When you learn how to make organic liquid fertilizer, you discover a goldmine for your garden.
One of the best ways to continuously feed nutrients to your plants is to use an organic compost. But compost takes some time to make, and sometimes you can’t or don’t want to make it or buy it.
So if you’re in this circumstance, the next best thing to organic compost that can sometimes almost complete replace it is organic liquid fertilizer.
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How To Make Organic Liquid Fertilizer
The overall process of making all fermented bio liquids is this:
- Take plants, herbs, fruits, manures, etc
- Put them in a big jar or dig a hole and line it (manures)
- Add water and sugar
- Cover with a cloth
- Let it ferment
Each will have its own spin on these steps, but this is the general idea for these biofertilizer liquids.
Here’s our Fermented Plant Juice Recipe, a step by step recipe that shows you how simple the concept is.
Organic liquid fertilizer is also referred to as “fermented bio liquid.”
Making organic liquid fertilizers is not hard. And if you’ve ever brewed your own beer, then you’re already an expert.
It takes some fine tuning, like finding the proper waiting area, storage container and ingredient/water amounts, but that’s as hard as it gets.
The hardest part is finding where to put the container. I like to use garlic for my herb hormones. Its powerful smell lingers wherever you have it, so I leave it far from the house in a shaded area.
Make sure any organic liquid fertilizer you make gets ZERO direct sunshine. Indirect sunshine is also best avoided.
Applying Organic Liquid Fertilizer Combinations
Combinations are KEY to using these KNF liquid fertilizers for natural farming.
After placing seeds in the dirt where I’m growing red leaf lettuce, for example, I am using a 1:1 part fermented brown rice water and liquid herb hormone. This is then diluted with water.
Ideally, FPJ would also be in this combo.
The way I learned this is to combine all 3, the brown rice water, the LHH, and the FPJ. You combine all these evenly and then dilute them according to the application.
So it would be 1:1:1 part fermented brown rice water, liquid herb hormone, and fermented plant juice.
For seedlings, dilute with a lot of water, such as 1:500. Once the plant is fully grown and producing you can make it stronger, i.e. 1:100 or 1:50 (3-part ferment combo + water).
For soaking seeds, dilute the most heavily, so the mixture is less concentrated.
In order to get maximum effectiveness from your liquid fermented fertilizer, it’s recommended to make several types of liquid fertilisers and then evenly mix/dilute them for use on your natural farm.
Diluting Liquid Fertilizer
Using wrong concentrations is the biggest mistake that can be made when natural farming with fermented bio liquids
Undiluted, any organic liquid fertiliser is too strong for direct application on the plants or when nourish your gardening soil. Even for soil it should be diluted.
Diluting extends the usage of your batch and helps you see all you need to nourish your gardening soil.
[alert-note] The main one we’ve been using is a mixture of brown rice water and liquid herb hormone. The two alone have worked well, but adding FPJ is best, at 1:1:1.[/alert-note]
Storage And Fermenting Containers
We use a clay pot most the time, but the glass pots I’ve made them with were always successful as well. Clay pot with a cloth on top tied off is the best way. This means there is some oxygen inside, but we try to get most of it out before capping it off.
Suggested pH Levels
The pH level of most fermented bio liquids is acidic. It’s usually around 4. The acid comes from the fermentation, as microorganisms produce lactic acid among other end products.
A pH level of 3.0 to 4.0 signals that your fermented bio liquid is ready.
[alert-note] If you make fermented bio liquid from snails, it will not be acidic because snail shells are calcium which is alkaline. [/alert-note]
Benefits Of Using KNF Liquid Fertilizers
- Prevent diseases in plants to avoid ruining your crops
- Prevents bacterial attacks
- Prevents insect invaders
- Helps your plants produce more
- Helps make your plants stronger (stems, leaves, roots)
What the fermentation does is it extracts the liquid from plants or animal cells (or whatever organic matter you’re using), and helps break down the material and eventually creates wonderful plant food nutrients like amino acids or humid acid for example.
Are there downsides of using these KNF organic liquid fertilizers? No.
Why KNF Liquid Fertilizers Work
BioFertilizers work from the process of breaking down all the organic materials into various plant nutrients.
Brown sugar is the key ingredient.
In nature, a type of fructose is released from the roots of plants. This is nature’s way of providing microorganism food.
This is why a type of sugar is necessary for your ferment fertilizer. Sugar is what causes the fermenting liquid’s osmotic pressure. It helps extract the liquid from your plant or animal ingredients used.
Is brown sugar mandatory in organic liquid fertilizer recipes?
Brown sugar is best because it has NOT been carbonated such as white cane sugar. What this does is it makes it much safer for the microorganisms and thus creates a proper BioFertilizer.
For large natural farms with tons of production, molasses is used because it’s more economical than brown sugar. Molasses is just as effective as brown sugar because it provides all the essential nutrients that the microorganisms need to go to work in breaking down the organic matters you chose for your ferment.
