Bought a big bag of microlife fertilizer today. Has anyone ever used this before and if so what was the rate of application in the garden?
A very expensive means of getting organic matter into the soil. Application rates are hefty too, 10 to 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet on lawns and double that on the veggie garden. Do you make your own compost or is there somewhere nearby to purchase compost? Usually that is available for around $16.00 per cubic yard which would be much more than a 40 pound bag.
Are you telling me that if I use compost I shouldn't have to fertilize?
Well, I think with compost, which IS a slow release fertilizer, you won't have to fertilize SO much... maybe add some nitrogen, cuz nitrogen is water soluble and easily leached. I am always of the opinion that we Americans are a little fertilizer happy... insisting on perfect green growth and perfect fruit.
yes, as heathen sez, compost is fertilizer, but what it does is feed the soils fertility, as opposed to the chem ferts which get directed straight into the plants, w/ the excess polluting the environment and killing off the biotic portion of your soil
building your soil with compost [organic material] develops a healthy thriving microbial population, which in turn convert soil components into plant food as the plants need it - the "Microlife" brand name is trying to play on that reality - it's the bacteria and other soil life that really does the "fertilizing", you just need to supply them w/ a healthy soil to work with
I've used just compost and mulches in my sandy soil for somewhere around 30 years now, have not purchased "fertilizer" in all that time excpet for the lawn and everything grows quite well without the pests that many people that do regularly "fertilize" have. The biggest problem I have is wild turkeys, and some of the sone birds, digging in the mulches for what is there, or getting to the fruits before I can.
I love microlife because it contains so much of the organic ingredients I usually have to purchase and mix myself. Yes I do use truck loads of compost plus what I can make on my own. I have two acres of plants and just can't produce all the compost I need. Of course not all compost is the same so you could be lacking in some very important mineral. That is the reason I do add microlife to a lot of my plants and veggie garden. The rate of application should be on the bag.
I don't understand what a bagged product is going to give your soil that compost and maybe alfalfa or corn meal won't give it at a small fraction of the cost.
I'd say that the advantage of Microlife over some cheaper stuff would be the availability of phosphorus and potash. The 6-2-4 NPK ratio is approximate double alfalfa's 3-1-2. In theory, finding alfalfa meal at half the price would still mean using twice as much to match Microlife. Then it's six of one, half-dozen of the other! A quick scan of companies selling alfalfa meal shows as high as $28 per 50# while the Microlife 6-2-4 was $35 for 40#.
Here is a link that might be useful: Microlife
25# bag of bunny food (alfalfa meal) is like $6.50. using new math here I gets sumthin like... ohhh... almost $13 per 50#. So, if you want to compare NPK- it's about 1/3 the price.
These guys sell it for $7.76/50#. I know I live in an expensive part of the country for this sort of thing, but wow.
I usually pay 10 bucks per 50lb bag for alfalfa meal around here.
Microlife has over 70 minerals in it. Primary nutrients are : Alfalfa, Fish, Soybean, Cottonseed Meal, Bat Guano, Rock Minerals, Kelp, Molasses, Paprika, Humates, Sulfate of Potash, K-Mag, Rock Phosphate, and Bio Inoculants in it. In our area it is 24.99 for 40 lbs. I use it because of all the minerals and mixture it has. I use compost but not all compost is made the same. Unless you test each batch of compost you really don't know what it may be lacking. But I believe everyone needs to make and use compost. The benefits are enormous. I just like, every spring, to add a little extra to all my beds. They really need a little extra and there is no way I can made 16 or more yards of compost every winter. The compost you buy by the truckload around here is cotton seed meal or mushroom. We all know that isn't a complete feeding for our plants. So now you can see why I need to substitute my compost. It would be so much more if I had to buy and mix everything separately. We need more in our soil than nitrogen, so rabbit pellets along won't do it. You need to feed the soil and GOOD compost will do that. I would love to find a place around here that I could purchase some good leaf compost. So I will need to do with what I can make and purchase.
I have nothing to do with the selling of Microlife I am just a consumer.
I dunno- making your own compost in reasonable volume is easy enough. If you get the results that you want with the expensive stuff then fine, but the sheer number of nutrients is really no indication of how good it will be for your soil. Are you sure that your soil is really lacking in any of the 55+ minerals that very few pay attention to? How do you know? Do you know how many of those minerals are available in plain old compost or alfalfa meal?
Further- I'm a big skeptic of anything that claims "Bio Inoculants", as I don't think they're necessary or very viable in anything that's been sitting in a bag.
I'm pretty skeptical of claims for many products, however, because I'm an analytical chemist. Claims about minerals in most products don't really impress me. My garden does awesome with just compost and bunny crap- and almost no soil. I hope I'm not lacking any of those 70 minerals :)
Hey Pablo: You can't go wrong with compost and bunny crap. When I raised rabbits, OH MY GOSH, what beautiful plants I had. My problem is I have two acres of gumbo and clay. To top if off my husband has added in certain areas a foot or more of sand because we were so low. I have brought in truck after truck of compost but at $27.00 a yard it is eating my lunch. I have compost in the making at all times but not enough for all the fruit trees, vegetables, and flowers that I have planted. I've also brought in truck loads of composted horse manure. My older flower beds are so nice you can dig with just your hands and my plants are growing crazy. The newer beds need a boost and that is where Micolife comes in at. Not only that but I just don't have enough compost to add to all my plants every year. Remember the only compost we can get here is mushroom or cotton seed and that is not the best compost in the world. It takes about 3 years for each of my beds to really start doing good. My worms are so fat they look like small snakes and my soil nice and dark, then you have the poor new beds. I don't know what is in Micolife that works so well but my plants that are suffering pick right up and do great after I apply it. I have tried Alfalfa but it does not do nearly as well.
I live in the Huffman area up by Lake Houston. How are you applying Microlife? Are you just scattering or useing a broadcaster? I have several flower beds, Plumerias and veggie garden I'm going to use mine in, just don't have a way to spread.
Somebody paleeze explain to me what paprika does to enhance plant growth or to benefit microorganisms.
gives them a rosey glow, and adds a zesty kick to root crops :)
Rhizo, you read my mind when you asked that paprika question.
Anyway I agree with Pablo, marketing is everything. I'm sure if manure,
compost, or any of the meals were analyzed by scientist they would
find 55+ minerals,hundreds of enzymes with fancy names, etc. etc.
Alfalfa, in fact, is known to contain an enzyme that stimulates strong plant growth. At about $10 for a 50# bag- it can't be beat.
I don't think of it as in the same ballpark as "Bagged fertilizer" at all.
Micro-Life is a great way to establish mycorrhyzial partners for your plants' root systems. If you do no-till, just scratch some Micro-Life into the soil the first season. Just add compost and/or mulch on top as needed after that. If you till, you will be breaking up the myco party so Micro-Life may not be the best route for you (go with cottonseed meal), but it'd still be a "good balanced organic" fert.
It is hands down my absolute favorite soil fertilizer. It's produced locally (to me) so I have inexpensive options like Southwest Fertilizer.
My 2 cents, worth price paid!