Maggie4
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natural fertilizers

hi everyone!
I am not a fan of using fertilizers from shops..I don't trust their ingredients so I have never used them..I was thinking that maybe you know some recipes for natural fertilizers? I want them mostly for my tomatoes to grow better and have better fruits. If you know some tips please share them here :) I will try them!

imafan26
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Re: natural fertilizers

composted manure; Needs to be hot composted or aged at least 120 days before harvest as they can contain pathogens.
Cottonseed meal, feather meal, alfalfa
You can grow your own green manure to add fertility (if you use inoculated legumes) or biomass.
Tomatoes are heavy feeders and it takes time for organic fertilizers to become available so start adding the organics 6 months ahead of time. You will still need to supplement tomatoes with fish emulsion or kelp meal since they require additional nitrogen especially in the early stages of growth.

Organic fertilizers will vary in their nutrient value from batch to batch and the numbers are generally low. Only part of the fertilizer will be immediately available. The rest will be available over time. Organic gardens don't become fully productive and sustainable for 2-3 years.

I am a fan of soil tests. You can add too much organic fertilizer and that can cause pollution as well. If you get a soil test, it will tell you exactly how much nutrients are already in your soil and the quantities of amendments and fertilizer you need to add to support plant growth. You do need to ask for organic amendments as most tests will otherwise give you information on synthetic fertilizers.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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jal_ut
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Re: natural fertilizers

Around here we call it cow EDITED - PLEASE REPORT THIS POST! Oops that word is likely to get tossed.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/- Plant a Garden

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jal_ut
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Re: natural fertilizers

I knew it. I grew up on a farm. Have been growing things all my life and fertilizing the ground, yet in this forum I cannot speak like a farmer. Well call it what you will, it still comes out of the back end of a cow!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/- Plant a Garden

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applestar
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Re: natural fertilizers

I put earthworms in all of my container plants. They are both red wigglers and night crawlers. Red wigglers will mostly stay at top and night crawlers will stay near the bottom of the pot, but both kinds will tunnel around the potting mix, leaving their vermicasting (wormpoop) behind. I put in big lumps of clay for the nightcrawlers.

Over the years, I have found that the plants that survive neglect — whether Insufficient active fertilization or watering — are the ones that had the earthworms minding them. Ones that were growing better and healthier than expected -or in comparison to another- inevitably had 2 or 3 resident earthworms when finally uppotted or planted out.

For starters, give your plants your kitchen leftovers, keeping in mind they don’t like salt, but they do like a bit of natural sugar. In the winter when I grow tomatoes indoors, I give them all of my used coffee grounds and tea leaves — dump In the watering jug (recycled juice jug) and water. The dregs become mulch on top of potting mix for the red wigglers. Any leftover beverages including coffee and tea, juice, milk, etc. nothing alcoholic — but you can put that in the watering jug and use to water them a few days later. When beverage container is empty, swish with water and save in the watering jug. Use your judgment — they don’t need a lot, too much may be too concentrated.

I save grain and beans rinsing water and dry beans soaking water to give to the plants. Also some beans recipe calls for dumping the first soak/boil water and cooking with fresh water — definitely Save that. Also, any vegetables blanching water (no salt). My DD’s like edamame, and I think the ones pods taste best when buying them frozen. I save the dark green water after cooking them.

I cook pasta without adding salt and save the drained pasta cooking water to cool and give/water the plants. I don’t use this water for particularly salt-sensitive plants since some pasta are made with havy amounts of salt but it can be given to salt-tolerant plants. Tomatoes are borderline, I think. It depends on variety.

Consider keeping a vermicomposter or bokashi fermenter if you have a space for them indoors or outdoors. However, I only keep them indoors during the winter, in the garage. Save all Vegetable scraps and leftovers and feed the worms or the bokashi lacto-fermenting bacteria.

Doing it this way, you only use what you yourself eat. Organic produce, eggshells, etc. oh yeah eggshells. I save hard boiled egg shells to give to the worms — ground into powder in old coffee grinder. I also sometimes put the hard boiled eggshells into watering jug without grinding them up. Whole banana peel, citrus peel... etc. The jug looks kind of like a sangria jug then. This lasts for a few days in the winter while I keep adding water and watering with the leached nutrients. If the additions start to spoil, I drain out the water and put the scraps in the vermicomposter for the worms.

Do you have space for outside compost pile? I mentioned vermicomposting and bokashi because they take up very little space, but if you can do a full compost pile, then you can recycle not only softer kitchen scraps but yard and garden trimmings, too. All your safer papers. Raw shells go directly into the outdoor compost pile because I’m too lazy to sterilize them, but some people bake or boil the shells for use.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: natural fertilizers

Over time compost with improve soil tilth and water retention and feeding the soil and supporting the soil web will increase the number of soil organisms that convert organic matter into nutrients for plants. Compost alone is not fertilizer especially for heavy feeders like tomatoes. As James said, the best natural fertilizers are manures.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Gary350
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Re: natural fertilizers

This is how people made their own fertilizer in the 1800s & early 1900s. I use wood ash on my tomatoes NPK value is N=0 P=1 K=4 plus 20% calcium & magnesium, iron, sodium, zinc and trace minerals. I do not put nitrogen on tomatoes it makes very large plants with very few tomatoes. If your soil is low in nitrogen then you will need a small amount of nitrogen.

Home made high nitrogen fertilizer, put 4 gallons of composted organic material in a 5 gallon bucket, mix it 1 gallon of wood ash, pee in the bucket several times ever day for a week, keep a lid or flat board on top the bucket. There is a chemical reaction with wood ash and urine it will start to smell like ammonia in a few day. I have read this is a very strong nitrogen fertilizer but who knows what strong means without testing it. I read online N=5 P=1 K=4.

I harvested about 600 lbs of tomatoes from 18 plants last summer July to end of Oct.

SQWIB
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Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: natural fertilizers

I have been relying heavily on compost.
Urea and wood ash are the only fertilisers I can think of that I use.
I just added comfrey to my list this year.
I have also been letting some weeds grow till they start to seed then chop and drop, like prickly lettuce.
Also been trench composing with certain kitchen waste instead of my usual composting method.
I also cover crop mid season and end of season.
I'm not up to date on the "technical classifications" of what is considered a fertilizer and is not considered a fertilizer and to be honest, I don't care. I have been doing fine with my method so far.

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