What are fertilizers and their types

When it comes to fertilizers, many times one automatically imagines large farms and heavy machinery running over them and spreading chemicals left and right. However, today it is very common to use fertilizers also in gardens or home plants, and even in ecological or urban gardens.

In this article we are going to see what fertilizers are and their main types , as well as the best way to make our own homemade fertilizer.

What are fertilizers

Fertilizers , also called fertilizers, are substances that, as their name suggests, are used to give fertility to the soil , that is, to make it more suitable for plants to grow or develop in it, as well as they can provide them more directly to the plant, if they are spread right in the root zone and not just in the surrounding soil.

In a large area of ​​natural vegetation, such as a jungle or a forest, the soil is constantly supplied with organic matter that decomposes and provides nutrients, with which new plants can grow strong. On the other hand, in a pot or a garden this does not happen, so many plants need to receive those nutrients that their soil no longer receives in some other way. This is where fertilizers come into play, they provide that complement that your plants will greatly appreciate.

What are fertilizers and their types - What are fertilizers

Types of fertilizers

There are many types of fertilizers , although the main distinction when using them in home gardening is between organic and inorganic fertilizers.

  • Inorganic fertilizers are produced synthetically. They are mineral fertilizers that are usually rich in materials such as iron and potassium.
  • Organic fertilizers are made from products or waste of animal or plant origin. Some very common are manure or bird droppings, guano.
What are fertilizers and their types - Types of fertilizers

How to make homemade fertilizers for plants

You have at your disposal a large number of options when it comes to making your own homemade fertilizer . The vast majority of homemade fertilizers are organic, since they are made with waste that everyone has at home and thus, in addition to recycling and saving, they allow you to improve the health of your plants. These are some of the most used organic fertilizers and their simple ways of elaboration:

Ground coffee or coffee grounds

Coffee is a substance rich in nitrogen, potassium and magnesium, all of which are important for plants. To make the fertilizer you just have to let the coffee grounds or ground beans rest on a sheet of newspaper until they dry completely. Once dried, you can sprinkle it directly on the soil around your plants once a month.

Fireplace ashes

If you have a fireplace at home, you have an excellent organic fertilizer at your disposal. Wood ash is rich in phosphorus, so diluted in irrigation water will help plants produce sweeter flowers and fruits, as well as fight pests. This fertilizer also increases the alkalinity of the soil, so you should be careful if you have plants that require acidic soils.


Compost is one of the most balanced and safe fertilizers to use, since all types of plants appreciate its application, which also favors the resistance of plants to pests and attacks by revitalizing soil microorganisms.

To make compost, store your plant-based waste such as fruit and vegetable scraps, pruning clippings, grass or newspaper in a container or in a hole in the garden. Ideally, to obtain a balanced compost is to put a base of dry waste under another layer of green waste and cover it with some soil. This operation can be repeated as more waste is produced, thus forming several layers. It is important to stir and aerate the compost once a week, and slightly moisten it if you live in very dry climates, although always without waterlogging.

As a final detail, your compost should smell like wet soil. If you notice unpleasant or intense odors, it may be due to some waste of animal origin or that there is excess humidity.

Epsom salts

These salts can function as mineral fertilizer if a tablespoon is dissolved in 4 liters of water, thanks to its rich contribution in magnesium and sulfate. They are especially beneficial in houseplants, roses, tomatoes, potatoes and peppers.

Banana peels

Bananas are a fruit known for its potassium content, which is why plants can also benefit from a fertilizer made from their peels. To make the fertilizer, cut the peels into small pieces and boil them for about 15 minutes in water. Then let it cool, filter the mixture, and you have your banana peel fertilizer.

What are fertilizers and their types - How to make homemade fertilizers for plants

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