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Fertilizing Mel's Mix?

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 7/27/2015, 12:22 pm

Last I saw it was going to be 102 on Wed.  Yuck!!!  It's been fairly nice the last couple weeks, I knew it was too good to last  Wink
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Post  camprn on 7/27/2015, 12:42 pm

Sometimes I will give individual plants fertilizer  if I want to boost growth. This year so far, because my homemade compost isn't quite ready, I've had to add Garden Tone to my tomatoes, peppers and aubergine plants. For the leafy green veggies, shallots, BS, and leeks I use dried blood for a nitrogen boost, as the nitrogen promotes foliage growth.

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Post  trolleydriver on 7/27/2015, 2:36 pm

I must be losing my mind. I'm sure I submitted two posts (one on this thread) earlier today and neither of them showed up. 

Anyway, I may be repeating myself but here goes.

Sanderson said, "hiring some one to turn (the compost) is a good idea". Early last week as I was turning my compost with a garden fork I wrecked my lower back. I was in agony, hardly able to get up and walk for a couple of days.  Today it's feeling a lot better. Maybe I can hire the boy down the street to turn the compost.
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Post  kauairosina on 7/27/2015, 3:11 pm

I have no qualms about utilizing younger bodies to do the heavy work.  It comes with the territory.  We are fortunate to currently have two of these fine creatures in our family.  No way we could garden as well without them.
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Post  sanderson on 7/27/2015, 4:43 pm

@kauairosina wrote:We are fortunate to currently have two of these fine creatures in our family.
Razz
I'm biting the bullet and making the first compost pile this year.  I know I am, cuz I only make them when it's over 100*F! Shocked

TD, Ouch. Take baby bites of compost at a time from now on. A back is a horrible thing to lose.

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Post  camprn on 7/27/2015, 5:07 pm

Howdy folks, this is a gentle reminder that this thread is about fertilizing. Composting has a few other threads.

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Post  boffer on 7/27/2015, 5:10 pm

@camprn wrote:Sometimes I will give individual plants fertilizer  if I want to boost growth. This year so far, because my homemade compost isn't quite ready, I've had to add Garden Tone to my tomatoes, peppers and aubergine plants. For the leafy green veggies, shallots, BS, and leeks I use dried blood for a nitrogen boost, as the nitrogen promotes foliage growth.

Thank you. I've gotten several PMs recommending Garden Tone.
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Post  sanderson on 7/27/2015, 8:28 pm

The odor is VERY organic, so don't sniff it like we do compost!!

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Post  John W on 2/20/2016, 6:01 pm

Can you mix chicken and cow manure for a veggie garden?
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Post  camprn on 2/20/2016, 6:07 pm

@John W wrote:Can you mix chicken and cow manure for a veggie garden?
Yes, but both should be well composted.

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Post  Kelejan on 2/20/2016, 10:47 pm

glad you\'re here John W happy hi 
from Kelejan :canada: 

Where in the world is Avon sleigh?
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Post  sanderson on 2/21/2016, 1:12 am

Melborne, AU? John, Welcome to the Forum from California, west coast USA. glad you\'re here

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Post  yolos on 2/21/2016, 1:41 am

@camprn wrote:
@John W wrote:Can you mix chicken and cow manure for a veggie garden?
Yes, but both should be well composted.
+1
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Post  has55 on 2/21/2016, 4:11 am

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/21/2016, 11:16 am

Hi, John, from Ohio, USA! Great Lakes region! Tell us about yourself! happy hi
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Post  Kelejan on 2/21/2016, 7:47 pm

@John W wrote:Can you mix chicken and cow manure for a veggie garden?

Was that a joke I missed first time around?
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Post  camprn on 2/21/2016, 10:38 pm

@Kelejan wrote:
@John W wrote:Can you mix chicken and cow manure for a veggie garden?

Was that a joke I missed first time around?
Nope, it was a good question from a new forum member.

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Post  camprn on 2/21/2016, 10:39 pm

This thread is a good read, from the first post that Boffer posted.

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Post  milt48 on 2/22/2016, 9:44 pm

I personally prefer the "Dr. Earth" line of organic fertilizers and products mostly as a tea or foliar spray.

