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Last Updated on April 23, 2024 by Kiersten James

Learn how to make DIY organic garden fertilizer to repurpose rich ingredients from the kitchen to feed your garden.

DIY organic garden fertilizer

Many of us take the time to be sure ingredients that we cook and prepare our meals with are as close to nature as possible. Looking at you synthetic and disruptive additives!

As a gardener, I prefer to take the same approach with the food and herbs that I grow. It is vital to replenish depleted minerals like copper, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, sodium, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus that our gardens use to produce our fruit and vegetables.

Let me show you how to repurpose and prepare some kitchen scraps to enrich the soil to feed your garden. 

Materials to Make DIY Organic Garden Fertilizer

  • Blender
  • Oven
  • Metal sheet pan
  • Bowl
  • Cutting board 
  • Chopping knife
  • Pasture raised egg shells
  • Chicken bones
  • Organic coffee grounds
  • Organic tea leaves
  • Sealed container
  • Epsom salt

Preparing Your Ingredients to Make A DIY Organic Garden Fertilizer

Coffee grounds

Don’t throw out your used coffee grounds!! Gather them in a bowl on the counter to dry out for a few days.

Tea leaves

Do the same with your used loose tea leaves. Rip your tea bags open and let them dry out.

Egg shells

Collect your egg shells just like we did with the tea and coffee. Rinse them clean and leave out in a container to dry.

Next, heat your oven to 350 degrees F and place your egg shells on a metal sheet pan.

Cook for 10 minutes to kill any bacteria and dry any moisture. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Once your egg shells are cool, toss them into the blender until they become a powdery texture. 

Chicken bones

Grab that same sheet pan and lay your cleaned chicken bones out. I prefer to use chicken bones after I make a stock.

Lower the oven temperature to 250 F and cook for 60 minutes. At the 60 minute mark, take out the smaller bones, that are very brittle and blend into a powder.

The larger jointed bones can go back into the oven for another 30 minutes or until they are dry and brittle through the bone marrow.

Use a chopping knife and cutting board to break into smaller pieces to confirm the marrow is dry, then blend into powder. 

Epsom salt

Reserve 4 tablespoons epsom salt per quart of combined DIY organic garden fertilizer 

If your family asks why you have a million bowls of things out to dry, give them a quick chemistry lesson about how your garden needs vitamins and minerals to live their best life just like humans do.

How to Use DIY Organic Garden Fertilizer

Now that your ingredients are dry and cooled, let’s put it all together. If you’re itching to use it right away, combine everything into a large bowl. To save it for later, combine and store in an airtight jar.

For plants that are already established:

Sprinkle your DIY organic garden fertilizer on the soil surface and gently scratch it in with your fingertips at the base of the plant making sure not to disturb the roots.

For new gardens:

Mix your DIY organic garden fertilizer in freely because plant roots spread all throughout the soil. They will eventually create a complex network to form its own microbiome.

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