There is little need to pay an arm and a leg purchasing fertilizer from your local nursery when there are plenty of ways to get organic fertilizer for your garden for free. The best part is that since it is winter, you should have plenty of time to make the contacts you need to ensure that you have more flowers and produce more veggies while saving you water (which saves you time and money) during this year’s gardening season. All it takes is a bit of time and energy. Here are several ideas how you can procure organic fertilizer at no cost to you:
Animal Waste: Farm animal waste can be an excellent organic fertilizer for your garden and there are a lot of places that will give it to you for free since they would otherwise have to pay to dispose of it. Keep an eye open for businesses that need to dispose of animal waste & then make a contact. Stop in when you see a riding stable & ask if you can pick up a container of fertilizer. Locate the feed store closest to you and ask if you can post a “wanted” notice on a bulletin board. Put an ad on Craigslist and you’ll probably be blessed with several contacts willing to provide your garden with plenty of fertilizer.
Yard Waste: If you didn’t get all your fall leaves picked up or still have some piles in the yard, stick them into black trash bags. Take a sharp object and poke some air holes in the bags, close them up and store them in a place where they won’t freeze. Doing this will get them to begin to decompose and they will be ready to dig into your garden space come spring.
Egg Shells: Saving the egg shells that you use during the winter, grinding them up and placing them into your garden soil is an excellent way to improve the soil in your garden. If you don’t eat enough eggs yourself, a simple trip to a local restaurant that serves breakfast should give you plenty. All you need to do is politely ask and most places will give you the used shells as they would otherwise be thrown out with the trash.
Wood Chips / Sawdust: You also want to keep an eye open for businesses that work with wood for sawdust and wood chips. Both of these make great mulch and will cut down on the need to water your garden as often.
Coffee Grinds: Coffee stands regularly need to dispose of used coffee grounds, and while there is no real proof they provide nutrients to your soil, they do seem to add a non clumping sort of texture to my garden. Living in Starbucks land as I do (the Pacific NW), coffee grounds are prolific and again – free.
The remaining weeks of winter will barely be long enough if you start on this list now so that you have plenty of organic fertilizer when spring comes. Take a bit of time to make the contacts and watch your garden bloom and produce as it has never done so before this planing season.