The 10 best green alternatives to chemical fertilizers

Do you know that half of the world's population is dependent on food produced using chemical fertilizers? Fertilizers are very important for the optimal growth of plants.

Do you know that half of the world’s population is dependent on food produced using chemical fertilizers? Fertilizers are very important for the optimal growth of plants.

While you can use chemical fertilizers for your garden, other green alternatives to chemical fertilizers ensure that your plants grow healthier, the soil becomes more fertile, and emit very few carbon footprints. If you are interested in knowing these green alternatives to chemical fertilizers, keep reading this article. 

Why do we need to switch from chemical fertilizers to green alternatives?

The use of chemical fertilizers can lead to very fast plant growth, but they can be more damaging than beneficial. Chemical fertilizers contain potentially harmful materials like sulfur and ammonium nitrate. This can create significant water pollution and kill important microorganisms that make the soil infertile over time. 

The green alternatives to chemical fertilizers can still provide almost similar results to chemical fertilizers when it comes to planting growth and health, but they are also beneficial for your soil.

10 best green alternatives to chemical fertilizers

More than a dozen chemical fertilizers have readily available green substitutes, which may surprise you. Here in this section, we have mentioned the most proficient green fertilizers that you can use in your garden.

1. Coffee grounds

Are you growing tomatoes or blueberries in your garden? If yes, then the coffee ground is a great green fertilizer for your garden. The main purpose of coffee grounds is to maintain an ideal amount of acidity in your soil

The natural acidity in your soil is very beneficial for plants like tomatoes and blueberries, along with some flowers. Moreover, you can also create coffee with the grounds and use it instead as fertilizer.

2. Crustacean shells

Crustacean Shells are the shells of shrimps, lobsters, and crabs. Whenever you eat these food items, instead of throwing the shells, you can use them as green fertilizer. The shells usually compost in a few weeks and can be used as fertilizers after that. The shells are loaded with nitrogen and phosphorus, and they are a great option for maintaining soil acidity.

3. Manure

Probably the most popular green fertilizer on the list, manure is a very effective green fertilizer. Manure is the decomposed waste of animals and is filled with nutrients. Manure is also very affordable and accessible. It can be formed from chicken, cow, goat, etc. However, make sure to use composted manure over raw manure. 

4. Comfrey tea

Comfrey is an unwanted plant like weeds and is filled with phosphorus, magnesium, and some other minerals and nutrients. While the comfrey plant may be harmful to your garden, if you soak them in water for a week, and use the water as tea, then comfrey can prove to be a great green fertilizer.

5. Fish scraps

Using fish scraps for your plants may sound a little unusual, but they are a great source of nitrogen and other essential minerals. Fish scraps can, therefore, easily enrich your garden soil. You can grind the fish scraps and bury them under your plants to make them grow faster and healthier.

6. Worm poo tea

Worm Poo Tea is made from the feces of grain moth larvae. It is loaded with beneficial nutrients and microbes. Tea can also improve the fertility of the soil. In addition to that, when you use worm poo tea, the plants in your garden can grow significantly stronger and larger and also create great quality flowers and fruits.

7. Bone meal

Bone Meal is a great option if you want to make your plants more resistant. They contain ample amounts of calcium and phosphorus that makes your plants stronger. The process of making a bone meal is also very simple. You just need animal bones for it. Once you get the bonus, you need to steam them and get them ground. The bones will then turn to powder which can be sprinkled on top of the plants.

8. Tree leaves

A very efficient and effective green fertilizer, tree leaves are a great source of maintaining moisture in your garden soil. Tree leaves are also a very good option for attracting earthworms and microorganisms that make your garden soil more fertile. So, use them as green fertilizers instead of throwing the tree leaves when they fall from the trees in your garden or yard.

9. Weed tea

Weeds can be very beneficial for your garden, but they can also prove to be a nuisance. Weeds are filled with nitrogen, ensuring faster plant growth and retaining soil moisture. But, if you use direct weeds for your garden, it can lead to the growth of new weeds. Therefore, you need to soak your weeds in water for a few weeks and use the weed tea as a fertilizer. This will eliminate the risk without harming the nutrient composition.

10. Eggshells

Eggshells may sound like an atypical option as a green fertilizer since they are so hard, but once you turn the shells into a powder or tea, they can be a very beneficial green fertilizer. It contains calcium and are a good option for maintaining ideal soil acidity. 

The advantages of using green fertilizers

The best quality of green fertilizers is that they have no downside. So, you can use any of the options above and still achieve the desired results. You merely need to consider how much time you can devote to this pastime.

If you have limited available time, you can go for easy options like coffee grounds or manure. However, if you have ample time, you can use crustacean shells, weed tea, bone meal, etc. 

But one thing that you can be sure about is that your plants will grow much faster and stronger if you use green fertilizers instead of chemical alternatives. So, what are you waiting for? Say no to chemical fertilizers and go for a green alternative.

Read also: What is Permaculture and why is it an example of sustainability

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