Fertilizing

tinync(7b)June 21, 2009

How do you keep plants fed and satisfied using sustainable methods? I'm growing my first ever garden and I only put organic compost and organic manure in, mixed with some existing dirt. I have plenty of conventional (miracle gro etc) fertilizer but I do not want to use it because its not really sustainable at all, in that I will have to drive to the store to get this product when it runs out if i do use it. Am I right on this? What should I use as fertilizer if anything? My vegetables need more nitrogen I think, and food in general, they are a light green color.

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terran(zone10/Sunset20 CA)

I just posted to a reply to a slow moving thread on this forum, so mine will most likely be the last message. It is the link. It might answer your question. I agree with your concern in relation to agricultural chemicals.

I have noticed results with Kombucha and am also using Effective Microorganisms (EM), Bokashi and Compost Tea.

My version of Bokashi is still in the experimental stage. I placed a shredded mix of Red Apple Ice Plant and Italian Cypress wood chips in a 20 gallon Rubber-Maid barrel sprinkled with Activated EM-1 and covered with plastic directly on top of the organic matter and put the lid on the barrel. After a month and a half,when I had a chance to check, it had the sent of vinegar and looked fermented. It has been in the barrel just over 90 days and I can still see the constituents, but the color has changed to that of finished compost, but with no odor or scent.

Terran

Compost Tea
http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/brewing-compost-tea.aspx

EM-1
http://www.emamerica.com/
http://www.emamerica.com/effective-microorganism-products/activated-effective-microorganisms
http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.471963/it.A/id.225/.f?sc=1&category=-101

Here is a link that might be useful: Gray water without plumbing changes / Permaculture Forum

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 9:22PM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

g'day tinync,

feeding the soil sustainably? might depend in the end what is deemed sustainable many see it in many ways.

but for us it relies heavily on green type mulches ie.,. sugar cane mulch and spoilt luceren or pasture grass hay, as they break down they release available nutrients the primary one being nirogen.

then we tuck all rottable kitchen scraps (even some unrottable scraps like bones, but the worms can clean them off and later if they get in the road they can be binned for the garbage collection) under the mulch daily, this keeps our composting and other worms working well, also means no extra work of running a compost bin or worm farm.

then all of our used kitchen water with urine added gets applied to the plant root zones + spent vegetables are pulled and mulched right where they grew.

that all feeds our plants without any need to buy fertilisers or manures. on occassiopn some of the lawn clip gets added into that formula.

now is that sustainable? i guess so, so long as we can afford to buy mulch but then as a last ditch effort we have an option of raking slashed grass from a local parkland. also so long as we can afford to eat and buy vege' seedlings all of the above is sustainable with some self thrown in.

len

Here is a link that might be useful: lens garden page

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 3:28PM
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takadi(7)

One word: pee

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 2:45AM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

Correction: DILUTED pee!

Urine is an excellent source of nitrogen and other useful minerals.

Straight urine, even if fresh, can be too strong for growing plants, so dilute it with ten parts water. It is best if you don't let it sit, as it will change to ammonia, which is not as useful to the plants.

Also, you can make compost tea or manure tea, then dilute with water to a weak tea color to feed to your plants.

Or you can make 'weed tea': fill a bucket, tub or barrel with weeds (all parts) and then fill with water and let sit a week or three. Yes, it stinks, but the plants love it!

If you happen to have shredded weeds handy, use them, they'll probably 'brew' even faster because there is far more surface area exposed.

Mind you, this is not the cannabis kind of tea, it's the dandelion/dock/wild grass type of tea.

Chemical fertilizers feed the plant and destroy the soil. Organic fertilizers feed the soil, which feeds the plant and the worms and the micro-organisms.

Sue

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 7:09PM
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