’re interested in Click Here to find out more.

4. Preserve Extra Food

Make hay while the sun shines as my dad always used to say! When you grow an abundance of produce in the garden, learn ways to preserve that to use throughout the year. That way you can still create balanced and wholesome meals all year round. 

You don’t need a big garden to start doing this. People are often giving away lemons or extra fruit they can’t eat. So utilize this and learn how to preserve them. You can always trade a big bag of fruit for a finished jar of jam, chutney, dehydrated fruit or sauce. Utilize what’s in season. If you see in-season fruit and vegetables that are really cheap or have bulk buying options, buy them and test out some ways to preserve them. That way, you will be building knowledge and experience for when you are growing your own! Plus your pantry will be full for the rest of the year. 

5. Learn to Take Cuttings

Growing food from cuttings will boost your garden’s level of sustainability. This is the best way to level up and grow more food for less. You can make an endless amount of trees and plants when you learn how to take cuttings. I have an ebook on cuttings if you want to learn the basics and I go through the easiest plants to grow from cuttings. This guide will show you some easy and quick ways to grow a tonne of food. You’ll be eyeing off your friends’ gardens in no time. 

6. Save Seeds

Saving seeds can go a long way towards creating a sustainable lifestyle. Seeds have the power to grow an endless supply of food if they are continuously saved. Saving your own seeds will not only provide you with a sustainable food source but it will also save you money in replenishing your seeds each year.

Each vegetable you grow has the potential to grow an endless amount if you learn how to save seeds. Save seeds from heirloom or open-pollinated varieties to ensure the next generation will be “true to type”.

You can even try saving seeds from vegetables you have purchased. Pumpkins and squash are the easiest ones to try! Clean off the flesh and let them dry out on a plate. then keep them in a brown paper bag or somewhere cool, dark, and dry, and then pop them in the soil in spring. You can try this with others such as Passionfruit, capsicum or tomatoes. It is best to choose organic heirloom varieties from your local farmers markets as many store bought vegetables are hybrids. Both can work for a bit of fun a bit of fun.

Saving your seeds is a great step towards self-sufficiency and when a world crisis happens, (hello 2020) the seed shelves are empty. People became more aware that they are relying on others to provide for them. Having your own seeds will mean you will have more resilience and can be more self-reliant. 

7. Swap and Trade

Get into a habit of swapping and trading items rather than purchasing new. Use your new found skills of propagating and saving seeds to trade with others for more plants. Or if you have extra produce, try hosting a swap meet and encourage your friends or local community to get involved. This can be a great way to recycle your unwanted items and get useful items in return. Swap meets can be great for extra seeds, produce, cuttings, houseplants, books, furniture or clothing.

8. Learn about Edible plants

There are so many edible plants around you every day and you may not even know it. Learning to identify plants and what parts are edible will hugely increase your food sources and self-sufficiency. This means you will be able to get the most out of everything growing in your garden! There are so many native plants and even weeds that are edible. Continue to build knowledge by learning to identify plants.

9. Harness Natural Resources

Everyday nature is providing us with so much energy that is often ignored. Harness the sun, rain and wind to use to your advantage. 

  • Dry your washing 
  • Capture water for your gardens
  • Dehydrate herbs, flowers, and food using the sun
  • Create power with solar panels
  • You can even make solar ovens
  • Put your pot plants outside when it rains 

10. Up-cycle and Re-use

Use what you have. Get creative. Train your mind to come up with new ways, rather than slipping into the consumer mindset.  Try to forage sticks for Tomato stakes and make your own trellis or up-cycle cups and crates for pots. Whatever it is you need, think about other ways that you could achieve the same outcome. 

It can seem hard at first, but over time, you will start switching your mindset to up-cycle rather than consume and it will become so much easier. This will save you a lot of money and reduce the amount of things you have lying around that get used on rare occasions. 

Check out this up-cycled DIY Greenhouse

I hope you found some inspiration and tip to get stuck in and started today. Let me know in the comments what you are going to start with to become more Self-sufficient right now!

Holly 🌱

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How to Save Seeds

How to Save Seeds

Why save seeds? 

Saving seeds can go a long way towards creating a sustainable lifestyle. Seeds have the power to grow an endless supply of food if they are continuously saved. Saving your own seeds will not only provide you with a sustainable food source but will also save you money in replenishing your seeds each year.

Saving your seeds is a great step towards self-sufficiency and when a world crisis happens, (hello 2020) the seed shelves are empty. People become more aware that they are relying on others to provide for them. Having your own seeds will mean you will have more resilience and can be more self-reliant.Β 

Saving seeds from your best vegetables will help you develop your own SUPER plants! Selecting for pest resilience, size, strength, taste or timing, means you can grow more plants with those desired traits.Β 

You will also get seeds and vegetables that are acclimatised to your exact growing conditions. They have adapted to their surroundings and will thrive! If you are already growing these vegetables you may as well save the seeds!

