This is slowly becoming a garden blog, but I promise soon this will change. It’s just that time of the season where things happen in the garden daily – sometimes small things, sometimes bigger things. Today a small thing happened. I made my first DIY fertilizer.
I was watching my favorite belgian garden guy online, and he visited a belgian actress who shared her secret DIY fertilizer recipe with him and as it sounded really effective, I will share it below with you. I rarely watch “tv” these days, but when I do I’m mostly watching Belgian or English programs and often they evolves around gardening. Due to this I’m also developing a bit of a Belgian accent, I wish I picked up French as quickly, but maybe I should start watching French garden shows for that. If you know any good garden/nature shows I should watch that are spoken in French, please let me know.
Anyhow back to the fertilizer!
What do you need:
- banana peels
- egg shells
- coffee residu
What do you do:
And then, just place everything in the blender, close it, keep your hand on top and just mix it up for a minute or three. And you’re done! I briefly considered using a different blender than the one that I used for food stuff. But then I thought about it a second longer and decided I was being crazy, since the only thing that I use for this fertilizer are things that are pretty “normal” and couldn’t be of any danger of my food blender if I just wash it normally afterwards. I don’t know, the look of the fertilizer somehow made me think *iewuk* for a split second.
Now you just pour the fertilizer you made in the watering can and add some extra water to it so that it’s more easy to spread where you want to spread it in the garden. I used it on a bed where the plants were pretty “down” looking and needed some extra power. I also did it right before I expected it to rain (which it didn’t :S). The fertilizer will contain some small chunks of whatever, and you might find it difficult to pour from a watering can with small holes, if so, just use one with one big hole. Afterwards just clean your blender and your watering can and you are ready to start watching your plants grow.
I’ve tried to find some more information about why banana peels etc are good for your garden and you can find several different sources that say that banana peels are good for roses. Coffee grind and egg shells are more commenly used to energise your soil. You can also place those two in your composting unit, you can’t do that with banana’s as it composts very slowly and it might slow down your whole composting pile. That won’t happen this way. It’s just another way to use our every day trash in a more sustainable way – me thinks.
I think I’ll make more of these mixes soon for our rose bushes down in the garden. I first need to figure out what mix works best for them. If you use this, don’t use too much of it at one place and only use a little bit if you use it in pots. It’s too concentrated for pots. It works better in open fields I’ve read.
I’ll update you on some miraculous growth if I see something interesting that happens in that crappy looking bed. If you are also making your own fertilizer from leftovers in the kitchen, please share some secrets with me. I’m very willing to learn.
Interested in gardening and organic composting? These books might be of interest to you:
June 6, 2013
can this mixture be used in a vegetable garden
June 6, 2013
Hi there :)
Thank you for commenting! Yes, it was a special mix for the vegetable garden. For plants that need a lot of fertiliser. I used it for courgettes for example. You should check when you use it if specific vegetables don’t like coffee grind or egg shells. The bed that I used it on looked much better after I had used it (it was poor soil). And banana’s as said are also very good for roses apparently.
Let me know how it works for you if you try :)
June 13, 2013
Also somehthing with good results: try your urine diluted with water at 1/10 on your pumpkins, beets, cabbages or tomatoes… easy, free, available in abundance…and it works great!
Close your cycle!
February 15, 2016
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February 15, 2016
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April 26, 2016
I’ve heard that you can make your own fertilizer, and so I really appreciate this walk-through. I’m really happy that all of the ingredients can be found just in my kitchen. I’ll be sure to try this fertilizer out this summer, thanks for this help!
May 23, 2016
I should be better about collecting compost from my kitchen and using it in the garden. It seems easy enough to collect banana peels and egg shells, so there’s no reason I shouldn’t be trying it out. Even if the compost isn’t enough to fully fertilize my garden, I doubt it would hurt my plants so I might as well use it. Thanks for the article!
April 18, 2017
I just keep the peels, egg shells and coffee grounds in freezer bags until I’m ready to add water and puree so they don’t attract bugs or smell. I hope that helps you. :)
July 29, 2016
Great use of some common kitchen “junk”!
Coffee grounds can be somewhat acidic, does this harm the plants? Or maybe it’s too little to really affect the balance?
