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Question about DIY organic fertilizer

epsteindrive

New Member
Hi, I'm doing my first grow, and in the ideal world it would be 100% organic but I think this might not be possible for a number of reasons including budget, experience, time I have to spend etc etc

... however in the past I've grown some bazil and chilies and a couple of similar things and I used coffee grounds to add nitrogen and I think eggshells and banana peels for some of the other nutrients. I am not incredibly concerned about yields for this grow - does anybody know if there would be anything in particular missing from the nutrient mix going with this approach, and whether I could get those from household throwaways without concerning myself about it ... or would i have to purchase some kind of off the shelf organic fertilizer ( which I'm trying to avoid because I have to reserch it, source it, pay for it ... and postage probably ) - and :) yes I DO KNOW that this is bit of a half baked plan at this point and I'm sure most people here will consider the nutrient area to be an artform in itself so please forgive the crudeness of the approach I promise to take it more seriously in the future I just have to start somewhere, and any help at all would be appreciated - thanks
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020
You might enjoy some of the tutorials I have written as to how to make your own natural fertilizers out of eggshells, dandelions, fresh fish, milk...
Find them all in my signature links. :) Welcome to the forum!
 

AngryBird

Member of the Month: Dec 2016
You might enjoy some of the tutorials I have written as to how to make your own natural fertilizers out of eggshells, dandelions, fresh fish, milk...
Find them all in my signature links. :) Welcome to the forum!
I have added your links in my first post of my new adventures :)
 

epsteindrive

New Member
One thing I'm a bit confused about with organic feeding is how to put the organic material in the soil. The problem I have is that I made a compost out of coffee grounds, banana and eggs/eggshells but I cant put that on twice a week ( or can I ) because it will keep on increasing the volume of medium in the pot - I read on your journal AngryBird that you had a spray that you "used as necessary" which I don't fully understand. How would I know if my plants needed nutrients. I would really like to have decent yield and not have to figure out organic feeding schedules the hard way. I guess I'm having trouble getting my head around the way nutrients are done in the organic way as opposed to the neat and easy to understand twice a week feed or whatever it is for regular nutrients ... can anyone help me get my head around it? Thanks
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epsteindrive

New Member
You might enjoy some of the tutorials I have written as to how to make your own natural fertilizers out of eggshells, dandelions, fresh fish, milk...
Find them all in my signature links. :) Welcome to the forum!
I was only able to find the calcium from eggshells one ... excellent, thanks - but I wasn't able to find the ones about dandelions or milk ?
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020
I was only able to find the calcium from eggshells one ... excellent, thanks - but I wasn't able to find the ones about dandelions or milk ?
Making Your Own Lactobacillus Serum
Fermented Extracts (Fertilizers) From Dandelions
One thing I'm a bit confused about with organic feeding is how to put the organic material in the soil. The problem I have is that I made a compost out of coffee grounds, banana and eggs/eggshells but I cant put that on twice a week ( or can I ) because it will keep on increasing the volume of medium in the pot - I read on your journal AngryBird that you had a spray that you "used as necessary" which I don't fully understand. How would I know if my plants needed nutrients. I would really like to have decent yield and not have to figure out organic feeding schedules the hard way. I guess I'm having trouble getting my head around the way nutrients are done in the organic way as opposed to the neat and easy to understand twice a week feed or whatever it is for regular nutrients ... can anyone help me get my head around it? Thanks
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In the organic world we do not feed the plants. All of the materials needed to feed the plants are pre-built into the soil or added as top dressings, and the feeding of the plants actually is done by the microlife that we add to and keep alive in the soil. An organic gardener feeds the nutrients to the microlife, and they in turn feed the plants. You don't need to keep adding more nutrients to a true living organic soil... those components should already be there, they just need to get broken down into a form that the plants can use.
The disconnect for many in understanding this is that organic to some people simply means not synthetic... and what they do has nothing to do with keeping the soil and its microlife alive. My understanding of True Living Organics however goes much further than that concept as to whether it is natural or not or home made vs commercially made... Organic Gardening for me means that I actively create life to add to my containers with each actively aerated tea that I use to water my plants with. The nutrients that I mix into that tea are not what I am relying on to feed my plants... those nutrients are there so that the life that I create is specialized to eat those specific minerals and are there to feed and create that microlife. They feed the plants, not me. I actually filter out most of the solid nutrients that make up the tea and do not add that to my soil.
Some of the natural fertilizers that we create are so powerful because they are in a usable form for the plants , and also very nutritious for the microlife. By using distillation we can break dandelions, eggshells and even bananas into their base elements, but this is not traditional organic gardening ... it is simply natural gardening. Adding used coffee grounds... again, very natural, but not strictly organic in the entire sense.
 

epsteindrive

New Member
Thanks - lots to think about - I'm just wondering a few things though

In the organic world we do not feed the plants. All of the materials needed to feed the plants are pre-built into the soil or added as top dressings, and the feeding of the plants actually is done by the microlife that we add to and keep alive in the soil. An organic gardener feeds the nutrients to the microlife, and they in turn feed the plants. You don't need to keep adding more nutrients to a true living organic soil... those components should already be there, they just need to get broken down into a form that the plants can use.
Just wondering though doing it this way how do you know whether the plants were getting the nutrients they need. With commercial solution's they have a feeding schedule to guarantee that the plants have enough ... if I have to use experience to figure this out then since this is my first grow will I just need to accept lower yields until then.


