Every organic gardener wants to produce the best products without using pesticides and fertilizers. The key to that is to grow the plants naturally. This article will show every gardener just that: how to use common household substances to nourish the plants and to make them grow faster. Even though these tricks may seem a little odd, they really work!
To improve the soil
- Use urine as a fertilizer
The human urine contains nitrogen which boosts lush foliage growth and it’s best to use it on plants like corn. If you pee directly on the plants, the salt in the urine may actually burn them, so make sure to collect the pee and mix it with water to weaken it before pouring it onto the plants. This is a real growth booster!
- Bury your kitchen waste in the garden
Burying your kitchen waste between rows of vegetables is a great way to make your plants grow. All you have to do is make foot-deep ditches, throw the waste in and then cover it with the soil. The waste will be buried deep, so you shouldn’t worry about feeling an unpleasant smell.
- Weed tea as fertilizer
You can kill the weeds in your garden by making a powerful fertilizer out of green tea. All you have to do is pull weeds from the ground and cut them, then soak them in a tub of hot water and leave them out in the sun for a couple of days. You can do that with comfrey as well. The end result is a nitrogen-rich green which is a great soil fertilizer.
- Vinegar as a weed killer
Another easy way to kill the weeds is by using vinegar. Just pour vinegar in a bottle and spray it on the weeds on a sunny day. After a couple of days you will notice that the weeds are gone! A very important thing to do afterwards is to neutralize the acid. You can do that simply by sprinkling some baking soda on the plants.
- Add oyster shells and eggshells to your garden beds
If you have plants that require alkaline soil, then a great way to keep them happy and growing is by putting crushed oyster shells and eggshells around them. The reason to do that is because the shells contain calcium carbonate which is alkaline.
- Adjust the pH with wood ash and coffee grounds
Different types of plants have different pH. So if you want all the plants to grow faster, you need to take care of them individually. You can do that by adding wood ash to plants that require alkaline soil, such as broccoli, beet soil, asparagus and beans and by using coffee grounds around acid loving plants (camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons).
To improve the plants’ health
- Play music to your plants
As strange as it sounds, it actually works! Biologists proved that playing music to the plants can make the plants grow faster and if they like the music they are even leaning towards the source of it! The many experiments have shown that the plants prefer jazz and classical music, and hate rock and country music. A lot of famous vineyards use this trick to boost the growth and maturity of their grapevines. For example, the DeMorgenzon vineyard which is located in the South Africa plays baroque music and the Italian vineyard Paradiso di Frassina plays classical music.
- Drive a nail into a tree to make it yield
If your old apple tree stopped producing fruit, or some of your other trees aren’t flowering, then you can apply this simple trick to make them flower again! Just drive a nail into the tree and wait for it to start blossoming.
- Improve the fruit set with Epsom salt
The Epsom salt is actually hydrated magnesium sulfate, which is essential for the production of chlorophyll, nuts and fruits. You can make your pepper plants fruit again just by adding 2 tablespoons of the salt in a bottle filled with warm water and spraying them with it.
- Rusty nails in watering can help fight iron deficiency
If you notice your plants leaves yellowing, then they may be suffering from iron chlorosis, a condition that occurs as a result of iron deficiency. That means that your plants are unable to absorb iron from the soil, mostly because of high soil pH or excess phosphorus. You can easily fix this problem by spraying the plants with iron-rich water, but adding a few rusty nails in the watering can supply the plants with iron in the long-term.
- Coconut water for root development
Coconut water is great for your health, but you can also use it on your plants. The minerals that are found on the inside of the coconut can improve root development and increase germination of seeds.
- Extend the growing season with tubs of water
You can keep your garden warmer simply by using tubes of water as heat sinks. During the day the sun will warm both the soil and the water, but overnight the soil will cool down quickly, while the water will stay warm. The warm soil is a real growth booster for your plants. You can use this method for plant tents – all you have to do is cover the tubes with plastic sheets, so the water won’t evaporate.
To fight diseases
- Fight fungal infections with baking soda
Baking soda is a simple and cheap solution to a lot of problems nowadays. You can use it to whiten your teeth, clean the stains on your clothes, clear your face from acne etc. So, why not try using it on your plants as well? Just mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with a gallon of warm water and spray it on the infected plants. Unlike the toxic fungicides, the baking soda doesn’t kill the plants, but actually saves them from mild and other fungal infections.
- Bury some pennies in your garden
Another simple method which can be used to prevent fungal infections is burying pennies in the soil. The pennies are made of copper, and copper is an excellent fungicide. Those pennies don’t look so worthless now, don’t they?
For bug control
- Get rid of aphids with soap and water
Bugs and insects are real plant killers, especially because they multiply very fast. To exterminate them, you need to remove their wax-coating and dehydrate them. You can do that simply by using a bar of soap and some water. Mix a gallon of water with 2 tablespoons of soap then apply the solution on the infested plans.
- Let Neem protect your plants from pests
You can prevent pests from multiplying by using neem oil extract. The oil acts as a repellent and it interrupts the pests’ feeding, which makes it the perfect biopesticide. Mix 1 tablespoon of neem oil and ½ tablespoon of liquid dish soap (or detergent) to a quart of warm water then spray the solution on all leaf surfaces. To get rid of pests permanently you need to spray the leaves once a week.
- Bring in some guests to feed on the pests
You can also get rid of pests by releasing some of their enemies in your garden. Ladybug beetles and lacewings are typical predators of aphids. If you want to reward them for diminishing the aphids, you can grow herbs and plants which the lacewings love, such as yarrow and mint.
- Control ants with borax and honey
Usually the ants are not a danger to your garden, but their aphid farms can cause a lot of trouble. The good news is that by controlling the ants, you can control the aphids. That means that by eliminating the ants, you are getting rid of the aphids as well. The best way to do that is by mixing borax and honey and applying the paste on the infested plants and their stems. This will dehydrate the ants and keep your plants safe.