When trees are grown in nutrient-deficient soil, they have a greater susceptibility to insects and are less likely to reach their maximum potential. Fertilizing a tree provides both the macronutrients and micronutrients it needs to survive. Homemade fertilizer for trees allows you to tailor-make your nutrient blend.
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Heath of Your Soil
Check the health of your soil to see if you are lacking important nutrients. An easy way to do this is to look at the leaves of the trees growing in your yard. If their leaves are off-colored, they are lacking some form of nutrients. Look at any new shoot growth that has occurred over the past year. Shoots that have grown more than six inches are growing in nutrient-rich soil. To be sure about the soil quality, get a soil testing kit at a nursery or at your nearby county extension service. Follow all the directions to see if you need to fertilize.
By using compost, you use organic materials produced by you and the clippings from the yard to help grow a healthier tree. Get a compost bin and set it near your back door or in some other accessible part of the yard. The secret to good compost is making sure you have the right amounts of carbon and nitrogen. Carbon compost ingredients include dry leaves, cardboard paper, hay, sawdust, toilet paper and wood chips. Nitrogen ingredients include food scraps, coffee grounds, grass clippings, dead plants and cow manure. You do not want to include meat or dairy products to your compost pile--the ammonia buildup will smell bad. The correct ratio is 30-to-one carbon-to-nitrogen. This means you should add much more brown material like dead leaves than kitchen scraps. Once you create the mixture in your bin, stir it every couple of days to decompose. Generally, this takes about three weeks. Take out the compost and spread it under the trunk to the dripping line of the tree and mix with the soil.
Use egg shells to make your own fertilizer to provide a healthy dose of calcium and potassium to your soil. Save empty egg shells and grind them up into a powder. Mix into the soil until well-blended.
To make a liquid fertilizer, boil two dozen egg shells and allow them to steep for eight to 10 hours. Strain the liquid and pour it into a spray bottle to use.
Another recipe consists of mixing three parts soy meal, one part dolomitic limestone, two parts finely ground raw phosphate rock and three parts greens.
Contribute to the health of your trees by feeding them the best in natural ingredients with your homemade fertilizer.