Discussion in 'Gardening and Agriculture' started by 113b11, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. 113b11

    113b11 Guest

    What is the best fertilizer that one can use, that is not bought from a store?
    I'm tired of paying for over priced crap that does not make a difference in my garden. Also, are all fertilizers the same for every plant?
  2. coinguy

    coinguy Guest

    If you are talking natural instead of chemical, I would stay with the basics like manure, composted plant matter, fish emulsion and such. I try to avoid chemicals other than a basic feeding in the spring. The tend to concentrate on the 'big three' and don't concern themselves with the many other nutrients needed for good growth.

    You might want to check with your local nursery for what organic items need to be added to your local soil. I am in the desert southwest with very poor excuse for soil. One local company markets a planting mixture using chicken manure, sand and leaf mold that will boost the caliche into something that will let plants grow. It is much cheaper than buying bags of additives at the local big box store and it contains what we are short on and what will help the base soil.

    As for 'every plant' some things need different nutrients than other plants. I have to add iron and sulfur to get the more acid loving plants to grow in the alkaline here. But getting a good soil going is the first step.


  3. Tom

    Tom Guest

    Def. need to get your soil tested to see what you need. Most local nurseries or even the local Extension will do this.

    +1 on the compost. I've found it to be high effective in using as mixed soil.
  4. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    Yup, the guys are correct... ON ALL COUNTS!

    Get the 'Garden Patch' tested, and if it's going to be very big, then get both ends tested.

    My county extension agent will do soil samples for $12 each and give you a real extensive report on what the soil contains.

    Some of the larger fertilizer places (like for big farms) will do soil samples, but normally you won't get them done for $12!

    Some things you can always add without fear of going too far one way or the other... (Acidic or Alkaline)
    Your grass clipping, immature weeds, fall leaves, any plant matter you can pile up makes BLACK GOLD for your garden!

    Don't put in mature weeds that have seeds! This will just seed your garden with weeds!

    Don't put in animal protein! No animal parts, bones, grease or 'Poop' from meat eating animals or ruminant animals.

    Vegetarian animal waste is GREAT, rabbits, hamsters, ect.
    Once the compost starts to rot, add a couple of cans of 'Red Wiggler' worms from a bait shop!
    They will help break down the compost faster than anything else!

    Turn your compost pile about once a month, and remember to wet it down anytime it's not freezing outside.

    This stuff is PURE GOLD for your garden and lawn!

    Some thing you would never suspect are GREAT fertilizers!
    Egg shells, Hair, Finger & Toe nail clippings, shredded news papers, and for the acid loving plants' end of the garden, coffee grounds work wonders!
    (No glossy print, just the dull 'News Print' paper)

    Dried & crushed animal bone (bone meal) works very good, but most people don't produce enough bones to mess with that anymore.

    If you have flowers, corn, ect., Fish Waste is a very good thing to till into the soil!
    Chopping up and tilling in dead fish and their waste is just GREAT for acid loving plants.

    There are always 'Trash Fish' no matter where you are...
    Carp (especally those damned Asian Jumping Carp!),
    Shad, Blue Cats, Ect., fish that aren't good for sport or eating, so tell your fishing buddies to bring you back the 'Trash fish' they catch (and you catch some every trip!) and till them into your garden's 'Acidic' side in particular and watch your garden take off!

    I'd refrain from tilling fish into places I was going to grow anything underground. Potatoes, Carrots, Radishes, ect. comes to mind...

    If you use Animal Waste from meat eating animals,
    And don't put it in the compost pile!

    Meat eaters, and Ruminant animals carry things like E-coli bacteria in the waste, and you don't want to add any to your garden after the plants emerge...

    Adding chicken waste or dog waste to gardens after the plants emerge is like wiping your food in Salmonella ladened poop or E-coil ladened poop...

    You CAN use them, but till them in in the spring and don't add any after the plants emerge.

    Anyway, you simply CAN NOT go wrong with adding compost and tilling it into your garden, no matter what time of the year it is or what soil conditions you have!
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
  5. dilligaf

    dilligaf Well-Known Member

    worm composting is a very good source for not just soil material but the poop tea . One of the best fertilizers for most plants. Compost piles are great soil amendments . Bones can be ground into bone meal. Animal manure and humanure are both fairly easy to comeby, make and use . I dont use any commercial fertilizers on any of the gardens here.

    As mentioned above for a good in depth analysis contact you local county extension, then once you know what your soil is lacking we can get more into specifics of organic gardening and use of around the home stuff for making your own amendments. Our extension does samples for 8 bux here.
  6. Lowdown3

    Lowdown3 Active Member

    Hey Dilli! Good to see some familiar faces here.

  7. dilligaf

    dilligaf Well-Known Member

    awesome low down!! Nice to see you here as well:)You will add tons to the site here and i cant wait:)
  8. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

    Respectfully, Grow, the world would be plunged into mass starvation without "chemical fertilizers". Those "harsh" chemical you referred to are nitrogen, pottasium and potash. Chemical fertilizers have increased crop yeilds many fold.

