Household Items That Can Be Used as Organic Fertilizer

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Household Items that can be Used as Organic Fertilizer and plant food

This is a guide to common materials that can be used as plant food for your garden. This plant food is organic and will help your garden grow. Fertilizers made with synthetic chemicals have a lot of negative side effects- they mess with the ecosystem of the soil, they are harmful to people and pets, and they are damaging to the environment. Fertilizing your garden organically is a good move, and this article will help you learn to do that.


Plants need certain nutrients to live and grow. To get these nutrients, they take them out of the soil. This leads to a depletion of nutrients in the soil, and fertilizer is used to replace these nutrients.

There are 3 main groups of nutrients that plants need in the soil:

  1. Primary nutrients (which plants need in large quantities): Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K).
  2. Secondary nutrients (which plants need in smaller quantities): Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg) and Sulfur (S).
  3. Micronutrients (which plants only need in trace amounts): Zinc (Zn), Iron (Fe), Boron (B), Manganese (Mn), Chlorine (Cl) and Molybdenum (Mo).

If a plant doesn’t receive these nutrients in the amounts they need, they will not reach their full potential, and may even die. For your garden plants to be their best, a constant supply of fertilizer is a must.


Here are some common materials that can make a great fertilizer. Some provide a very balanced mix of nutrients, and others will give you a few specific nutrients where you can target a deficiency.

Material from Compost
The single best thing you can do for your garden is to build a compost heap and use it to supply you with a great fertilizer. Composted material will supply your garden with a very good mix of the nutrients it needs. For best results, make sure you put both green materials (things like kitchen scraps, which are high in nitrogen) and brown material (things like dried leaves and shredded cardboard, that are high in carbon).

A cool variation on the traditional compost heap is worm composting. Adding certain worms to your compost will help break the organic material down quicker, so where a normal compost heap would take months, a worm composter will take mere weeks.

Chicken Droppings
The um… leftovers from chickens don’t have to be just a smelly mess. Their droppings can be used as an effective, fairly balanced fertilizer for your garden. If you have them as pets, don’t let this valuable resource go to waste!

Coffee Grounds
Dried coffee grounds can be sprinkled into your soil to supply nitrogen, potassium and magnesium. Remember though that they will increase the pH of your soil.

Ash from Your Fireplace
Fireplace ashes can be sprinkled onto your soil to supply potassium and calcium carbonate. This too will increase the pH of your soil.

Epsom Salt
Epsom salt can be added to your soil to supply magnesium and sulfate. This is especially important with tomatoes, potatoes, and roses.

Powdered Egg Shells
These can be sprinkled onto your soil to increase calcium carbonate (also known as “lime”). You can find egg shells that can be shipped to your door here.

Mixing seaweed and water and letting it sit or a few months will supply you with a fertilizer high in potassium. You can also click here to get some seaweed that is ready for your garden now.

Pine Needles
Adding these will supply nitrogen. They will also decrease the pH of your soil.
Using these common items as fertilizer for your soil will give you a cheap and easy alternative to synthetic chemical fertilizers, and in a small way help to make the world a healthier place.

Have you ever wondered if gardening could be a metaphor for lifeClick to find out!

Good luck and stay prepared!

This article was contributed by RamboMoe.

Household Items that can be Used as Organic Fertilizer and plant food

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I'm the original Survival Mom and for more than 11 years, I've been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more with my commonsense prepping advice.

9 thoughts on “Household Items That Can Be Used as Organic Fertilizer”

  1. One clarification: Coffee grounds, decrease the pH of your soil, make it more acidic. Wood ashes increase the pH, make it less acidic. I think this is what the author meant, it’s just gets tricky to word because we tend to think of acidity rather than alkalinity, and the pH scale is low on the acid end and high on the alkaline end. I always have to remind myself that high pH is low acid and vice versa.

    1. Kenneth Bellew

      Actually, whether it raises or lowers your pH depends on the original state of your soil. Spent coffee grounds have a pH of 6.5, and, as 7 is neutral, it doesn’t have a lot of power to move the pH of the neutral soil. If you have very acidic soil, it would lower the pH. If you have very alkaline soil, it would raise it.

  2. Put it all in the compost, mix it up and you’ll be off to a good start. Egg shells, coffee grounds, ash, shredded newspaper, chicken droppings, grass clippings, saw dust. They add up fast and make for great compost. Variety is important.

  3. Thank you for the tips! I have a gerbera plant that was wilting. I had just bought it and water didn’t do much more for it. I added some coffee grounds and the next day poof! They were standing up proud.

  4. Thanks for helping me understand that the plant fertilizer is meant to replace the nutrients in the soil that are depleted by plants growing. I don’t know much about gardening, but I know that I do want to start my own vegetable garden in an effort to become more self-sufficient. I really like the ideas in the article, but I think I will buy some actual fertilizer when I start my garden and maybe try different things when I’m more established.

  5. Pingback: Household Items That Can Be Used as Organic Fertilizer – Trusted News Feeds 2.0

  6. If you don’t have the space for a compost heap, make a compost slurry. Freeze your compost items – I keep a gallo sized Ziploc bag in the freezer and just throw all of my fruit and veg peelings, egg shells and coffee grounds in. When that gets full take it out and let it thaw. Then throw it in the blender with enough water to make a pourable slurry. Pour this onto your garden and mix it in.

  7. Are pine needles different to normal evergreens? In my experience of evergreen trees, their foliage never composted and just built up in layers covering the ground. Granted, they weren’t pine needles though. Could someone clarify?

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