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How to Make Fertilizer

Get great results in your garden by making your own fertilizer and compost at home.


  • Step 1: Mix ingredients Mix four parts seed meal, one quarter part finely ground agricultural lime, one quarter part gypsum, one half part dolomitic lime, one part bone meal, and one part kelp meal in a 5-gallon plastic bucket.
  • TIP: Look online or in catalogs for the best available prices
  • Step 2: Spread mix Spread the mixture uniformly over your growing area once a year before you plant. Apply 4 to 6 quarts fertilizer per 100 square feet growing area.
  • Step 3: Make compost Make compost starting with a pile of "brown" ingredients, such as leaves, straw, cardboard, dead plants, and sawdust.
  • Step 4: Make a pile of green ingredients Make a pile of "green" ingredients, such as coffee grounds, weeds, grass clippings, and fruit and vegetable scraps.
  • Step 5: Compost Mix three parts "brown" to one part "green" ingredients in the compost bin, and then add a splash of water and some soil.
  • Step 6: Add wet layer Thoroughly mix everything and then wait for the materials to decompose -- between 3 and 6 months.
  • Step 7: Add water Add water and turn the compost every few weeks. Then spread it onto your garden soil neatly and evenly. Your soil will be richer and your plants will thank you.
  • FACT: 24 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream is composed of yard trimmings and food residuals.

You Will Need

  • A scoop or jar
  • Seed meal
  • Agricultural lime
  • Gypsum
  • Dolomitic lime
  • Bone meal
  • Kelp meal
  • A 5-gallon plastic bucket
  • Brown compostable ingredients
  • Green compostable ingredients
  • A compost bin
  • A shovel
  • Water
  • A computer with internet access (optional)

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