Homemade liquid fertilisers

Homemade liquid fertilisers made from free, natural ingredients, such as grass clippings or chicken manure, can give your plants the quick boost of nutrients they need to grow stronger and be more productive.
Liquid fertilisers are fast-acting, so they are your best choice for several purposes. As soon as seedlings have used up the nutrients provided by the sprouted seeds, they benefit from small amounts of fertiliser. Seedlings don’t need much in the way of nutrients, but if they noticeably darken in colour after you feed them with a liquid fertiliser, that’s evidence they had a need that has been satisfied
When you are contemplating your winter vegetable garden remember that nitrogen in the soil is difficult for the plants to take up if the soil is below 100 C, so it will be worth your time to use liquid fertilisers to provide a boost until the soil warms up.
Water-soluble homemade fertilisers are short-acting but should be applied no more than every two weeks, usually as a thorough soaking.
The best procedure is to mix materials with water at the ratios shown below, and allow the teas to sit for three days at room temperature, giving them a good shake or stir once a day. They will then be ready for use. Stopping at three days also prevents fermentation, which you want to avoid.
If you haven’t completely used a batch of fertiliser within two or three days, pour it out beneath perennials or pour it over your compost heap.
If you are using dried chicken manure, mix 1/3 chicken manure with 2/3 wood shavings and then dilute it 1 to 1 with water.
Fresh grass clippings are also diluted at 1 to 1.The teas made from grass clippings come close to providing the optimum 3-1-2 ratio of Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium (N-P-K) that is vital for the health of your plants.
You might also try making compost tea. Not only is this a good source of natural fertiliser, but it can suppress some fungal plant diseases.
Be sure to use mature, sweet, earthy-smelling compost.
Put two shovelfuls of compost into a coarsely woven sack, old pillow case, or old pair of pantyhose, tie the top shut, and place the bag in the bottom of a bucket or barrel. Dilute by adding 5 parts water to 1 part compost. Let it “brew” for seven to ten days. Dilute the resulting “tea” with water until it is light brown or the colour of weak tea and use.
Keep in mind that E. coli can be present in the raw ingredients of a compost pile, so do not apply compost tea to any vegetable within 3 weeks of its planned harvest date.

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