Updated: Jul 24
I have spent the last few months carefully curating what I believe to be the best natural fertiliser on the market. This has involved countless testing of fertiliser mixes in my parent's garden, which they weren't too impressed with, so you don't have to. The fertiliser consists of:
Why Natural Fertiliser?
UK-Grown Organic Seaweed
This entirely natural and regenerative material means we can keep harvesting this sustainable source of nutrients. Plants can grow as much as three feet per day. It's so good that it's used on football pitches and golf courses!
From the cold clear, unpolluted waters surrounding the Shetland Isles, Ascophyllum nodosum is harvested at low tide by hand and dried just a few hundred meters away. It's harvested using a sharp knife leaving at least 6" of the stalk behind to regenerate and grow back even stronger. It's just like pruning your plants at home!
Cytokinins (plant growth hormones)
Castings help to aerate your soil and improve its structure while providing beneficial nutrients to your plants. They also help to repel pests such as aphids and spider mites. Our worms are left to do what they do best. These guys eat dead leaves, plants, and other natural stuff. Our worm compost, or vermicastings, are dehydrated for ease of transport, but rest assured this doesn't affect the quality.
(And even more good stuff!)
This comes from the Neem tree, or Azadirachta Indica, cultivated in India for thousands of years. It grows in drought-affected wastelands and gives medicines, soaps, oils, pesticides, and fertiliser to those who look after it. It stops many pests; however, worms love it! Our powdered Neem fertiliser comes from the waste material after the oils have been pounded out of the seeds. There is no waste from the Neem tree!
(And many more bioactive ingredients)
This organic material increases crop yield and health retains moisture and essential nutrients, and captures up to 80% of its weight in carbon! This has been used for thousands of years by indigenous Amazonian tribes known for their incredibly fertile soil.
Photos from Oxford Biochar Research Team show how great biochar is for your plants!
Mycorrhizal Fungi and Rhizobacteria
Once added to your soil, these microorganisms act as the middleman exchanging nutrients from your soil with carbohydrates from the plants. The relationship between microorganisms and plants is as old as time, helping plants absorb water and soil nutrients. In return, the plant feeds the fungi carbohydrates to keep them alive. Symbiosis at its finest. Just bear in mind the fungi don't like being disturbed by shovels or trowels.
Barley Malt Extract
This byproduct from the brewing industry was used as a nutritional enhancer during the 20th century and contains essential vitamins and minerals. It also contains five enzymes which are vital to healthy plants.
Amylase: digests starch into smaller carbohydrates, making them more plant-friendly
Urease: digests urea present in all soils into nitrogen and carbon dioxide for your plants
Protease: digests soil proteins into simple amino acids for your plants
Phosphatase: increases the available supply of phosphate for your plants
Chitinase: speeds up natural composting
Why Natural Fertiliser?
Since World War II we have become obsessed with chemical fertilisers. Once the war was over, the chemicals used to kill victims in the gas chambers were bought back to America and repurposed as pesticides to reduce crop damage. While this was successful, the harms of fossil-fuel derived chemicals went largely unmentioned.
However, it is now agreed that these chemicals are terrible for our health, soil health, plant health, and the health of everything else for that matter. Nature has given us everything we need so why would you want to extract environmentally damaging fossil fuels to 'help' your plants?