Miracle. That’s the best way I know how to describe gardening. And if you’re anything like me, the moment the winter subsides I can’t wait to start gardening! I love filling my yard each warm-weather season with beautiful plants, shrubs, trees, and start cultivating an immaculately groomed lawn. But as we also know, even the best of gardeners need a little help now and then to keep their yards their beautiful best. Which is why when I need to give my plants a big boost of natural TLC, my go to is my own organic Homemade Miracle Grow.
There are lots of reasons that you may want to make your own fertilizer. For me, I wanted to prevent unnecessary chemicals from being added to my yard each season as part of my pledge to run a more minimalist, zero-waste home. I’ve often felt the fertilizer industry added an egregious amount of toxins to their products and I’m not alone.
In fact, in 2008 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Stop sale, use or removal order against Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. & Affiliates for illegal, unregistered and misbranded weed and fertilizer which promoted the sale of products with cancer-causing and endocrine disrupting pesticide ingredients. The EPA also issued a stop-sale order to Scotts Lawn Care Service, for which Scotts subsequently agreed to recall two products from all retail locations across the United States and to set up a process for consumers to safely return any unregistered products they may have purchased and to stop selling and distributing products containing trifluralin, an herbicide that is a known carcinogen and to label its remaining products containing toxins to the public.
In 2010, Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. pleaded guilty to numerous charges of misleading consumers with unapproved labels, falsifying insecticide registrations, including using toxic chemicals in wild bird food, and in 2012 was ordered by the Department of Justice to pay $12.5 million in criminal fines, the largest penalty ever set under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Civil Case. And in 2014, the EPA released to the public a list of moe than 100 products produced or sold by Scotts Miracle-Gro that violated the federal pesticide laws over the past decade. In addition, numerous other commercial brands contain chlorpyrifos-methyl, an organophosphate insecticide, and neurotoxin that affects humans and wildlife alike. Facts that are simply hard to ignore as both a consumer and ecological advocate.
Then there’s the matter of cost. Many commercial fertilizer products cost in excess of $20.00 per container. While my DIY version will set you back pennies on the dollar instead. A savings of over 98% off retail pricing nationally. Making this DIY version a no-brainer for gardening enthusiasts this season!
Now if you’d like to see how you can make your own all-natural Homemade Miracle Grow for pennies on the dollar, check out my recipe below:
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 tbsp Epsom’s Salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp of Household Ammonia
- 1 tbsp of powdered milk
- 1 tbsp of molasses
- Simply mix all the ingredients together, except the powdered milk in a reusable, sealable, food-safe container (to prevent chemical leaching).
- When ready to use, add 1/4 gallon of your Homemade Miracle Grow Blend to a watering pitcher and then add the powdered milk and molasses only when ready to be applied to your garden areas. Stir thoroughly to combine.
- Dispose of any unused portions containing powdered milk, to prevent spoilage.
- Use this Homemade Miracle grow only once per month.
- Safe for gardens, hanging plants, house plants, flower beds, shrubs, and lawns.
- Can also be added to hose sprayer attachments or used with a watering can.
- You can also mix into the soil around plants in the Spring and Fall each year. The rate should be 1 tablespoon for every 1-2 feet in height of plant. Be sure that you blend into your soil well with each application.
Each ingredient in this blend is necessary to ensure proper plant growth and have bee included in my Homemade Miracle Grow for the following reasons:
- Water: Necessary agent for plant germination, photosynthesis, nutrient transference, and soil transpiration
- Epsom’s Salt: Epsom salt helps improve flower blooming and enhances a plant’s green color. It can even help plants grow bushier. Epsom salt is made up of hydrated magnesium sulfate (magnesium and sulfur), which is important to healthy plant growth. An added bonus? Slugs hate Epsom’s Salts!
- Baking soda: Baking soda on plants helps prevent the bloom of fungal spores and minimize diseases such as powdery mildew and other foliar diseases.
- Ammonia: Ammonia is present in the soil, water, & air. Ammonia also contains Nitrogen, an essential for plant growth and improves fruit and seed production, resulting in a greater yield.
- Powdered milk: It contains beneficial proteins, vitamin B, and sugars that are good for plants, improving their overall health and crop yields. The microbes that feed on the fertilizer components of milk are also beneficial to the soil. Like us, plants use calcium for growth. Powdered milk also contains phosphorus and potassium, necessary agents for plant growth.
- Molasses: Molasses is high in calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium. It also contains sulfur and a host of micronutrients. Using molasses as fertilizer provides plants with a quick source of energy and encourages the growth of beneficial microorganisms.
So, friends, this is one of my favorite and healthiest ways to keep my garden and yard looking its best each season and I hope you will consider using it too! And if you would like to check out some of my other organic gardening posts, click here.
So now, I have to ask, what are planting this season and what will definitely need to be fertilized in your own yard this year? I’d love to hear about it!