User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Organic Fertilizer

For several years I've been making my own blend of organic fertilizer out of cotton seed meal, kelp meal, blood meal, and bone meal. Just the other day was thinking about this practice. I'm confident that the organic amendments are better for the soil than using chemical fertilizers, but...... Almost every product in any 'organic' fertilizer relies upon or supports some non permaculture, high energy, environmentally unfriendly practice. My cotton seed meal probably comes from one of the most toxic products available and cotton farming the same land year after year is probably one of the most damaging crops as well. I'll likely continue using these products, but after the light finally went off, I'll never feel quite a good about them as before. The limited chemical fertilizer that is used, no longer looks as evil in comparison, as neither product falls in the realm of sound sustainable practices.

I'm raising chickens now, and am trying to provide forage for a large part of their diet. Even considering the commercial food that they eat, the foot print from a few free range chickens in the middle of a 130 parcel of land, is probably far less than the impact of many organic ingredients that come from intensive commercial farming practices or those ingredients that come from other more destructive practices. In the future, I'll probably rely more on our compost with its home grown browns, greens, and chicken manure and our worm castings from our vermiculture box.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.

User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Organic Fertilizer

Compost, chicken manure, and worm castings sounds like plenty to maintain your soil fertility!

I try to practice mostly closed loop gardening - nothing leaves or is wasted, very little comes in. If I had chickens and /or a composting toilet it would work even better, but still my plants do well on their diet of compost, compost tea, worm castings, mulch.

It is great that you are thinking of things like that. We all need to think more about where everything we use comes from, the processes it goes through, how it gets to us and where it goes when it leaves our hands.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: Facebook page I manage for them: Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Susan W
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1859
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

Re: Organic Fertilizer

I've thought about this as well, H. I use cotton burr in my mix for the large containers and the beds, both refreshing and adding more. For fertilizer as such use fish stuff on the herbs, and work in plant tone -(Epsoma) in the flower areas.
Have no answers!
Have fun!

Return to “Organic Gardening Forum”