Homemade Tanks for Mixing Fertilizer

Fertilizing a garden can become expensive when using premixed commercial-grade solutions. Oftentimes, premixed concentrates for liquid fertilizers won’t contain all the necessary nutrients due to chemical incompatibilities at high levels. To avoid these problems, solutions may be combined in the home using one of many nutrient recipes and repurposed plastic containers. The sort and number of mixing tanks required will depend on the scale of your fertilization requirements.

5-Gallon Buckets

Fertilizer for small container gardening may be prepared using 5-gallon buckets and also an aquarium air pump. Compost tea or tea worm-casting tea is the easiest homemade fertilizer to make at this scale. Place 1 gallon of compost or worm castings to a plastic 5-gallon bucket, then add 1/2 cup of molasses, utilize the aquarium air pump to aerate the option and allow it to sit for 2 times. The resulting liquid will be prepared to use for fertilizer.

25-Gallon Containers

A medium-scale garden uses more fertilizer than is convenient to mixture at 5-gallon buckets and can be combined in 25-gallon tubs or containers. This technique prepares fertilizer from personal ingredients and requires a few 5-gallon buckets for premixing. These containers shouldn’t be porous, like concrete or pottery, because nutrients will leach to the walls and modify the fluid concentration. Vinyl or metal is much more appropriate. Phosphorous, nitrogen, potassium, iron, magnesium and iron salts are first combined in warm water to dissolve them to solution and added to the bigger 25-gallon bathtub. Calcium should be added last and slowly because in concentrated form it will form insoluble precipitates with magnesium and phosphate salts. Micronutrients can also be combined separately in a form more concentrated than required and diluted to the 25-gallon bathtub.

Repurposing Containers

The 5-gallon buckets used for compost teas and premixing mineral fertilizers are typical waste items on home-construction websites. Used for a wide variety of bulk goods, such as house paint, wooden deck paints as well as pelletized lawn fertilizers, these buckets could be washed out and used for mixing your liquid fertilizers. If waste buckets aren’t available, unused plastic 5-gallon buckets are a cheap purchase at home improvement stores. The 25-gallon buckets for blending liquids from mineral recipes can be obtained by repurposing large garbage cans or the typical, rectangular, thick-walled storage tubs found in office and home storage sections. The tall, thin form of the garbage cans and rectangular form of the storage tubs aren’t ideal for blending, but round 25-gallon planters usually have substantial drainage holes which aren’t readily covered.


The bigger the container is for transmitting fluid, the more difficult it will be to mix the ingredients appropriately. At 5 gallons, the liquid may nevertheless be combined by hand or with an agitator like an aquarium pump. In the 25 gallons, special care will need to be taken to make sure that some ingredients aren’t sitting at a corner unmixed, and the liquid will need to be stirred longer than at a smaller container to ensure adequate blending even of dissolved compounds. Fertilizer ingredients are offered as powerful minerals and aren’t always readily dissolved. They may take an extended amount of stirring and waiting.

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