Various Types You Can Make At Home
You can make many different types and each will vary in quality and effectiveness depending on what you used to make them. You can use the following ingredients to make various forms of liquid fertilizers:
- green leafy plants
- aquatic plants (seaweed)
- food scraps (organic)
- medicinal herbs
- animals (fish, meat scraps, etc.)
- human waste
And of these main categories of fertilizer ingredients above, there are endless types of ingredients you can use and each will create a different result.
For example, I could have used any number of medicinal herbs for my current liquid herb hormone batch, but I chose one of the best combos; garlic and ginger. I learned this homemade liquid fertilizer bio liquid combination from my mother in law who’s got a lifetime of Thai farming wisdom.
Can organic liquid fertilizer replace composting?
What if for whatever reason you can’t get enough organic compost fertilizer for your garden? A fermented bio liquid is part of the answer.
Organic liquid fertilizers offer an effective way to successfully grow a no till or no dig organic garden without regular use of quality compost. They’re not a complete replacement, but there are ways to using other plants which are chopped down to feed the soil, or rice bran, plus several of these organic liquid fertilizers to nourish and feed the soil below without having to use a truckload of compost that took 8 months to make. The downside to not making your own organic liquid fertilizer is its price if you purchase instead, and the fact that you wouldn’t be using local plants and microorganisms which is part of the reason these are so beneficial.
Fermented bio liquid fertilizers are full of natural microorganisms that help nourish your plants. That’s why learning how to make organic fertilizer is the ultimate skill if you farm. They’re most effective when made with local plants from your area. Some fertilizers, like fermented plant juice (FPJ), can even be made from weeds you have growing between your driveway cracks.
A Fermented Bio Liquid Recipe – Liquid Herb Hormone
- Liquid Herb Hormone (OHN)
How To Make Liquid Herb Hormone (aka Orient Herbal Nutrient or OHN)
For this last batch we used garlic and ginger.
You can use any combination of medicinal herbs.
- Alcohol: the extractor does not need to be alcohol. You can use straight water (takes longer) or wood vinegar too.
How To Make It:
Step 1. Prepare Medicinal Herbs
- Chop up the medicinal herbs, then smash it in a mortar and pestle.
- After smashing the herbs, put them in your ceramic pot and fill it 1/3 full with the smashed medicinal herbs.
Step 2. Top Off With Extractor
- Top the smashed herbs off with any form of alcohol (beer, moonshine, rice whiskey, tequila, etc.)
- After you do this, let it sit for a few days UNCOVERED.
Step 3. Add Sugar
- After the initial 3-day waiting period, fill up the ceramic up with water to make the whole contents amount filled up to 2/3.
- Mix well so that the sugar dissolves
- Cover with a breathable cloth or paper and tie it tight with a rubber band or string to prevent the fruit flies.
Step 4. Storage
- Keep it in an airtight container.
It should not smell sweet.
It should not smell sour.
It should smell nice, in a way. It will be strong, but it won’t smell soured and bad.
How To Use LHH:
Dilute it with water times 500 to 1,000.
Mix it in a spray bottle and spritz your plants every week or a few times per month to keep them strong and help them fight off potential diseases and invader insects.
More bio liquid fertilizers you can make:
- Fermented Fruit Juice (FFJ)
- Fermented Liquid Animal Protein
- Fermented Liquid Lactic Acid
- Fermented Liquid Calcium (Water Soluble Calcium)
- Fermented Liquid Calcium Phosphate
- Fermented Liquid Potassium
- Fermented Liquid Magnesium
- Fermented Liquid Boron
- Liquid Natural Minerals (Bacterial Mineral Water or BMW)
- Liquid Compost From Human Waste
- Liquid Herb Hormone
Update: Here’s our updated Fermented Plant Juice (FPJ) recipe.
In time I will have made each organic liquid fertilizer above and hope to make a recipe blog post here on SproutingFam (once perfected). Until then, we have plenty of good information online to learn from! Chris Trump and another couple called Natural Farming Hawaii both share how to make a lot of these.
Natural farming in Thailand is derived from various methods learned from surrounding countries and decades of experience. Korean Natural Farming has a strong influence in natural farming in Thailand. Along with Korean farming methods are Japanese natural farming methods. I use methods learned here in Thailand. These can be used worldwide. Organic BioLiquids are necessary for natural farming in any region around the world, from the sunny California coast to the cold plains of the midwest.
An organic liquid fertilizer for your garden can also be one of the best lawn fertilizer options as well. Using an organic lawn fertilizer would be much better than a chemical one for you and your family, and your neighbors too.
Growing plants with organic liquid fertilizers is an effective and fun way to farm. Learning. How to make them is also a nice skill to have. You can literally make these natural liquid fertilizers for free. You can use scraps, plants around the house, or other herbs you grow in your garden to make this fermented bio liquid. The only things you really need outside of the plants, herbs or fruit are the sugar and water.
Here’s a good video on YT on how to make organic liquid fertilisers:
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Are you making KNF liquid fertilizers?
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