After a few Pinterest project fails, I was a little nervous about using the DIY plant fertilizers that were being posted. Without knowing why different amounts of ingredients were being added, or their benefit (or worse, harm) to the plants, I thought I’d hold off. So it was time to do a little research into the different ingredients, which ones were beneficial, and in what amounts.

Here’s a table of what I found:

Ingredient Quantity (per gallon of water) Benefits Possible Harmful Effect Source
Ammonia 2.5 TBSP (1%) Nitrogren for Growth Too much can stunt growth and reduce water absorption link
Epsom Salt 2 TBSP

Magnesium for Chlorophyll
Blossom and Fruit production
Phosphorus and Nitrogen uptake
Breaks down fertilizer salts in soil

Aspirin 1.5 – 81mg tablets Boosts immune system
Improves seed germination rate
Too much kills; plant focuses on defenses instead of root/plant growth link
Brewed Coffee 1 cup Magnesium and Potassium Can increase acidity link
Coffee Grounds 1 TBSP Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium and Copper as they decompose link

This year, I’ll be testing this formula out on potted plants and the vegetable garden, comparing Miracle Grow to the DIY method; Fertilizing every two weeks. I’ve tested it on the seedlings I sprouted in cottonballs and it was gentle enough not to harm their roots and did seem to speed up secondary leaf development.

The end result of the fertilizer cocktail looks like a weak tea.

Category: Backyard