Tulsi/Tulsa/Thulasi/Holy Basil many names but one plant. In India Tulsi is an integral part of most of the religious ceremonies. It is not only a religious plant, but even science agrees that this plant is a treasure trove of useful uses ranging from as simple as treating common cold to as complex as reducing free radicals in human body and helping to reduce the effects of nuclear radiation on Human body. It is also a member of most Hindu families. However it is also the most watered plant and most prone to malnutrition due to over watering. In this article we will be presenting ideas for homemade fertilizer for Tulsi plant. These ideas will give an insight on various items commonly available in house/kitchen and can be used to fertilize your beloved Tulsi.
Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum), also known as holy basil, is a species of basil used in Hindu religious ceremonies. The plants grow 2 to 3 feet tall, have furry gray-green leaves and bloom in the summer, producing spikes of small pink flowers. These plants are highly frost-sensitive. They can be grown outdoors as annuals in warm Mediterranean climates, similar to other types of basil, but you can also grow it from seed indoors.
Soil and watering requirements for Tulsi
A good garden soil is made up of 25% Water, 25% Air, 45% Minerals/Degraded rock particles and 5% Organic matter including decomposed organic matter, soil organisms, roots of live plants etc. Percentage of water and air keeps changing, if the soil is too wet(soggy) the air component is reduced and if it is too dry Air component is increased. All these components contribute to nutrients availability in soil and this also has effect on soil pH. If the Soil pH is acidic Micro nutrients may get deficient and if it is Alkaline Macro nutrients like Nitrogen may get deficient.
Alkalizing component of the soil is the minerals and if the water is hard or is salty, Soil may get overly alkaline. Now is the soil is given acidifying organic matter like Pine needles, saw dust, acid rain Soil may get Acidic. Plants mostly love neutral soil pH however there are many plants like Rose, Citrus love acidic soils.
Now, take this logic to Tulsi. Tulsi is classified as a herb and like most herbs it prefers neutral to slightly alkaline pH. Ideal soil pH for Tulsi is 6.0 to 7.5.
Water is another critical requirement, Tulsi needs regular watering but does not appreciate soggy conditions. Water Tulsi only when the top 1 inch is dry, If you are located where the temperature is high you may have to water Tulsi even twice daily, But keep in Mind before watering check if top 1 Inch of soil is dry, if Yes then go ahead and water.
Homemade Fertilizer for Tulsi
When a plant grows in soil it extract nutrients from soil there by removing these nutrients from soil. Nutrients also get removed from soil if the soil is over watered and nutrients get dissolved in water and are carried away to drains, this phenomenon is called Leaching. Since we are discussing homemade fertilizer for Tulsi we will stick to the topic.
Fertilizers replenish nutrients that are absorbed by plant during its growth and lifetime. All Organic matter can be used as fertilizer but, different matter contributes different nutrients in soil for example Saw dust is Carbon rich and Coffee grounds are Nitrogen rich.
Tulsi is mainly grown for its leaves. Leaves of Tulsi are frequently harvested and plant needs continuous feeding/regular feeding for supplementing these needs. Let us now discuss some examples of homemade fertilizer for Tulsi.
- Spent Tea leaves, We Indians love tea and generate good amount of spent tea leaves daily. This daily kitchen waste is a rich source of Nitrogen and can help to supply your Tulsi with Nutrients it needs. To use Spent tea leaves you must first rinse them in running water so as to remove sugar from it. It can then be sun dried and stored for applied directly to Tulsi plant pot, try with small dosage to gauge plants reaction. Please remember that Tea leaves are Acidifying and can reduce the pH of soil, hence it becomes more important to use small quantities.
- Vegetable and Fruit waste, Peels of vegetables are rich in Macro and Micro nutrients and Tulsi can greatly benefit from them. You do not need to compost them, there are several ways in which you can use them. First, Chop them in small pieces and bury them in soil near the plant, they will release nutrients as they are digested and broken down by soil biology. Second, Make pulp them in your mixer grinder, dilute them and water the plant with this suspension. Again, I would advice you to start with small quantities so that you can gauge plants reaction. If you generate large amount of peels daily and live in a place blessed with good sunshine, I would suggest you to dry these peels in sun so that they loose all the moisture and get preserved. These dried peels can be ground to a fine powder and stored in an air tight jar and used as required. This Fertilizer can be used with other plants as well.
- Spent Flowers, Spent flowers can be used in same way as suggested for Vegetable and fruit peels.
- Ash from Agarbatti and Dhoop, Although this ash is very different from Hard wood ash but, Nevertheless it also has some very important Micro and Macro nutrients for your plant. Please remember ash is an Alkaline fertilizer component and will increase the pH of soil. Hence it should be used in moderation. Best if it can be combined with Spent tea leaves and used.
These were some of the best and easily available homemade fertilizers for Tulsi.
Ecotika's Fertilizer and Blends suitable for use with Tulsi
Homemade fertilizers are a good choice when you have time on your hand or when you need a quick fix. Ecotika professionally manufactures fertilizer blends that can provide your plant with all nutrients vital for its growth. The best part of our fertilizers is that, they are all Natural fertilizers and made from traditional components. Our fertilizers are free from harmful components like Sewage Sludge, Bio Solids, Slaughter house wastes like Blood meal, bone meal, Hair meal, Fish emulsion etc.
This careful choice of components make our fertilizers safe to handle, Pathogen free, Soil friendly, Plant friendly and promote soil health.
Fertilizers and blends that can be safely used with Tulsi are;