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 Post subject: organic fertilizer suggestions
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:42 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:38 pm
Posts: 66
Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
So I found a thread before with fantastic information on making your own organic fertilizer but now I can't seem to find it. Does anyone out there make their own? I was thinking of trying it next year.the other question is...when do you apply it? Should you fertilize the soil after harvesting to prep it for next year?


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 Post subject: Re: organic fertilizer suggestions
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:36 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:50 am
Posts: 1624
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet
Actually, to be really accurate, you would need a soil test done.

Then, once you have the soil test in hand, you can see what you are lacking, and then it isn't too difficult to look up organic sources for the missing nutrients and minerals.

Most counties do the test if you take it in to them. It was free the last time I had it done.

You can also look up the soil in your area and find out what most of the soil is like. Yours shouldn't vary a lot.

For instance, where I live most soil is depleted of copper so I know to either grow plants that fix copper (dandelions) to help next year or to make sure that it is in the mineral mix that I choose to use.

Many organic sources, especially of minerals break down slowly, so it is better to apply them the year before... But your NPK kind of can be built up, but sometimes needs a boost during the season.

And that my friend is what is wrong with: One size fits all fertilizers... we all have different soils and grow different things. Best bet is do your homework.


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 Post subject: Re: organic fertilizer suggestions
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:10 am
Posts: 27
Location: Central Wisconsin
lilhomeh,
I use a recipe that I found in a book called The Intelligent Gardener by Steve Solomon. I mix this up in a 5 gallon pail.

3 quarts seed meal or feather meal (slow nitrogen) (I use soy bean meal because that is what is available locally)
1 quart blood meal (quick nitrogen)
3/4 quart calcium carbonate (calcium)
3/4 quart gypsum (sulfur and calcium)
1 quart Rock phosphate (phosphorus) (bone meal works too)
3/4 quart kelp meal (trace minerals)
1 teaspoon borax (boron)
1 teaspoon copper sulphate (copper)
1-1/2 teaspoon zinc sulphate (zinc)

technically not an "organic" recipe (the government owns that word). This can be customized to your soil. It can be pricey, I buy things in bulk and use it on my food crops mostly but also on my tobacco. 1 quart per 10 linear feet of row or 1 quart per 20 square feet of bed. I mix many batches for my large garden (a few thousand square feet). Most stuff is available at local feed mill. Borax at the grocery store. Zinc and copper available on line through amazon, although I did find those locally too. If your soil is low in potassium, wood ash will provide. I recommend the book I mentioned. The author might argue, Ozark Lady, that dandelion cannot fix copper if copper is not available somehow to begin with (no disrespect intended). I could very well be wrong on that. The author argues that if it is not in the soil or we do not add it to the soil or it is not available from the air, then it will not be there magically either (I'm paraphrasing). Soil tests are a good idea. I am an intermediate (and imperfect) gardener and still have much much to learn. This recipe appears to be producing strong healthy plants for us here. I hope you have good success however you proceed.

Mick


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 Post subject: Re: organic fertilizer suggestions
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:10 am
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Location: western Australia
Well that dandelion thing is interesting, that would imply that if dandelions are heavy in copper and there's no copper in the soil they won't be able to grow there?


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 Post subject: Re: organic fertilizer suggestions
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:37 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:50 am
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Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet
Deep taproots of such uninvited guests as dandelions and docks reach down into the subsoil to bring up minerals and moisture that have leached to levels that shallow-rooted vegetable plants can’t access. When these weeds are composted (preferably without their flowering heads), they release their accumulated minerals back into the soil.

weeds indicate the health of the soil—whether it is acidic, alkaline, compacted or fertile. By looking at the kinds of weeds in your garden, you can determine nutrient deficiencies and the general health of the earth. If you have healthy green weeds in your garden, you will likely grow good vegetables. And maybe this season you’ll add a few edibles like chickweed and dandelion greens along with your usual fare.

According to Louise Riotte, author of Carrots Love Tomatoes, a book about companion planting, weeds appear to “accumulate the nutrients in which a particular soil is deficient.”

http://nwfarmsandfood.com/index.php/wha ... t-the-soil

http://homestead.org/DianaBarker/Lookto ... cators.htm


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 Post subject: Re: organic fertilizer suggestions
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:44 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 5541
Location: central coast of Kalifornia
Tnx for those links, OL !!!

I do not have a green thumb, and would very much like to learn how to make those observations.

And, as you have advised earlier, if anyone is halfway serious about gardening, they should get a professional soil test, periodically.
I have never done so...

Sky has described my soil amendment tactic as 'the shotgun method' ! I'll incorporate almost any sort of organic waste I can find into my garden's dirt. My thought is it will at least improve the water retention capability of the dirt.

Recently I've gained a source of dated bread, from a restaurant... I let it dry, smash it, and scatter it across the garden!

Perhaps one day the dirt in my garden will no longer be gray!
:-)
rc


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 Post subject: Re: organic fertilizer suggestions
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:39 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:38 pm
Posts: 66
Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the replies everyone. I did contact someone with regards to having a soil test done, haven't heard back just yet. I live in Canada so I'm not sure how soil testing here differs from where you live Ozark. I have a feeling it's not exactly free here, but I could be wrong.

The dandelion/weed information was very interesting. That would explain why their roots go so deep; such a pain pulling them out of the lawn!

Oh and I found the post I was talking about before, actually happened to be something Ozark posted:

"For organic if you have manure available, I would simply add some wood ashes, powdered milk, and fish emulsion meal, along with the manure.

For organic without manure, you will need: wood ashes, powdered milk, fish emulsion meal, diatomaceous earth, and some cottonseed meal. I just mix them in roughly equal parts and side dress it around them, then water it in.

You can also soak manure in an old pillow case for large quantities, or sock for small quantities, add some powdered milk, and use this strained in your pump up sprayer as a foliar spray. If no manure, substitute fish emulsion liquid for the manure."


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 Post subject: Re: organic fertilizer suggestions
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:13 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:50 am
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Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet
Goats and deer love bread, they will even walk on their back legs to get it!

I wonder if your "deer problem" loves it that your garden smells like bread? Their smelling is much more sensitive than ours.

I am lousy at composting, but pretty good at identifying the trees, and plants growing on my property and can do research on these.

Here is a nation wide mineral map thing, kind of hard to read and to follow but a starting point in finding out what your area most likely is short or rich in.

http://nature.berkeley.edu/classes/espm ... en1993.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: organic fertilizer suggestions
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:22 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:50 am
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Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet
The wood ashes are local wood grown on the property, the manure is from free range animals eating the plants on the same property, and a bit of store bought feed.
Those two items are this lazy person's way of composting! :mrgreen:


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