Gardeners didn’t always have all the fancy chemical fertilizers that we tend to rely on these days. So they had to use whatever was on hand that suited the purpose. For my money, you still can’t beat these good old-fashioned, stick-to-your-roots kind of plant foods:
- Eggshells. Crush them, soak them in water for 24 hours, then use the water for your plants. All that calcium is especially good for peppers and tomatoes.
- Hair. Whether it comes from a human or any other kind of animal, hair is full of iron, manganese, and sulfur. Work it into the soil or toss it onto the compost pile, and watch your plants eat it up.
- Seaweed. This is still a valuable fertilizer. Before you dig it into the soil, rinse it in fresh water and dry it out to get rid of as much salt as you can.
- Fish. Any fish parts will make your plants take off like a buffalo stampede. Just make sure you bury the stuff deep in the garden. Tossed onto the compost pile or dug in too close to the soil surface, it’ll create quite an odor that will attract plenty of unwanted wildlife.
- Sawdust. Mixed into the compost pile, it’s a great source of carbon, which all plants need. But don’t use sawdust from pressure-treated lumber. It contains toxic chemicals that you don’t want anywhere near your vegetable garden.
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