In any organic garden, it is important to take steps to ensure the fertility of the soil and the health of the plants over time. You can fertilize plants organically for free by using readily available natural materials from your garden.
Slow release fertilizers are added in a ‘no dig’ garden in the form of mulches of organic matter. These mulches slowly break down and return their nutrients to the system. You can also use mulches of home-made compost. But every now and then, you may also wish to give plants a speedier boost. That is where liquid fertilizers or plant feeds come in.
These, too, you can make for free. Personally, one of my favourite options is to make a comfrey tea. Comfrey is a very useful plant in your garden. It grows quickly, and is a relatively efficient dynamic accumulator. This means that it is good at gathering nutrients. It is rather rich in potassium, and I find it beneficial for a range of crops (including tomatoes in my polytunnel).
Comfrey’s deep tap roots mean that it can gather nutrients from lower layers of the soil. Chopping and dropping comfrey on the soil surface can make those nutrients available to shallower rooted plants as the organic material breaks down. But you can also add comfrey leaves to water to make a liquid feed.
Don’t have comfrey? Check out this article I wrote to discover more options that you can make yourself at home:
I often also make a weed feed from nettles, dandelions and other weeds from my property.
Another option is to add home-made compost to water. This can make an excellent general purpose organic plant feed for your garden. Compost tea is another option I use frequently in my own garden.