Easy Organic Garden Plant Food

by Daisy

picture from Tomatocasual.com

Sometimes our plants go yellow. Or brown on the leaf edges. Or just generally unhappy in a well-watered, pest-free, yet-some-how-still-unhappy way.

The plant is probably hungry.

You can go CRAZY trying to figure out if it’s missing calcium, magnesium, nitrogen, what-have you, OR you can just use this:

Veggie Plant Food
(Enough for 100 square feet of garden)

1 can beer
6oz water
1/2c fish emulsion
2T liquid soap
4T Epsom salts

Put it in a hose end attachment and set it for 6oz per gallon. Use it all, every two weeks. Cannot be stored.

**Note, you aren’t “watering” with this solution. The mix disappears to quickly. It’s a spray for the leaves. If you water with it, you’ll end up fertilizing 16 square feet and nothing else. If you want to water with it, just set your sprayer to deliver much less.


P.S. If the fishy smell is too much, substitute kelp for the fish emulsion. Should be on the same shelf at your store.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

nancy June 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm

I’m so excited! I just sprayed my garden with this lovely recipe. My tomaotes actually look better than I was expecting, but I fed them anyway. Think roses will like it? I sure hope so! Thanks so much for sharing such great ideas with us!

Cipollina June 25, 2009 at 8:34 am

This sounds just what my garden might be in need of at the moment – I have a lot of yellow foilage. However, I’m in Europe, and we don’t have this Epsom salt thingy here. What does it consist of?

ivorysoap76 June 26, 2009 at 7:36 am

@Cipollina–magnesium chloride? It’s often used for foot soaking.

Vicki June 28, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I was wondering if this could be also used by pouring a little at the base of the plant. Also, is the dish soap to make it stick to the leaves?

Ivory Soap July 3, 2012 at 6:13 am

the dish soap makes it stick and provides some protection against insects. I would think without the soap that the base of the plant is fine.

Speedy August 22, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Here’s a recipe that I like to use occasionally.
measurments are just approxomate.

Into 5litres of water, add
-1 litre of a well known brand of cola drink (I dont drink the stuff, but it’s a good source of carbohydrate and Phosphoric acid available to plants)
-about 1/5 of a cup (or less) of household ammonia (not cloudy ammonia -which is the same thing but with detergent added)
-1/2cup fish emulsion or seaweed extract or molassass or a mix of all of them
molassass , as well as being packed with minerals and carbohydrates, acts as a wetter/sticker and gives a good spread of the mix over the leaf surface
1/2 cup of cider vinegar (to bring the pH down and balance against the Aqua Ammonia/Household Ammonia)
– 2teaspoons of soluble salt fertilizer for added trace element that may be lacking if needed.
eg epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) for magnesium and sulphur
Zinc sulphate, manganese sulphate, or a general ‘balanced’ soluble fert mix etc.
I try to avould those with muriate of potash (potassium chloride)

mix and dissolve in water, top up to 8-10 litres depending on container.
I generally use an 8litre garden sprayer and apply to all leaf surfaces of plants.

tnamhongTosporn April 13, 2013 at 4:08 am

What is fish emulsion and how to prepare it ?

diane April 25, 2013 at 8:05 am

hi, this is a great spray recipe only instead of soap i use murphys oil soap its much better to keep off pests! my plants are so green from the epsom salt too that its rediculos!

Daniel April 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Is the “T” in the measurement for Tablespoon (as in Big T)?

Sharma Perera June 6, 2013 at 1:11 am

What is this fish emulsion is , how can I prepare substitute.

Ivory Soap June 6, 2013 at 7:11 am

It’s this really stinky stuff you get at the nursery. There’s a recipe here: http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/organic/2002080041031662.html

Sharma Perera June 7, 2013 at 4:51 am


Kim May 21, 2017 at 5:23 am

I only have two or three plants that need the foliar spray. Is it possible to scale down the amounts and use a spray bottle for the application?

Daisy May 21, 2017 at 8:36 am


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