Posts tagged "fertiliser"

What can I reuse/recycle to make plant/vegetable fertilisers?

So how is your garden/allotment/window box doing this summer?

Due to a combination of a underestimation of seed germination rates, disorganisation/ignoring plans and demon slugs, my growing hasn’t gone quite as I thought it might but we’re doing ok and I’ve learned a lot about growing here.

One thing definitely on my list for next year – well, technically later this year – is to give my beds a good old fashioned manure boost in late autumn. The soil here is very poor but since I reclaimed the beds from the weeds in early spring, I couldn’t do a manure feed this year and I think our output has suffered as a result. I’ve been feeding the seedlings/growing plants since then but I think better soil to start with would have helped overall. Ah well, live and learn.

Anyway, homemade plant/vegetable fertilisers. I’m sure everyone reading this has a bulging compost heap for general compost goodness (if not, start one today!) but I thought it might be interesting to hear what kitchen scraps/plants/garden waste/household waste people use for specific fertilising/feeding plants at this time of year.

I’ve been making/using a lot of liquid fertiliser from nettles this year because we have so many in the field next door to our house. Coffee grinds are also popular as a mid-season fertiliser, as are potash and bonemeal.

What are your favourite produced-at-home fertilizers? Do you have any tips for particular plants?

How can I reuse or recycle menstrual blood?

In honour of International Women’s Day on Monday, we’re having a week of women’s & sexual health themed posts (and giveaways!!). Check out our older related posts too – such as unused disposable sanitary products or end-of-life menstrual cups.

I thought long and hard about whether to feature this because it’s the type of green action that makes Daily Mail readers exclaim “bloody hippies!!” and pledge to not reduce, reuse or recycle just to annoy us filthy, poor Good-Life-wannabes. But in the end, Cipollina’s comment yesterday convinced me – it’s not for everyone but blood is a cracking fertiliser.

The fluid emptied out from your Mooncup or pink water from rinsing out from your washable sanitary towels is a great source of natural nitrogen – it replenishes overworked soil and feeds the plants. People buy blood meal — the dried & powdered blood from livestock — as a non-synthetic fertiliser but why not cut out the middle man/middle cow? It’s as organic as you are.

There are some potential problems with just pouring it straight on the garden – some blood-borne pathogens can be transferred around and apparently it can attract ants – but one way to minimise the risk of that sort of thing is to put it through a hot compost heap. If you know you have a blood-borne pathogen, you might want to look into the situation with your condition further – although apparently even hepatitis, one of the longest surviving blood-borne pathogens outside the body, only manages about 30 hours before breaking down (shorter if heated/exposed to sunlight).

I found two very interesting discussions on the topic – this one and this one – explaining about different people’s experiences and methods but I wonder if anyone has used it for anything a bit more out of the ordinary…

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?