Sunday, July 21, 2019

Organic Fertilizer Bounty

Thanks to an amazing homemade organic fertilizer I learned about from a neighbor (who attributes it to a farmer in Wyoming with a YouTube video), our garden this year is producing an overwhelming amount of food. Summer squash, zucchini, Japanese turnips, green beans, bell peppers, jalapeƱo peppers, cayenne peppers, Fresno peppers, Italian horn peppers, lemon cucumbers, peaches..... Soon eggplant and tomatoes will start coming as well.

Very easy to make this fertilizer, which has only three ingredients: Alfalfa pellets, blackstrap molasses, and fish emulsion. Feed stores generally have the pellets. A big bag will last all year. Any good garden store will have the fish emulsion (should be marked 5-1-1 or very close to that). The molasses (unsulphured) is available online. The one-gallon jug of the molasses and the fish emulsion I bought are not even half empty and I started this regimen in April.

Put one pound of the pellets in the bottom of a five-gallon bucket (I've found that a one-liter measure filled to the brim with pellets is about a pound). Put about a gallon of water in and let the pellets soak up the water and swell up. There should be enough water that you're left with a soupy mixture with liquid, not mush. After a few hours, or overnight, add 150ml each of the fish emulsion and the blackstrap molasses (about 2l3 of a cup maybe. Measurements don't have to be exact). Stir well and let sit for a couple of hours.

This I dilute again for use, putting one gallon of the mixture into a five-gallon watering can--so, diluting 1:4. It sounds more complicated than it is. Once you've done it a couple of times, it's quite easy. Apply once or twice a week. As plants start to flower and produce fruit, I add an organic guano-based 0-4-3 fertilizer to the mix called HDK (25ml/five gallons) easily available from the cannabis hydroponics stores if you live in a cannabis-legal state. This all-organic mixture works wonders!

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