Can you save any seeds?

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Harvesting from my Sustainable Permaculture Garden

Harvesting from my Sustainable Permaculture Garden

July Garden Harvest

Welcome to my garden in July. It is the middle of winter here in Perth, Australia and although the temperatures have been quite mild, we have been getting a whole lot of rain! Today we take a look around my sustainable permaculture garden to see what we can find to harvest! I will also go through what I am going to make or preserve with what I pick. 

It has been non-stop raining for two weeks with more rain forecast. Two days of fine weather finally arrived and I managed to get out and see what was ready. Heavy rains can cause some issues when your fruit and veggies are starting to ripen. Extra water can cause them to split open and then bugs can get in and I want to make sure I harvest as much as I can.

Citrus are ripening over winter and I have quite a few young trees. Citrus grow really well here in Perth, as they can handle our hot dry summers. Citrus trees are also a little more pest resilient than many other fruit trees. So, I have quite a few varieties – Lemon, Blood Orange, Lemonade, Lime, Finger Lime, Kumquat, and Mandarin.

Click to Watch my July Harvest

Sustainable Permaculture Garden Harvest

Just for fun I decided to weigh out my produce. Listed below is how much I harvested.

  • Lemons || 2.078kg
  • Blood Orange || 683g
  • Arrowroot || 170g
  • Lemonade || 682g
  • Broccoli || 93g
  • Parsley || 477g
  • Lettuce || 300g
  • Rainbow Chard || 127g
  • Purple Sweet Potato || 1.251kg
  • Hawaiian Sweet Potato || 667g
  • Fennel || 506g

TOTAL: 6.578kg

Harvest Gallery

Most of my Citrus trees are still young and this is the first harvest of fruit. What I love about fruit trees, is that they continue to grow more and more fruit each year. Fruit trees are powerhouses in abundance and such a valuable food source for any sustainable permaculture garden.

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15 Easy Organic Fertilizers to Make at Home

15 Easy Organic Fertilizers to Make at Home

Make these Easy Organic Fertilizers at home using everyday ingredients, so that you can feed your plants naturally and grow lots more food! It is important to feed your plants as they use up the nutrients in the soil to grow and produce food. It is also so important that you use organic, natural fertilizers so that we..

1 – don’t consume harmful synthetic toxins but also..

2 – don’t have harmful toxins upsetting the microbiology and killing off all the amazing beneficial insects and pollinators. 

There are a bunch of natural ingredients you use every day that can be easily turned into natural organic fertilizers to help feed and nourish your plants. There are also some plants that you can specifically grow to make your own organic fertilizers. Keep reading below. to find out how you can level up your garden’s production with these easy organic fertilizers. 

Plus, it’s a great way to reduce waste and get the most out of everything in your home. We can be so quick to throw things out or put them straight in the compost but many items can be used again first! This also means you are getting more bang for your buck and saves you spending money on fertilizers. So you can spend more money on plants..

Click to WATCH or Read below – 15 Easy Organic Fertilizers to Make at Home

1. Rice Water

The water that is left behind after rice has been cooked, makes an easy organic fertilizer for your plants. It contains starch and small amounts of NPK. Which are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. These are all essential for plant health and growth. In basic terms, Nitrogen is good for producing leaves and greens but if your soil is too high in Nitrogen you will get all leaves and no actual fruit or vegetable. Phosphorus is good for cell growth and division, so it is essential for seedlings. Potassium is great for promoting fruiting and flowering in plants. Having a good balance of NPK in your soil is important. As your plants grow they will use up different levels of each so it is important to replenish with fertilizers.

The NPK in Rice water is low in quantities so you won’t have to worry about over-fertilizing and it helps you build healthy soil, whilst minimizing waste. Make sure that you don’t add salt to the water or this will not be good for your plants. It is also important to make sure the water has completely cooled down first. Use the rice water fresh as you make it as it doesn’t store well.

2. Pasta Water 

Just like the rice water, pasta water will leave behind starch, which can be used to feed your plants. Dilute the mixture if it looks too cloudy or there is not much liquid and this will give you more fertilizer and ensure you don’t overfeed.

3. Potato Water

When you have boiled potatoes, the leftover water will be full of starch and beneficial nutrients. Again, similar to the Rice and Pasta, make sure you haven’t added salt and let the water cool completely. 