    While I don't use pesticides in my garden, my "harmed" garden produces abundantly to the point that this year we gave away about 8 bushels of canning tomatos, a few bushels of broccoli, lots of beets and somewhere between 10 to 15 bushels of sweet corn -- that was excess after we canned and froze all we needed for us and our extended family.

    Again and with respect, your claim that chemical fertilizer is "harmful" to plants is not supported by my experience, world experience or science. Check in with any state uninversity ag department and see what they recommend for bountiful harvest.
  9. Murph

    Murph Member

    organic vs non-organic?

    I am a believer that everyone needs to do what is best for them in their situation. I try to be 100% organic, but I typically spray my tomatoes against early blight once or twice a year. I decided to be more organic, not because I have any political or socio-economic reasons for this, but beacause I have two little ones that randomly eat out of my garden, I work in an office and very little manual labor is more satisfying to me than turning a 4-8 yard compost pile every month, and because I want to know if I can grow what I need to survive without the help of modern science.

    To fertilize my garden, I use a combination of composted chicken manure (bought for $12 for 50 pounds), homemade compost that is 100% plant matter, vermicompost (worm poop) from my worm bin in the basement which recycles most of my kitchen scraps, egg shells collected over the course of the year, and wood ashes from my backyard fire pit.

    Before the growing season, I will add last years remaining compost and about 25 pounds of wood ash to the garden and turn in. When planting individual plants, I add compost, egg shells and vermicompost directly to the hole for the sapling. During the growing season, I will add about 50% of my grass clippings as mulch to the garden. It helps with weeds and adds nitrogen directly to the soil. The remaining 50% goes to the compost pile. After the growing season, I put on a healthy top dressing of compost and maple leaves to control late fall weeds.

    I have also been experimenting in making charcoal to add to my garden. See here for more deatil on Tera Preta: Terra preta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  10. Daegnus

    Daegnus Active Member

    Remember, you're not fertilizing your plants, you're fertilizing your soil. Anything that nature can provide is the best thing to add to your soil, ideally a mixture of everything you have available to you.
  11. booter

    booter Well-Known Member

    I used to volunteer with a rural Fire Department years ago, & for fighting structure fires with the hazard of liquid flammables/chemicals, we used something called 'AFFF=Aqueous Film Forming Foam' it's an organic animal-based thick liquid that when mixed with water in a foam generator will make enormous amounts of thick foam. It smells like hell, but it's basically a liquid protein designed to expand and become substantial. It's also a great liquid fertilizer, ''you ever notice that around fire station houses-they always have great gardens'' 'BUT IT HAS!!! TO BE AN ANIMAL-BASED [AFFF] ONLY! NO SYNTHETICS AT ALL!' you could wreck your soil otherwise! They use this around airports a lot, when a crash-landing is imminent they will lay down a blanket of foam for safety reasons. In the industry they call it ''A-Triple F.''
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  12. KittyCat

    KittyCat Active Member

    Chemical fertilizers, as horseman09 states play a very important role in averting mass starvation. Imagine that your only source of food is purchased from the local Farmer's Market. Quality is excellent and prices are reasonable. Now imagine this is the only food source in a town of fifty thousand people. Demand will outstrip supply and people will go hungry. Production will never meet demand without the use of chemical inputs and more land in agricultural production will be needed to maintain current levels of food. Most preppers, I think, are looking to grow a substantial portion their own food and control the type of inputs put into or not allowed in the soil. As such they are not large scale farmers. In light of this, there is a market and need for both inexpensive and effective organic and non-organic fertilizers. Consider the following. Three month past I spoke to a CEO of a small fertilizer company that in the next year will market organic salmon oil combined with nitrogen. The product though not yet available for market will be sold in the company's local area in bulk 2.5 gallons on request and at a very reasonable price. 2.5 gallons will fertilize one quarter acre. Smaller sizes will be available. At present and in deference to the CEO, and until the fertilizer is available for public sale (I have no financial connections to the company) I am not yet at liberty to to disclose the company name or price. But I want it known that I have used the product and it saved me hundreds of dollars when compared to preparing my soil for planting using other organic inputs. When the fertilizer finally comes available I'll let you know the company name.
  13. Jarhead0311

    Jarhead0311 Well-Known Member

    All fertilizers have to break down to chemicals before plants can utilize them.
  14. Woody

    Woody Woodchuck

    I am in the compost camp, just about everything in the yard can be composted. I get all the old Wall Street Journal’s from work and either lay them between rows for weed suppression or spend time over the winter ripping them into 1” strips to add to the compost. Peanut shells (I buy raw locally and roast my own), pecan shells and just about all my snacks make compost too.

    I have a secret fertilizer that is multi-purpose. My urine. It is high in nitrogen and serves as a pest deterrent. It’s powerful stuff so I use lightly around plants but heavily around the yard as a deterrent.
  15. ComputerGuy

    ComputerGuy Retired Air Force

    We compost and the wife uses the chicken poo and composts that too.

    Right now using soil that was a worm farm with chicken poo