Request for Recipe for Organic Fertilizer for Citrus

AMajiApril 13, 2011

Hello everyone... this is my first post here. Been lurking a while and decided to ask my first question. I tried searching, but after going through literally hundreds of posts and not finding exactly what I am looking for, I decided to post.

Instead of buying the widely available, but costly organic fertilizers, I want to mix my own from basic material like blood meal, bone meal, alfalfa meal, cottonseed meal, etc. which are available from feed stores in bulk and will cost slightly cheaper than the store bought ready made varieties. Does anyone have any recipe to share and recommended application dosage? I am not averse to adding Milorganite, even though opinions vary about using it in edible or fruit bearing plants.

I am in the New Orleans area, Zone 9B. Thank you very much for your time and help.


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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Well, if you just make sure you calculate to a 5-1-3 ratio, you're good. The problem with organic fertilizers is the amount you're going to have to use (as you know), so in the long run, even bought in bulk, if you've got a lot of trees, it can be pretty costly, even if hand-mixed from bulk products. Also, the biggest issue with using organic fertilizers for citrus, since they are heavy feeders, is trying to get enough soluble potassium (and nitrogen) for them. And lastly, not to burst anyone's "organic" bubble, but your citrus trees cannot take up any of those organic components while still in "organic" form. Those components need to be broken down into the same "non-organic" chemicals in order to be absorbed. So, really, in my mind, you're not really gaining anything by using organic fertilizers or fertilizer components. You'll save yourself a huge amount of time and money, and end up with healthier trees that have higher production rates if you just use the chemicals themselves. I'm all for organic gardening, I practice organic methods myself, and mainly to improve the soil organisms, so I top all my trees and ornamentals with compost as much as I can, and mulch with bark chips to improve the organic components in my DG soil. There's a new product (fairly new) that provides the recommended 5-1-3 ratio for citrus - Jack's Professional 25-5-15 fertilizer. If you can find this in your area, you're set for a very good fertilizer, will use less per tree, and get optimal results while saving your time, space and pocketbook :-) That's if your citrus are in the ground. If you're doing container citrus, then time-release pellets are a better choice as you won't need to fertilize as frequently. Also, your organic nitrogen sources may simply be too high in soluble salts or too hot (manure) for a container application, and end up burning or killing your tree. Here are a couple of good links to check out:

Patty S.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 11:08AM
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Patty..Amazing info..Thank you thank you!

Well put and I appreciate your way of explaining how "organics" are not reliable for containers.

The ground 'yes' and that is a whole other world.
I am all for organics in by flower beds and in my yard!


    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 1:50PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong but there are very little "life" in "potting soil" so breaking down organic material into something the plant can use is very slow at best.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 2:11PM
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Thank you Patty for your detailed reply and explanations. It is very much appreciated.

I just have three plants, and because my yard area is fairly limited, that is what I could plant. They are in ground so I can use organic. The main reason I am trying to use organic is because the possibility of increasing the salinity of the soil when using chemical fertilizers. I have seen the severe decrease in yield because of over usage of urea. I do use EM-1 to help inoculation of the soil and to help the plants absorb the nutrients better.

However, in addition to compost, I wanted a mix recipe somewhat similar to home brewed Mills Magic for Roses, that is available on the Rose Forum.

Thank you again for your time and help.

Here is a link that might be useful: EM-1 Description

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 5:18PM
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Still looking for a recipe.

Thank you for your time.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 1:01PM
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Hi Am

Sorry. It seems like when the regulars are not posting here for many good reasons, this forum is as slow as molasses and unexciting for days on end.

I can tell you that I don't think anyone has a recipe that actually works, but I think if you bought one it would be easier, like from Espoma. I think they have one just for citrus and avacado?

It would take rocket science to come up with a perfect recipe that gives you every nutrient plus minors needed to help you grow your trees to their best potential without some negatative effects.
Personally if I could grow them in the ground, I would just use all fish products and manure and call it a day. Let mother nature provide the rest.

Good to see you again and I hope you find something. I would just buy it made by the professionals.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 6:47PM
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Thank you Mike for your reply. I like your reply but the DIY in me wants to cook up something :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 9:36PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

Personally if I could grow them in the ground, I would just use all fish products and manure and call it a day. Let mother nature provide the rest.

Really? We have a new Meyer Lemon and Orange we just planted in the ground (sorry... don't mean to rub it in) and have been wondering how best to feed and mulch them. We happen to have some fish emulsion and bags of composted horse manure. How soon and how often would you feed them the fish food, and would you keep them mulched year-round with the manure rather than bark?

AMaji - not meaning to hijack your thread... perhaps the answers to my question may help you or others who lurk.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 11:19PM
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