How can we inprove our homemade fertilizer?
We are new at gardening and trying use organic methods (heading into 2nd year). We read that we can use coffee grounds, egg shells, and Epson salt as fertilizer for the plants. No one said how much to use. We grind the egg shells to almost a power. We mixed 1 cup of coffee grounds, 1/2 cup egg shell with 1/4 cup of Epson salt. It seems to somewhat work. Can you suggest a better ratio or a different approach to home made fertilizer, or adding another source? We have been composting and mix that into the soil after we harvest and before planting a new crop.
Unfortunately, the advice you have been given is incorrect. Most soils have adequate magnesium, the main nutrient in Epsom salts. Egg shells and coffee grounds are best composted first; they do more good as compost than when added directly to the soil. For the science behind my response, check out Garden Myths at gardenprofessors.com. It is important to have your soil tested for nutrient levels. Adding nutrients when not needed may lead to toxic levels of nutrients in soil and reduced yields.