Buying anything with chemicals always makes us feel a bit low, even if it’s the perfect solution to a problem. Sometimes its unavoidable, and often it’s the best thing for your garden. But don’t you love that warm feeling when you use your water butts up, or manage to get some grey water down, or finally get your teabags into the soil?

Fertiliser can easily be made at home, and here are a few ways you can do it:

Manure Tea

Not something to serve your guests alongside biscuits, but your plants will love it.

First step is to buy some well-rotted manure from wherever you can. Stables and farms are your best bet, but some garden centres will have it. The more rotted the better. Once home and able to breathe again, add it to a bucket with a two-third manure and one-third water mix.

We did say the more rotted the better, so leave it for another week. Once it’s ready, get rid of the liquid until you’re left with a dark sludge. Now, siphon this into a smaller container with one part sludge and five part water. This is your manure tea, and you can pour it around the roots of any plants that need fertilising. Leftover manure can go straight onto beds, or the compost heap.

Lasagne Gardening

Sorry for the food and drink related terms, we didn’t invent the names.

Lasagne garden is essentially layering, and is great for those who don’t have space for a compost heap. You can use lasagne wherever, but it’s great for really hungry plants like squash. Here’s the recipe:

Lay some turf wrong-side up, or grass clippings, at the roots of a plant. Cover it with cardboard, then add leaf litter and compost on top of this. That’s it. The layers will break down on the soil and feed the plant, not to mention retaining moisture in the soil, and stifling weeds. There’s no downside to this, it’s basically a mini compost heap which composts at the plant site, rather than in the bin on the other side of the garden.

Bonus tip: you can simply lay that turf wrong-side up, and forget the rest. That’ll do a nice job alone if you’re stick for time, space or materials.


Eden Restored is a team of passionate garden designers working throughout London, Kent and Surrey.

We deliver value-for-money on projects of any size, from inner-city courtyards to countryside cottages.

To discuss your ideas and how we can help throughout the entire process, get in touch.