4. Eggshell Water

Don’t throw out the water left over after boiling eggs. Let it cool, and use it to feed and water your plants. This is such an easy organic fertilizer! This water will add a small boost of nutrients calcium to the soil. You can also boil leftover eggshells that have been cracked to fry eggs or have been used for baking. Then after that, crush up the eggshells and add them to the compost for extra calcium or sprinkle around your seedling as natural pest control to help deter slugs and snails. There are so many ways eggshells can be used to boost your garden’s health.

5. Vegetable Water

Reuse the leftover water from boiling or steaming vegetables as a natural organic fertilizer. For most vegetables that you boil or steam, the water can be used to fertilize your plants. Just be aware that some ingredients may cause strong odors so for Brassicas such Broccoli, Cauliflower, or Cabbage. Definitely only use on outdoor plants as the water will start to have a strong odor. No one wants their house to start smelling like farts!

6. Banana Peels

Banana peels are something that many of us have at home and they make a great natural fertilizer for your plants. As many of you might know bananas are high in Potassium and in the plant world Potassium is an essential nutrient for plant growth. Here in Perth, our sandy soils often leach out Potassium, so it is important that we add it back in regularly. Fruiting plants can often require extra Potassium to produce good yields, improve the flavour of the fruit, and increase flower production. Potassium also helps strengthen plants – it thickens their cell walls to make them grow big and strong. I will often prioritize feeding my fruit trees when I’m making this Banana Peel Fertilizer.

There are a few different ways to make Banana Peel Fertilizer and I rotate through using them all. The easiest way by far is just to put the peel in the compost or bury the banana peel in the garden. This will slowly break down and release nutrients into the soil to feed your plants. However, there are a few ways to speed up the way in which you can extract the nutrients. 

Chop up your banana peel and add it to a jar of water. I leave this on my bench with a cloth over the top. You don’t want bugs to get in but you want it to breathe. Then over the next few days, as I only eat one banana a day, I add it to the jar. You can start using this after one day but I like to let mine go for about 3 days stirring it each time I add another peel. Then you can strain off the banana peel, keep them to add to the compost or bury them in the garden. Then dilute your water by 50% or more. If I just have one banana peel, I may not dilute it but with three there is plenty of nutrients to be diluted and spread across more plants.

You can also chop up your banana peels and let them dry out in the sun and then blitz them up into a powder. Add this powder to water or just sprinkled it around your plants. 

7. Coffee Grounds

Used coffee grounds are great for the garden and can add a boost of nutrition to your plants, whilst building healthy soil. Used coffee grounds ( filtered through water) are nearly pH neutral). They are rich in Nitrogen and Potassium which are both essential nutrients. Although they are brown in colour, they are rich in Nitrogen so coffee grounds are classed as β€œgreen” when you are composting.

There are heaps of ways to incorporate coffee grounds into your garden. You can add them straight to your compost, sprinkle them around your plants or dilute them with water for a liquid fertilizer. Coffee Grounds are also great for natural pest management and can deter lots of unwanted pests from your delicate seedlings. I have even read that coffee grounds can deter cats, so if you are having a problem with cats in your garden this is worth a try as it only benefits the soil and the plants.

To make the liquid fertilizer from Coffee Grounds, add a cup of used coffee grounds to a bucket of water and let it sit for a day or so. Then you have a liquid fertilizer to feed your plants. If you don’t have any coffee grounds try visiting your local barista or cafe as they often just throw away the grounds and would be happy for you to take them off their hands! A win for them, your garden, and the planet! 

8. Fish Tank Water

If you have freshwater fish tanks, ponds, or aquaponic systems, the water is great liquid fertilizer to feed your plants. The fish poop and plant matter will be great for your garden. Definitely don’t use saltwater tank water as this will probably kill your plants, which we obviously don’t want.

9. Wood Ash

The leftover ash from your wood fire is great to feed your garden. Use the light grey coloured ash at the bottom of your fireplace not the black chunks of coal. This one can be a little more technical for beginner gardeners so it might be best to try the other fertilizer options first. Wood ash is high in Potassium and raises the pH of your soil. So do not use it on acidic loving plants such as Blueberries.

It’s best to add wood ash in small quantities and mix it through your gardens or compost so as to not raise the pH of your soil too much (unless this is something you are trying to achieve). Also, it is very important to note: only use wood ash from chemical-free, untreated wood. Burnt wood that is treated with chemicals will still have traces leftover and that is not okay for edible plants.

10. Compost Tea

Compost tea is great if you have potted plants, and don’t have room to add extra soil to top up the nutrients. To make this easy organic fertilizer, place a few handfuls of compost in a bucket of water and stir. Allow it to sit for 2-24hrs to mix and infuse into the water. With all fertilizers, use rainwater when possible, as tap water is often treated with chemicals that can actually kill off all the good bacteria that we are trying to feed. If you only have access to tap water you can let it sit in a bucket for a day and a lot of the chlorine will evaporate off. Next time it’s raining, chuck a bucket out and capture some of that amazing natural water to use. It really does make a big difference!