The other thing is that I made your eggshell calmag ( thanks ) but only read the bit about it being ready in 20 days afterward lol ... but I just see my plant seems to have a bit of a magnesium deficiency right now ( yellow spots on lower leaves) so I guess I can't use your recipe that I only did yesterday -- or can i? Looks like I need to buy a commercial solution otherwise, unless you have any suggestions
Thanks
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020
Thanks - lots to think about - I'm just wondering a few things though


Just wondering though doing it this way how do you know whether the plants were getting the nutrients they need. With commercial solution's they have a feeding schedule to guarantee that the plants have enough ... if I have to use experience to figure this out then since this is my first grow will I just need to accept lower yields until then.


The other thing is that I made your eggshell calmag ( thanks ) but only read the bit about it being ready in 20 days afterward lol ... but I just see my plant seems to have a bit of a magnesium deficiency right now ( yellow spots on lower leaves) so I guess I can't use your recipe that I only did yesterday -- or can i? Looks like I need to buy a commercial solution otherwise, unless you have any suggestions
Thanks
Sadly, you can't hurry fermentation processes and still get the full benefit of the resulting product. I would recommend ordering some commercial calmag (organic style) for now.
In answer to your question about how do you know... how do you know when using commercial nutes? Do you just trust them because they have a well written plan, or do you also look at your plants and make your evaluation based on what you see? If you saw starving and deficient plants after following their plan you would assume that something was wrong with your commercial nutes and would make changes in what you are doing. If you are making an effective natural nutrient, you should also be able to tell from your plants whether or not it is working.

Having enough, well that again is simply reading the plants to see if there is any burning or clawing associated with your nutes, or on the other side, if there is no reaction at all... and then by trial and error adjusting upwards or downwards as needed. Some people don't like this seat of your pants gardening style, with no written directions on how to apply or how much to apply, and that is fine. If you need the comfort of having a cookie cutter feeding schedule and the reinforcement in your mind that it must be working because you are spending so much money on it, then by all means go that route. First grow, maybe that is good advice to give, so that you can see what a healthy and thriving plant looks like before trying to roll your own nutrient system... but some people enjoy being on the edge too. It is all a matter of the premium you put on personal comfort as well as the level of trust you have in the commercial nutrient companies.
 

epsteindrive

New Member
all very good points, thanks, and I'm starting to get in on your way of thinking; to some degree anyway .,... only thing I suppose I'm puzzled about is for example coffee takes time to get broken down into nitrogen - if I spot a nitrogen deficiency is it not too late at that point already ... or how long does it take in general from when you notice an issue until you have the issue fixed, and would the yield have suffered ... which might not be the end of the world I'm just wondering .

another question is do you know whether epson salts would be any use to me for the magnesium deficiency - I have a tub of it handy.
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020
all very good points, thanks, and I'm starting to get in on your way of thinking; to some degree anyway .,... only thing I suppose I'm puzzled about is for example coffee takes time to get broken down into nitrogen - if I spot a nitrogen deficiency is it not too late at that point already ... or how long does it take in general from when you notice an issue until you have the issue fixed, and would the yield have suffered ... which might not be the end of the world I'm just wondering .

another question is do you know whether epson salts would be any use to me for the magnesium deficiency - I have a tub of it handy.
If you are suffering a deficiency and able to see its effect in the leaves, it is because there is a lack of whatever nutrient at that moment in time. Even with something in there like used coffee grounds, if they have not broken down enough to provide nitrogen in the correct form, it will do not good to have them there. If you have an active and living soil, raw minerals can be broken down rapidly, but again, if you are seeing signs of a deficiency, something is wrong now and it is too late to wait for that process... nutrient needs are more immediate than that.
There is a need for a little bit of epsom in soil, but here is the problem, and the reason that people don't front load soil with a gob of magnesium right at the start so that people don't get deficiencies... Elements in the soil interact with each other and can enhance or degrade from the availability of one another. Too much magnesium in the soil locks out calcium mobility, and this is a quick way to ruin a grow. This is why we supplement magnesium in small amounts throughout the grow, instead of trying to add it to the soil.
 

bobrown14

Grow Journal of the Month: Dec 2017 - Photo of the Month: May 2020
OP I suggest looking into VERMI-COMPOSTING.

Seems from your questions you have been reading a lot about how cannabis is grown. Its a weed and a pretty hardy one at that. A lot of folks do a lot of overthinking on how to grow the dankest dank. IMHO

I'm an old timer - learned how to build a compost heap (with lots of worms and coffee grounds). Get that right and your soil will be great for growing anything you want to.

There's 2 things that you can use now that will keep you from having any deficiencies.

EWC - worm castings - you can find them locally in the woods for free if thats your thing
Kelp Meal - its fed to just about every animal grown for human consumption. Check your local feed store to source it locally.

1 cup of ewc to 1/2 cup of Kelp Meal - mix and scratch in a few Tbs into your soil.

Can even make a tea with it an water in. Works great.

Put Epsom Salt in a bucket and put your feet in there. Best use I can think of.
 
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