Plants need three things to survive and thrive: potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen. It is possible to get these fertilizers from natural sources. With planting season in full force in Costa Rica during the Green Season, that starts in May and typically ends in November, not only will these tips help your green thumb, they will also save you a few dollars. Better yet, the great thing about organic fertilizers is that you don’t have to worry about your vegetables containing harmful chemicals and your blooms will be bigger than ever. Dig in!
Nitrogen helps to increase the acidity in the soil and recycling your coffee grounds will help acidify your soil. There are a couple of ways to do this— you can either top dress by sprinkling the used grounds over the surface of the soil, or you can make “coffee” to pour on your gardens. Soak up to six cups of used coffee grounds for up to a week to make garden coffee, then use it to water your acid-loving plants. Roses and tomatoes especially thank you.
Much-needed potassium for the plant’s proper growth is required and we all know that bananas are rich in potassium. They also contain calcium and phosphorous and are perfect for fertilizing flowering plants and fruit trees. Simply throw one or two peels in the hole before planting or bury peels under mulch so they can compost naturally. You could also make a spray by soaking banana peels in water for three days and then spray your plants or seedlings to add the needed nutrients. Get bigger and more blooms and the banana peel trick can also be used on vegetables.
It turns out that eggshells are 93% calcium carbonate – score! Simply wash out the eggshells from your kitchen, save them, and crush them to use in your garden. Work the shell pieces into the soil near tomatoes and peppers. The calcium helps fend off blossom end rot. Or, you can make a spray with 20 egg shells and a gallon of water. Boil the shells in the water for just a few minutes and then leave overnight. Strain the shells and add the water to a spray bottle to spray directly onto your soil.