How to Care for Your Garden – DIY Fertilizer like Bone meal and Worm Castings

How to Care for Your Garden

Once you have set up your garden and planted all your seeds, you will need to take care of it to ensure that the garden proves fruitful and abundant.


  • The first thing you can do is begin ensuring that your plants receive enough water since it is one of the most important ways to nurture them. When plants transpire, they lose moisture that needs to be replenished by watering the soil so that they can absorb moisture back in through the roots.
    • You should water your plants more during the summer months, as they lose more moisture and less during the winter months.
    • Also, try to water your plants in the evening during the warmer months so that your plants can obtain moisture throughout the night.
    • Young plants and seeds require more frequent watering like a human child breastfeeding all day.
    • Plants that are placed in containers have restricted access to the soil, so they demand extra watering for adequate growth.


Just like humans, plants need to eat. Plants absorb nutrients through their roots as well, which, in turn, help the flowers and fruits develop. The main nutrients required for the growth of plants are potassium (K), phosphorus (P), and nitrogen (N).

Plants obtain these nutrients from the soil through the decomposing plant materials that are released back into the soil. Still, this process tends to be disrupted in home gardens, negatively affecting the soil’s nutritional density.

You want to replace these processes in your plants’ soil with fertilizers. You can use organic or inorganic fertilizer to feed your plants, with the added benefit of promoting earthworm activity. Examples of this are nettle or well-rotted manure.


Another plant care practice you can adopt and benefit from is pruning, which involves trimming the excess from plants for better growth and size management. This process can also help remove any diseased or dead material that could corrupt the entire plant if left unchecked.


You want to ensure that your garden is weed-free by weeding the bed weekly or whenever you find weeds trespassing the mulch layer. Keep a keen eye on pests and diseases that may be attempting to corrupt your garden. Apply the appropriate pesticide and remove any infected plants from the bunch to avoid spreading.

You can apply some Bacillus thuringiens to any plants with bugs. The bugs will ingest it and die while your plants stay unharmed. It helps to ensure you analyze the quality of your plants carefully before purchasing them because some may already be infected. Pay close attention to the quality of the plant’s roots, when purchasing them from a store.

  • Your garden will benefit from using fertilizers because this keeps the soil’s nutritional content high. You can use inorganic fertilizers, but organic ones tend to be the best as they contribute to the health of the soil for a longer time than their inorganic counterparts.
  • One of the best organic fertilizers you can use is compost. This is comprised of decomposed materials like vegetable scraps and leaves. You can blend this material with garden soil to boost the nutritional profile.
  • Manure is another wonderful and widely utilized fertilizer. It is essentially the waste of animals that can be decomposed into the soil. This fertilizer is generally used when it is aged, as the fresher version can be too hot for plants and eventually burn them.
  • You can use the manure of a vast array of animals, such as cows, chickens, horses, goats, and even rabbits.
  • Bone meal is another fertilizing agent. It is essentially smoked or cooked bones that are granulated or in powder form. This type provides an excellent amount of phosphorus and is easy to locate at your local garden store.
  • You can also use a blood meal as a fertilizer. This type is made from dried animal blood and can be beneficial for your garden when nitrogen is required. You can use it in the fertilizer or dissolve it with water to create a spray.
  • A blood meal is effective for dark leafy greens.
  • Worm castings are an alternative form of manure, and it is generated when worms consume compost.
  • Guano (also known as bat manure) is another fertilizing agent that can be utilized to correct the soil profile or directly feed the plants.
  • Other fertilizers are seaweed, fish emulsion, and kelp meal.

All these fertilizers can be purchased at a garden store, but they may become an expensive investment over time. The good news is that you can create some of these fertilizers in the comfort of your own home. Let’s take the bone meal as an example.

Bone meal

  • This fertilizer is not cheap in stores, and it can be quite shocking to realize that you are spending all this money purchasing bare bones.
  • What you can do is preserve all the bones from the food that you eat. These include chicken bones, lamb bones, turkey bones, and more.
  • Remove the excess meat from the bones and submerge them in water.
  • Simmer them on low to medium heat in a pot.
  • Rinse the bones under warm water and place them on a tray where they can dry (uncovered) for up to 30 days.
  • The size and density of the bones will determine their drying time. If you are in a rush, you can place these rinsed bones in an oven set to low degrees for a few hours.
  • Once the bones are all dry, you can ground them into powder form.
  • A mortar and pestle or a blender are great for this grinding process.
  • Once you obtain your powder, store it in an airtight container for immediate and long-term use.

Worm castings

Another example of a great fertilizer that you can make at home is worm castings.

  • This organic fertilizer is created by earthworms.
  • The casting (also known as vermicast) is the manure of worms that eat through compost. The soil becomes richer during this process of consumption and excretion.
  • Vermicomposting is easy and can be done in your own home. You can begin this process by constructing or purchasing worm boxes or bins.
  • Ensure that you have shallow bins (no more than 8-12 inches deep) and that they contain drainage holes in the bottom.
  • The worm bedding can be made with compost. Place your worms in and let them do their magic.
  • Red wiggler worms are the best for this process as they enjoy staying in the top part of the soil.
  • You want to feed your worms at least once a week to ensure they continue reproducing and thriving.
  • If you add in kitchen scraps, make sure they are cut up or blended so the worms can easily digest them.
  • You can harvest worm castings by emptying the contents of your bin on a newspaper or piece of plastic.
  • Remove the worms from your material and transfer them to another vermicompost bin.
  • You can reuse your worms and maintain them, depending on how well you feed them.
  • You can also do the rotate system for one bin.
  • The first week you add compost to the left side of the bin.
  • All the worms move to that side after a day or so.
  • Then the following week you add the compost to the right side of the bin. The left side is now good soil you can take out and use. You would do this rotation every week.

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