Recipes for Cheap Fertilizer Using Household Items

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You can make a cheap fertilizer for your lawn out of a lot of common household items. Learn recipes for cheap fertilizer using household items with help from a social entrepreneur in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: From Garden to Table
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm Holly Hirshberg from, ha, and we're going to talk about how to make fertilizer out of common household items. The best way to make fertilizer for your plants that's cheap and wonderful is by composting. Now, don't worry about having a big pile of trash in your backyard. That's what kept me away from composting for a long time. Start small; get bigger. This is a wire crate that's doing it. Now, you don't even need a wire crate. You can have it in a pile. I have one at home that's a Rubbermaid container with holes poked in it. Critical--you see the holes in the side? That's going to let the air flow through. What you need to make your fertilizer--to make your compost--yard clippings. You can see in here I have grass clippings. Things that you used to throw away, now I want you to save them. Leaves, from when you rake your leaves; and if you see someone have a bag of leaves on the side of the road, ask them if you can have them. Right there, coffee filters with coffee in it. Green material. These are old plants that I didn't get in the ground in time, and they're looking kind of ragged, so I'm going to toss those in there too. No point in putting them in the trash when I can use them to make plant food. A paper egg carton; paper can go in my compost pile, newspaper, junk mail. Know what's in this bag? Things that were in my kitchen that I used from cooking. So, this is my kitchen waste. Things like old beans, carrot peels. Anything that's not meat or dairy can go in your compost pile. I don't want to put plastic in there either. But food-wise, anything that's not meat or dairy. And then here's my special secret: these are coffee grounds. And how did I get so many? If you go to your local coffee shop and you say, "Hey, can I have some coffee grounds for my garden?" A lot of times they'll give them to you--for free. And you can see, that gave me a ton of stuff for my compost pile. If you don't have a lot of kitchen waste, don't have a lot of yard waste, you know you can go to your grocery store, right before they close. When they peel off the outer layer of those vegetables, sometimes they'll give them to you. Okay, I don't have to do much with this compost pile. I just have to wet it at this point. I'm really not the kind of girl who's going to stick my hands in this dirt. And believe me, you don't have to be that girl either. We're going to get it wet. We want it about the consistency of a damp sponge. I don't want it super wet; I just want it wet enough so that it'll compost. Now, if I leave it sitting here, in about a year it'll be ready to use. If I stir it more frequently, it'll be ready faster. So it just depends on how much you want to stir it. I have other ones that I stir more frequently. Sometimes in a smaller container you can just shake it up. One this size with this amount of yard waste, I'm not going to bother turning it. That's going to be way too much work for me. And believe me, I am a lazy gardener. So, I'm just going to leave this. I'm going to come out when I water my plants. I'll put a little water on it. The bugs will come and do their thing. And when it starts looking like dirt, that's when I'll know it's ready. I can scoop it out and put it on my garden. Doesn't cost me anything extra, and it's great fertilizer for my plants.


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