Since the products are loaded with beneficial microbes etc. I use it my composter bin to get those wee beasties growing.

http://drearth.net/products/
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Post  trolleydriver on 2/22/2016, 11:14 pm

milt ... for fun I checked Amazon (USA) and Amazon (Canada) for Dr. Earth products, Wow are those products ever expensive up here in Canada. As an example, a 3 lb box of Dr Earth 720 Alfalfa Meal is $11.81 at Amazon USA and the same box is $54.30 plus $16.20 shipping at Amazon Canada. Even taking into account that the Canadian dollar is worth only 72 cents in USA funds, that is a huge difference in price. I won't be buying any Dr Earth producst anytime soon unless I am visiting the USA.
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Post  Kelejan on 2/23/2016, 1:31 am

@camprn wrote:
@Kelejan wrote:
@John W wrote:Can you mix chicken and cow manure for a veggie garden?

Was that a joke I missed first time around?
Nope, it was a good question from a new forum member.

It's the way my mind works sometimes. Very Happy
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Post  camprn on 2/23/2016, 8:32 am

@boffer wrote:Let me say up front: when using homemade compost, MM works as advertised, and I love it.

However, long story short: it's become apparent to me in the last couple months that there will come a time that I won't be able to make, store, and use the volume of compost that I need, which for the last couple years has been 4-5 yards of finished compost.

Next year, I'm planning on doing some experimenting with organic fertilizers that I can add to the existing MM instead of compost.  I have very little knowledge or experience with fertilizers, as I haven't needed them much.

I spent time browsing the fertilizer shelves at my favorite garden store.  For plant fertilizers only, the shelving unit was 25 feet long, with 6 shelves about 7 feet high.  It was roughly divided in half, with organic fertilizers on one side and chemical fertilizers on the other.

As a starting place, I was looking at organic pre-mixed fertilizer products  by Gardner and Bloome, which seems to have products similar to Espoma.

For better or worse, I'm very cynical about marketing messaging and claims.  I question the need for multiple products that contain the same ingredients in slightly different ratios, other than for the manufacturer to sell more product.

Advertised
Purpose
  Gardner
and Bloome
  Espoma
Tomatoes4-6-33-4-6
Roses4-6-24-3-2
Buds/Blooms3-7-43-4-5
Veggie All Purpose4-4-43-4-4


I first started questioning the NPK ratios of G and B's products.  For instance:
tomatoes 4-6-3 and roses 4-6-2.

Seriously? One percentage point difference in K requires a separate product?  Bull.  That leads to questioning the accuracy of the ratios.  It's my understanding that absolute values aren't critical when using organic fertilizers, which leads me to wondering just how accurate the values are, and whether all the packages contain the same amount of NPK products.

Espoma products were mentioned in another thread this morning, so I started comparing them with G and B.  Interesting how they each advertise different NPK ratios for the same plant.

So, any experienced  recommendations for an all-around organic fertilizer from those listed above or other manufacturers?

A pre-packaged all-in-one product like those above is certainly convenient, but would get expensive for a larger garden.  So the next step would be to make my own from bulk sources: blood meal-bone meal-potash or green sand for starters. I've look at Mel's recipe from the original SFG method, and I've looked at the recipe from Steve Soloman's recommendation for PNW soils.  Any other recommendations  I could consider?

At this point, my focus is on major nutrients.  I'll look into supplying  micro-nutrients and mycorrhizae later.

Thanks.

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Post  milt48 on 2/23/2016, 11:41 am

a 3 lb box of Dr Earth 720 Alfalfa Meal is $11.81 at Amazon USA and the same box is $54.30 plus $16.20

Shocked  At that price I would not use it either.

I buy mine from a local nursery here in town.
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Post  sanderson on 2/23/2016, 4:25 pm

Getting back to Boffer's situation. The organic fertilizers, pure then mixed, or pre-mixed, would solve the nutrient part. But, what about the bulk to keep the beds at 6"? What materials can be added to self compost in site? One thought I have (prepping for the future) is to layer older dried horse manure (rather fluffy in it's own right) plus dead fall leaves. Both are light weight for carrying buckets or bags. Overwinter on 50% of the beds, rotating the following year. This should keep the organic material at it's level, and the organic fertilizers can be used to supplement the beds that aren't being composted that year. I like worm tubes for kitchen scraps. Then the worms go out and churn the beds. I'm relocating the tubes within the beds this year. Everybody over to the right. Next year, everybody over to the left.

Just some thoughts.

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