Homemade Plant Food – Organic Gardening

There are two suggestions here for homemade plant food. Homemade plant food is easier on the environment and your produce is safer to consume. With many gardeners practicing green gardening these plant foods are great, Plus the cost is easier on the budget. produce - borlotti beans and courgette
Creative Commons License photo credit: pdugmore2001

1. A friend of mine uses this plant food recipe in his garden and says it is the best plant food there is. I haven’t tried it myself but he always has a great garden!


In a gallon jug of tepid water place:

1 teaspoon Epsom salts
1 teaspoon saltpeter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon ammonia

This is a complete plant food and should be used only once every 4 to 6 weeks. Too much will harm and weaken the plant. It can be stored and saved.

2. I myself use a manure tea blend and it works well. As with all plant foods and fertilizer too much can be as bad as not enough. Experimenting and taking notes on results will help you decide how much your garden needs.


Take one coffee can and fill it with any manure. (I suggest, cow, horse, chicken or rabbit manure) Place the manure in a piece of cloth and tie to close. Add the cloth bag to a 5 gallon bucket of water and let it brew for a few days. It will be ready to use. I usually water this manure tea down by one half. So use a ten gallon bucket and fill half way up with water then add the manure tea.

NOTE: For indoor plants I only use a few table sppons of the manure in a pint of water.

Homemade plant foods are better for most plants. There is less of a tendency for the plants to get burned or hurt from a natural plant food

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7 responses to “Homemade Plant Food – Organic Gardening”

  1. Ron

    What is manure tea and what are the benefits ot this over the plant food mix you have listed?

  2. Denise

    Hi Ron,

    Manure tea is made of manure. I take a coffee can of manure and put it in cloth and hang from a 5 gallon bucket for several days. The left over “tea” I use on my plants and in the garden. You also may need to dilute to get the right strength.

    The manure tea is more organic. And over all very beneficial to plants. Denise

  3. Scott Baker

    thanks for the recipe – I’ve been looking for something to feed my kitchen herbs without adding chemicals — a few ounces of whole milk in a half-gallon of clean water(no chlorine) along with the water squeezed from two cans of packed tuna made the sweet basil & dill grow like crazy last summer. I only watered the pots once a week with the feed — one concoction of “Manure Soup” that worked better than miracle grow on my vegetable gardens in Nebraska was simply a shovel-full of sheep/cow/chicken compost (available in the spring at most discount stores for less than $5) into a 5 gallon bucket full of water — constant daily stirring for a couple of days resulted in a liquid that gave my produce a jump — I was harvesting tomatoes and peppers by late June after April planting (as soon as soil temps rose above 55 degrees) — use caution with the sheep and chicken compost as it’s “hot” as a nutrient — easy to burn young plants so use it half strength until the plants are well established before using it full-strength — was most effective infusing it in along with daily watering twice a month — the compost itself was scooped into the bottom of the plant holes in small portions then covered with a couple inches of soil before the seedlings were transplanted on top of everything…

  4. Gabi

    cold coffee is good for acid loving plants

  5. john

    hi, can you clear something up for me please, the manure you are talking about, is it “field fresh” or is it the year old manure you use for soil conditioning?

  6. Denise

    Manure should usually set for a bit or be mixed in with other materials to help cool it down so it won’t burn the plants. If its too fresh it will be too strong.

    Most of my manure has been aged fro at least 3 months. If its fresher its been mixed in with soil, leaves or rotted sawdust to help cut the strength ans start the decomposing stage. denise

  7. Chris

    Saltpeter! My father-in-law gave me this recipe years ago and I used it all the time until we moved. My husband asked me to make some up this morning and I could not for the life of me remember the 4th ingredient. Thank you for posting this recipe. This is one amazing fertilizer!

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