11. Liquid Seaweed

You can buy organic seaweed concentrates to mix with water and make liquid fertilizers. This is something that I always have on hand and is the only fertilizer that I buy. But, if you live near the ocean you can make your own! Be aware of your local rules and regulations as it is illegal to remove seaweed in some locations. Even if it has washed up on the beach. If you can source seaweed, ferment it in a bucket of water for a week or more, and brew up your own organic fertilizer. Once the water is a dark colour, it will definitely have a strong smelly pong to it! Strain off the liquid and dilute it with more water. Add the leftover seaweed to the compost or the garden to fully break down as slow-release fertilizer. 

12. Comfrey Tea

Comfrey is great to grow in your garden, purely to help you build good soil. The Comfrey plant contains high levels of NPK which as we now know are essential for plant health. It also contains many other beneficial nutrients and minerals. Comfrey also provides a great cover for your soil and habitat for beneficial insects. It also has beautiful flowers for pollinators. Because of all these great relationships, Comfrey is a top permaculture plant. If you plan on growing your own food, you may as well grow your own organic fertilizer!

Comfrey has deep roots that go deep down and draw up all the good nutrients. It produces lots of big lush leaves which can add great plant matter, nutrients and fibre to your soils. Sandy or clay-rich soils need lots of fibre added to either help retain moisture (sandy soils) or break up the soil and allow better drainage (clay-rich soils). Here in Perth, my soils are super sandy. I often chop and drop layers of mulch to add more fibre and help reduce the concentration of sand. Sandy soils let all the moisture and nutrients drain away and we don’t want that!

Just like the banana peels, there are multiple ways to extract the nutrients from the Comfrey plant. One way is to just β€œchop and drop”. That is a term I use quite a lot as it’s one of my favourite methods because so easy! It is important to have some easy methods when gardening so that you are more likely to do regularly them. To do the “chop and drop” method, simply chop the leaves off and spread them around your plants as a mulch.

The other way you can use Comfrey leaves is to bury them in the garden. This is great when you are creating new beds or replanting at the end of a season. Add a layer of Comfrey leaves under your compost or topsoil and they will break down and feed your plants. 

Another way to extract the nutrients from the Comfrey plant is to chop the leaves off and chuck them in a bucket of water to ferment. Make sure you place some sort of breathable fabric on top, otherwise, you may also breed some mosquitoes! Once they start rotting down over 1-2 weeks (yes heads up… this will smell), give them a stir to help release the nutrients into the water. Then you can strain off the leaves – chuck them in the compost or garden and dilute your tea down to feed your plants. 

13. Worm Tea/ Wee

Worm farms are a great way to use up excess food scraps at home and they also produce liquid fertilizer for free! It is full of amazing nutrients that your plants will LOVE! Worms are absolute powerhouses for edible gardens and an incredible asset to any home garden. Plus, you can farm your own organic fertilizers with very little effort! 

14. Poo Tea / Composted Animal Manure Fertilizer

Composted animal manure is great for feeding the garden. Don’t use fresh, raw manure as it is high in urea and will burn the roots of your small plants. Composted or aged manure is best to use in your home gardens. Ensure that it is organic manure so it doesn’t have residual pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or antibiotics from the animals. It is also important that it is composted so that any grass seeds consumed by the animal are destroyed. Otherwise, you may have lots of grasses and weeds popping up in your garden.

The composted or aged manure can be mixed into your garden beds or mixed with water to make a liquid fertilizer. To make easy organic fertilizers from manure, add a handful of aged manure into a bucket of water and allow it to mix and infuse for a day or so. Giving it a good stir every now and then. This water will then be ready to feed your plants. 

15. Weed Tea Fertilizer

Weed tea is made just like comfrey tea. It is a great way to turn pesky weeds into something that actually benefits your garden! Weeds thrive and are full of good nutrients that can be turned into easy organic fertilizers. I have a video on how to make weed tea so I will link that here. The main thing to consider when making weed tea is to kill off and destroy any of the seeds. The rotting process will damage the seeds and stop grasses being spread around your garden. 

There are so many ways to make easy Organic Fertilizers at home to feed your plants, reduce waste and grow lots more nutritious food! Let me know what you use? Do you use any of these methods or do you have other natural fertilizers? 

EXTRA TIP: When using fertilizers in the garden, pull back the mulch to apply the fertilizer. Otherwise, the bark or mulch may absorb all the nutrients and they won’t make it to the plant’s root systems. Pull back the mulch, apply the fertilizer and wait for it to absorb into the soil before recovering with the mulch.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more videos on how to grow food naturally and sustainably.

Happy Gardening 

Holly 🌱

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

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