April 18, 2017
I just did this and put it at the base of my plants and watered them and now there is a bright yellow “foam” on top of it. What is that????
April 28, 2017
Hello good afternoon what a good post I will do here in my residence I love organic matter and would love to share. I’m from South America Brazil
September 8, 2017
Why those ingredients? What nutrients are you giving the plants? Spent coffee grounds are primarily cellulose (but are good for water retention) and they don’t significantly acidify the soil but there really are no plant nutrients so I fail to see how it should be a component of “fertiliser”. Eggshells add calcium which is necessary for foliar growth (and I find the sharp edges of slightly crushed eggshell is a pretty good mulch in that slugs are deterred because the edges are sharp and can damage the slimies). Banana peels are rich in potassium (potash), necessary for producing plants sugars and particularly necessary for blooming plants. An old time farmer who was a patient of mine years ago told me about keeping tomato worms away with just tossing banana peels (organic ones) on top of the soil by the plants. It was a big mystery to me for quite a while but I think it probably has something to do with the saponins and the hydrogen cyanide present in the peels! So what’s missing in this “fertilizer”? Nitrogen- and magnesium- both are essential for chlorophyl production! I agree with the commentator above who suggested diluted urine- nitrogen is derived from the ammonia in urine. Epsom salts are a good source of magnesium. I think foregoing the coffee grounds and adding epsom salts and a little dilute urine makes a bit more sense. Also, the scent of human urine will keep animals away from your vegetable garden- that’s how other animals “mark” their territory so it does double duty! Oh- another addition that is good- when you have spent brillo pads- put them in water and let them oxidize. The rist will supply the soil/plants with iron:-)
June 22, 2018
The coffee grounds give more nitrogen than cow manure according to an organic study I read. Actually spent coffee grounds have more nitrogen than any manure.
August 26, 2018
How much of each ingredient should I use? You don’t have any amounts listed.
September 14, 2018
Thank you for commenting! :)
I was on holiday, hence my late reply.
But there are no amounts listed, because generally I just use what I have as a waste, sometimes I have more coffee than bananas and other times the other way around. I think you can just use it in the amounts you have and the plant can then choose whatever it needs. If you have plants with very specific needs, you will have to adjust, but I just use it as a general feed.
I hope it helps!
September 28, 2018
Salut Marta, potassium from the bananas, nitrogen from the coffee and calcium from the eggshells are what make it so good for the plants. Happy gardening!!
December 4, 2018
I don’t use coffee as I am a tea drinker can I use this instead of the coffee?
December 4, 2018
Thank you for your question Anna.
The composition of tea is different than the one of coffee. So it wouldn’t be the same, texture and quantity wise as well.
I do place my tea in the compost, but I have never made this mix with tea.
I hope this helps!
January 14, 2020
Hello, I’ve been drying ripe banana peels, orange peels and coffee grounds. I’m thinking of grinding them up to use as a fertilizer…either dry around the plant or mixed with water. (I don’t eat many eggs, but will add the shells when I have them)
I’m thinking 2 parts banana: 1 part orange:1 part coffee.
Any suggestions ?
April 21, 2020
I have left this question for a long while now I see. It’s because it’s really too complicated to answer for me. The short answer is: an orange isn’t an egg. So you can’t replace the effect egg shells have with orange peels. They are actually quite different. You can also leave the orange out. :) If you leave close to sea, you can add thin shells (do not break your blender!), they will probably have properties closer to egg shells than orange peels.
Apologies for my delayed answer! And good luck growing.
October 11, 2021
It has been my experience that’s you need to be very careful with citrus of any kind in relation to fertilizing. I have seen many post about using very diluted citrus peels to protect from bugs and to kill bugs. The above posted recipe is actually well balanced and has been a long time fertilizer by old time gardeners in America in the south for vegetables, roses and especially tomatoes and hydrangeas. My great grandmother, grandmother and mother all used it. Thanks for sharing ❣️
June 15, 2020
I have been saving up vegetable parings, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea leaves, fruit peels – anything that I would normally compost. I blend them with water, Epson salt, baking soda and ammonia. I add that and water to a larger bucket to dilute. I use it on my outdoor plants once every two weeks or so. I’m not sure if it is making them better or not. They look fine, but I don’t know if the elixir is improving them.