The Hearty Vegetable That'll Improve The Health Of Your Geraniums

Gardeners love geraniums for their beautiful, cheerful colors – they make the perfect bedding plants that brighten up garden borders and help to fill in bare gaps of soil due to their compact mounding shape and the fact that they flower for months. They also offer a wonderful scent that makes spending time in nature a pleasurable and healing experience.

If you're looking for more reasons to plant geraniums in your garden, the fact that they are a hardy plant that won't need constant watering over the summer(and not to mention that they're easy to grow in well-draining soil) will be the perfect incentive. To top it off we've got a handy gardening hack that will help you get your seedlings off to a great start — believe it or not, the humble potato works as a wonderful DIY fertilizer that you can use to improve the health of your geraniums and kickstart their growth.

Before planting your geraniums take a moment to consider how you're going to optimize their growth. There are a few different ways you can put potatoes to good use when it comes to fertilizing your plants, including using them to provide a direct food source to your growing nutrition-hungry geranium seedlings. 

How to use potatoes to fertilize your geraniums

Depending on which method you choose, you'll need some of the following to get started: geranium seedlings, potatoes (you can use ones you've grown yourself or organic potatoes bought from the supermarket), a pot or large container if planting geraniums to enjoy indoors, a lidded container of rainwater, and the common garden tools and supplies you normally use for planting plus a sharp peeling knife.

To make a homemade natural liquid fertilizer to water plants and encourage growth, simply peel washed potatoes and soak the skins in a lidded container of water for three days or more, stirring daily. Then filter the liquid and pour it onto the ground around your geraniums. This may be quite stinky, so you might not want to use this method indoors.

Another way to use potatoes as a fertilizer is to simply add potato scraps to your compost heap and use them as nutritious mulch around your plants. However, this may be unsightly. The more immediate method to fertilize geraniums early on and provide great direct nutrition to seedlings is directly from the potato itself. Just choose a large potato and make a hole in it to plant a geranium stem. This is the method you'll want to use to kickstart your geranium plant growth and encourage strong and healthy roots ready for planting in your garden or a larger pot in your house.

Is the potato method effective when fertilizing geraniums?

Gardeners have been using potato skins to make homemade compost and fertilizer for a long time for several good reasons. Firstly, potatoes are usually readily available as kitchen scraps, and using them as a natural fertilizer is a great way to cut down on food waste and an affordable way to fertilize the garden. The peels themselves are nutrient-rich, including potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Potatoes are particularly valuable for their potassium, which activates enzymes that produce proteins and sugars and help to improve plant growth.

However, you should remain aware that potassium is also often used to increase the alkaline content of the soil, whereas geraniums actually prefer acidic soil. Too much potassium will also inhibit magnesium uptake, which helps keep foliage green and healthy-looking. Plus, magnesium improves the geranium plants' uptake of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur. So use your homemade potato fertilizer sparingly in order to keep your soil nice and balanced.

Don't forget that when making any homemade fertilizer liquid, rainwater is always the better choice than tap water as it contains natural organisms that will help with the fermentation process and is free of chemicals. It also contains a bio-available form of nitrates, which means more easily absorbed by plants. Nitrates are an important natural macro-nutrient for healthy plant growth.